A couple of years ago, we decided as a family to buy a cabin in the beachside town of Inverloch. It was one of the best decisions of our lives.

About the same time, I decided I would run my business by design rather than let the business run me. So, each year, I pop my “out of office” on for FIVE WHOLE WEEKS and spend the summer at the cabin. I work hard throughout the year, so it’s only fair that I rest and play hard during summer. (I also take school holidays off because I have FOMO when my daughter and hubby, who is a school teacher, have their holidays. LOL!).

This year, I observed myself on holiday, making a mental note of what worked, how I acted and reacted, and how I used my time off. Here’s what I found out…

Week 1: Busy “doing”

I feel like I’m still in achiever mode. At the beginning of the week, I spend half a day clearing my inbox so that I am good to go in the new year.

I create a routine: meditation in the morning, along with a cuppa; a walk along the beach, listening to a podcast; I devour a great book (Ronni Kahn’s A Repurposed Life); and I enjoy a couple of yoga sessions on the beach. Early morning swims get me invigorated. And I keep my promise to myself of a nap every day – it reminds me I’m on holiday!

Week 2: Starting to slow

I stick to my routine but switch my reading to an audiobook (Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey). I also do my yoga sessions, early morning swims, and nap A LOT every day. I think my mind and body are just tired, so the naps are super important to me this week.

Week 3: Letting go

I drop all routines from my holiday to see what it feels like. I stop the meditation and a cuppa first thing and go with the flow. I re-read another book (You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay) and generally just hang out. I find the naps are less important to me as I feel refreshed. I watch too much news and read too much about COVID!

Week 4: Reality bites

It’s hard to have a conversation about anything but COVID-19. With case numbers spiralling out of control, we decide to bring our booster shot forward and do a walk-in booster. I’d forgotten how sick I got after my second vaccination, so I spend a bit of time in bed, getting over the booster shot. This means I bugger up my sleeping pattern, and I’m up at all times of the night. Serena (my Business Manager) is back in the office. I know she has a stack of stuff to do, so some guilt creeps in from not being back. I quickly get over this by having another cup of tea and listening to the sounds of the waves. I do not pick up a book this week; it’s like my brain needs a break. However, I do listen to a podcast or two (check out The Imperfects).

Week 5: Refreshed and re-energised

Ooft! My mind feels clear and ready to go. I have some creative ideas on the boil and have to get them out of my head and into the laptop. I probably work two hours all up this week, so it’s not a big deal, but it also tells me that I’m ready to get back into some sort of routine. So, I start doing my meditation and cuppa first thing in the morning again (I have to admit, I did miss it).

2022 – it’s all about being playful and doing work that lights me up. I feel ready to go!

What about you? Are you ready to go? Did you manage to relax? Did you make time to rest, or did you stay in work mode?

I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to email me at emma@emmamcqueen.com.au.