How to step away from your business and actually enjoy your vacation



How to step away from your business and actually enjoy your vacation



It’s a holiday week, which for many of you means stepping away from work to spend time with family and friends. If you’ve been following along on Instagram you’ve seen that I’m currently soaking up the sun with my folks in San Diego.

Sunshine. Sand. Surf. Golf. Theatre. Running. Curling up with a good book.

Vacations can be an amazing time to rest and recharge. They’re an opportunity step away from work, get out of the routine of daily life, and really be present with your current experience.

But for entrepreneurs, vacations can also be a source of a lot of stress, anxiety, and guilt. Because when work is such a huge part of your life, stepping away, and actually feeling like you’re on vacation can be a struggle.

I’m a strong believer that it doesn’t have to be that way. Vacations can be a source of relaxation and joy, leaving you feeling more fulfilled when you come back to work.

Here’s how to stop feeling guilty when you go on vacation and truly enjoy your time away without sacrificing results, even if your business is your number one priority:


Put it on the calendar

I typically plan vacations anywhere from two to six months in advance so that they’re on my calendar and I make them a priority. This means that I won’t push it off or decide it isn’t a good time when life or business gets busy. If it’s on the calendar, it’s as good as done. This also gives me the ability to schedule my workload and client expectations around those dates, because when you’re your own boss, you have control of your schedule.


Budget for it

Worrying about money on vacation can completely strip the joy of being away, which is why I like to budget for trips and start saving well before the actual vacation. I use YNAB to set aside vacation-only funds, but you can also set up a high yield savings account through Capital One 360 and they’ll let you have up to 25 separate savings accounts so you can keep your rainy-day mullah and vacation savings separate. When you know the funds are there, you don’t have to think twice about whether you really need that second daiquiri or worry that you won’t be able to invest in that coach you’ve been dying to work with. Get it girl.


Let your clients know you’ll be away

Give your clients a heads up that you’ll be away and what your boundaries are concerning vacation time. How you handle this will likely depend on the kind of work you do and if you’re working solo or have a team. Typically, I recommend sending an email about two weeks in advance, letting them know that you have some vacation time coming up and asking if there’s anything they’ll be needing during that time so that you can prioritize it before you leave. If you have a team, this could also let them know who the point-person is in your absence and what they can expect from that person. Establishing clear boundaries sets expectations on both sides so you don’t feel guilty when that email comes through while you’re away. Put that autoresponder up and enjoy.


Create content ahead of time

Just because you’re taking some time away from your business doesn’t mean it has to feel that way to your audience. Writing content (newsletter posts, blog articles, Instagram captions etc.) before you head out, can alleviate stress while you’re away. There are so many software platforms such as Later, Hootsuite, Tailwind, and Planoy to help you automate this process and do the posting for you. So relax and let your content do the work while you lay out in the sun and binge-read Big Magic.


Set boundaries around screen time

For me, one of the most incredible parts about travel is the opportunity to experience a new location and culture. It’s a chance to soak in the experience of being somewhere else. Which is why I like to set boundaries around screen time while I’m away. You can scroll Insta and Facebook when you’re back in your day-to-day life. It will still be there. Decide that you’re going to post and check-in for 15 minutes at the end of the day and hold yourself accountable to your own boundaries. That limited access to wifi is actually a gift. This is your time to enjoy where you are and who you’re with.


Be present

I know, easier said than done. It can be hard to turn your brain off entirely and not think about work AT ALL when it’s such a big part of your life. But I also know that the guilt you feel while being away isn’t doing you any favors. By giving your mind a break from all those thoughts that are weighing you down, you’ll be able to come back to your day-to-day with a fresh perspective, more energy, and better ideas to build and grow. So the next time you feel those thoughts creeping in, give the 5-4-3-2-1 method a try. This relies on the senses, sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, to get your out of those negative thoughts and back to the present. Start by thinking about five things you see around you. Next, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. You can read more about it here, but it can do wonders to keep those thoughts from spiraling and allow you to actually enjoy your time away.


The bottom line

As an entrepreneur, taking time away from work is necessary to rest and recharge so that you can avoid burnout. Feeling guilty about stepping away isn’t doing you any favors because it’s hindering you from giving your mind the rest it needs to come back to work refreshed and ready to grow even more. Put boundaries, systems, and strategies in place so that you can set expectations. Cultivate the right mindset so you view this time away as an essential part of being a business owner. By doing so, you’ll feel more positive and productive when you return, better able to pour that energy into client interactions, content creation, marketing strategies, and more.

Tell me in the comments below:

How do you ease the guilt around taking time off?

Photography collaboration between Dennelly Design and Veda House