I recently took a summer trip to Europe to visit my best friend in the Netherlands and go home to visit my family in Bulgaria. Before leaving for my trip, I channeled all of my energy into our first Foreign Morning Panel Event and afterwards was left feeling depleted which took a toll on my motivation. Good thing that just a week after I had my trip planned and decided to take a whole week to disconnect from my work, social networks, projects and yes - even email.
The first few days were a strange mix of relief from not needing to check my email but also guilt. Where was this guilt coming from I wondered? I had made all of the necessary arrangements for my trip in regards to work - yet I still felt like I would be missing out on something if I hadn't checked my social media networks or email.
Worst of all, I felt like I was letting people down from not being "on."
After a few days passed, and I spent the time leisurely biking through the canals of Amsterdam, enjoying fresh stroopwafel and slow mornings, followed by more exploring and museum exhibitions (the Edward Krasinski exhibition at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam is amazing) and filling my senses with the joy of those first signs of summer - I felt completely rejuvenated and refreshed. No longer did I have this anxious feeling of what my next step is going to be (which for an entrepreneur is often the case).
Returning home to Bulgaria was also another step in this journey of letting go. Coming home after 2 years of being away always feels so surreal - one part because it feels like no time has passed in between the last time you were there to now and secondly because it feels so safe and comforting.
The combination of these experiences; from allowing myself to fully disconnect, to be fully present, to change my environment, to explore and experience new things - left me feeling inspired, filled with ideas and renewed motivation, and most of all - hope and excitement.
Yes it takes effort and resources to take time off, but it is invaluable to your overall wellbeing and happiness.
My concept of vacation and taking time "off" has shifted from thinking it is a luxury to necessity, especially for entrepreneurs or anyone who is self-employed and works independently.
I want to hear from you! Comment below - when was the last time you took a vacation and did you feel the same type of anxiousness and guilt from leaving your work?