WHY RACHEL GREEN WAS RIGHT, AND YOU DESERVE A BREAK
I write this from a beach in Portugal, eyeing up the man selling donuts – or, more importantly, eyeing up his carry basket of wares. (I’m starting this blog like a personal newsletter to millions of adoring fans because, manifestation, you know?) The sea is blue, the breeze and the tide are high, and the suncream is on – so why am I still thinking about work?
When work is your passion project*, it can be incredibly difficult to take a break from it – if you live it and breathe it every other waking moment, why would you suddenly not do so for a while? The prospect of a holiday or a break can bring with a maelstrom of fiery emotions, including supreme guilt (Don’t you even want this business to work? Do you deserve this break? Have you done enough?), major worry (How will your business succeed if you’re not giving your all constantly?) and The Fear (will it all fall apart irreversibly?) – well deserving of the capitals. You may even, as I do, tell yourself that you couldn’t even take a break if you tried, because you and your business are so intertwined, so what’s even the point of entertaining the idea?
*I use passion project as a endearing, exciting term for all the passion-fuelled plans you’re making and use it in a wholly positive way – I know some disagree
Even if the work you’re taking a break from isn’t your passion in life, the likelihood is you’re a bloody hard worker who hates doing anything other than their absolute best, and swanning away doesn’t exactly feel like ‘the best’.
On top of this, we’ve been bombarded with the ideal that hard work gets you far. This is true. But recently, this has transformed from hard work to solid, constant, never-ending work – and the difference is major, and crucial. When you couple our hard working natures, our want to do well, and the fact that we are now culturally conditioned and socially expected to work 25/8, 367 days a year, there’s no bloody wonder I’m sat on the beach with a slice of fresh pineapple in one hand and a couples’ on the day coordination for their wedding in the other. (Ok, the pen I’m using to write this is in one of those hands – the pineapple was a lie, I ate that within about 0.3 seconds of it arriving).
Of course, there’s even more factors at play. Initially, when you start out, you may feel so indebted to clients for taking the leap of faith in you and your venture, that you’re willing to lay your entire life down for them to take control of, leaving you available constantly at their beck and call; or, you may feel the sizzling, burning scorn of the ‘millennial’ label like it’s been branded into your forehead with a hot poker, marking you out as a lazy, uncultured and uneducated reprobate who’s good for nothing and wants for everything. What would people think of you, who’s hardly done a decade of proper 9-5 work, thinking you deserve a break? A break from what?
When all of this weighs heavy, holiday can become a dirty word, whispered surreptitiously behind hands and below breaths.
But, beauts, for every reason your inner bitch is telling you not to go on holiday, there’s 2 your inner witch has as to why you should. I gave 6 excuses you may give for not deserving a holiday; so, true to my word, here’s 12 as to why you do (maths, bitch!)
1. A change of scenery can work wonders for your health and wellbeing. Otegha Uwagba cited it as her ‘#1 secret to improving productivity’ in her Women Who newsletter this month
2. You can’t run on empty forever. It’s just not how it works. Stress puts you in a fight or flight mode, and that eventually just becomes ‘recede from exhaustion’ mode, regardless of which option you choose
3. The nature of the working world is changing, meaning you’re working at times when others aren’t
4. Inspiration can strike in the most unusual of places, and if you never went to new places or tried new things, you’d never know
5. And the same goes for old places too, or favourite places, or places where something special happened
6. As a businesswoman, you need to think in terms of gain and investment – and this is looking after your biggest investment, you. “The primary resource for creating wealth in your life is you. Think of vacations as an investment to increase the size and value of that asset. A vacation is an opportunity to expand your horizons by travelling to new places, signing up for new experiences and creating memories that sustain you. As a bonus, you meet interesting and extraordinary people and create relationships that enhance either your personal or professional life.
7. Dizzee Rascal’s “Holiday” is so underrated and so much better than Bonkers, so any excuse to listen to it is a good one
8. It gives you something to look forward to. If you’re slogging endlessly to make your hustle work, it gives you a big circle in the calendar to count down the days towards
9. It can force you to digitally detox
10. To spend quality time with people, whether that’s your family, your friends, your partner, or yourself
11. You gotta get that Vitamin D! It’s good for your skin and your bones and all the other bits that keep you together
12. And not to scare you but it can make you live longer – apparently, people who don’t take holidays have a 21% higher risk of death from all causes. Ironically, I’m now stressed out by this stat
Holly Tucker is the co-founder of Not On The High Street and more recently the founder of Holly & Co, a hub for indie creatives. Every so often the theme and décor of the space is updated and refreshed (See #1 on the list above). This week in her newsletter (whole lotta newsletter chat here – manifesting or what?!) she unveiled the new window vinyl in Holly & Co: “Create a life you don’t need to take a vacation from”. At first, my heart sank. Never take vacations? Surely that’s not a good message to be spreading, as a champion of indie small businesses? But then, I thought about it more, and it actually makes total sense.
By allowing yourself these moments of self care, and valuing yourself enough to know that you deserve breaks crafted on your terms, you are the creating the wider lifestyle we all need to emulate – a lifestyle allowing multiple breaks just because, a way of thinking we never need to vacay away from. We’re all in this because what went before us wouldn’t work for us, wasn’t good enough; we deserved more and the world deserves what we’ve got. It’s worth remembering that.
Mentally checking out every once in a while means spiritually and symbolically keeping checked in, stronger than ever.
**NB: ironically, I think lots of people place too much importance on the word ‘holiday’ and so here it should be taken to mean a break, a night off, a trip to anywhere you so choose. It doesn’t have to be abroad, overnight, or anything other than a rest from your day to day activities.