The lines between work and play can be blurred if you’re running a business you love. I often loose track of time when I’m writing or designing. But no matter how much you love it you need to get time away to recharge your batteries. If you don’t take time out for yourself and your personal life, your health and relationships will suffer. You’ll also find yourself exhausted and prone to making mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise make.
It can be challenging though to take time away from the office when the office is at home. And it can be tough to slow down and relax. Start small with a commitment to disconnect from your business for an hour or two each evening. Then add one day off. Just one. If you’re concerned about staying in contact with customers or clients have a virtual assistant check email for you or setup an auto-response on your email account. Step away from the computer, the blackberry, the iPhone, the sewing machine, those paints, the camera or whatever it is that you get paid to do. And you may not count mopping your floors or cleaning out a closet as relaxation unless it’s really something that does relax you. Be honest with yourself.
Here are some ideas of things you can do either to pamper yourself or reconnect with the people around you and recharge yourself:
- go play in the sunshine (let yourself be a kid again – your kids will enjoy it and so will you)
- take a walk around the neighborhood or a hike on a nearby nature trail
- visit the local “tourist” attractions and see what’s unique about your town
- plan a girls’ night out with a few friends
- have a movie or game night with the family
- take an evening to read a novel allow yourself to stay up late to finish it (notice I said “novel” and not “business book”)
- schedule a date night with each of your kids and let them choose the activity
- give yourself a spa day (at a spa or at home, whatever fits your budget)
- donate some time to a charity
- bake cookies and deliver them to someone who could use sunshine in their day
- create a new recipe or drink
- write a few thank you or thinking of your cards to send in the mail (remember snail mail?)
- create something for yourself or your family (if you regularly create for others, do something “fun” instead of the paid projects)
- sign up for a class at the local college to study something you’ve always wanted to learn
- make use of that gym membership you signed up for and then avoided (or sign up for a class)
- take a nap (do you even remember the last time you let yourself take a nap?)
- go to bed early
- spend some time at the local library
- hire a babysitter (or call grandma) and have a date night with your spouse
- take a vacation – even if it’s only a day or two!
Once you begin regularly allowing yourself to recharge you’ll find that you come back to your business more relaxed, focused, feeling creative and inspired!