Life by design: Learnings from the beach

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?

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