The holiday season is here, but for entrepreneurs, that can sometimes be cause for anxiety more than for cheer. Depending on where you are with your startup or current projects, taking a vacation might seem like an impossible dream, or simply the wrong thing to do right now. Well, findings from analyses into the importance of vacations might change your approach. Research by Sabine Sonnentag from the University of Mannheim, and other psychologists, show that vacations are crucial for maintaining a high level of performance over time, not to mention overall happiness and health.
Vacations let you nurture connections with those closest to you, inspire you, and prevent the dreaded burnout.
1. Busting the myth of the long holiday
Taking a break that will refresh and recharge you doesn’t mean you need to leave everything for a month and a half. In fact, researchers found that long vacations don’t necessarily mean happier vacationers – people generally reach their peak of enjoyment around the 8th day of their holidays and then either plateau or their happiness levels drop. When you let go of the idea of needing 2 or 3 weeks away, and focus on a short break, it becomes much easier to visualize and plan.
So, now that you’ve set a date and picked a destination, here are some tips on getting the most out of your next break…
2. Don’t leave any loose ends
You don’t want to be worrying about work while you’re away. Put in the extra time to tie up as many processes as possible. If you have a team, delegate extra tasks accordingly and make sure everyone has the info they need to take care of day-to-day operations. Make sure to let your clients know that you are leaving and when you’ll be back. The more prepared you are, the less anxious you’ll be, and the more fun you’ll have.
3. Chill it with the social media
While some people look to holidays as an opportunity for juicy social media posts of “Look how much fun I’m having!”, this type of mindset can lead to anxiety and will keep you plugged in. Remember, your days off are valuable! You need to get the most out of them so that when you do go back to work, you’ll feel invigorated. Cherish the moments, you’ll be back at your desk having to deal with Facebook marketing soon enough.
4. Read a book
Invest in some good reading material. Reading is great because it has a perfect balance of being both a relaxing activity, but also one that nourishes your imagination and thinking.
5. Experience the local culture
Chat with locals. Gain perspective. Learn about the challenges of the people living in the place you’re visiting, and how they view the world. This will give you insight into your own life.
6. Invest in those close to you
Many of us don’t spend enough time with family and friends during the year. If you’re growing a business, this quality time is likely to become even harder to come by in the future. If you don’t work on finding that important balance now, you will only find it more difficult to do so later on.
7. Get out there
Explore. Be adventurous. Try new things. Test your boundaries. Relaxation is important, but as an entrepreneur, you can gain a lot by exposing yourself to the more exciting side of life, no matter where you are. This will inspire you, and boost your self-confidence. These are the type of memories you’ll be happy to hold onto when you get back to work.
Whatever you do, make the most of it.