It’s summer now and, for most people, that means taking a vacation to avoid burnout.
For small business owners and solopreneurs, that’s not always the case. You might be working so much that weekends mean nothing to you. Keeping your laptop open for longer hours can have some negative consequences.
If you’re busier than ever and don’t feel like you can take a break, here are a few tips for taking that summer vacation, before you burn out.
Tips for Taking a Break This Summer
Whether you head somewhere that doesn’t have a travel ban, you can get an Airbnb in your hometown. Or simply take a day off and visit a nearby park, give yourself a break! You’ll come back refreshed and rested. Taking a break can act as a “reset” button, so you get some balance and work in a healthier way.
Here are a few tips for making relaxation a priority this summer season.
- Remember that rest is a necessary part of the creative process, so if you can’t afford a whole week right now, just schedule a day off to rest.
Note: that rest doesn’t have to mean being “lazy.” One behavioral study researched individuals who are creatives — and for them, rest sometimes meant taking a walk or hike. “For them, restful activities were often vigorous and mentally engaging but they experienced them as restorative because they offered a complete break from their normal working lives,” says Alex Soojung-Kim Pang in an interview with Scientific American.
2. Try taking a nap. You’re human, and humans aren’t meant to be productive 100% of the time. If you don’t feel like a weekend getaway is possible, set aside a little bit of time for an afternoon nap so that you can ensure you get ample daily rest. Naps can be restorative, refreshing and might even improve your brain health and cognition.
Don’t make your nap too long: The ideal amount of time is somewhere between 30 to 90 minutes. Anything longer might interfere with you getting a good night’s sleep later on. Try setting an alarm, if you’re not sure you can wake up within 90 minutes.
3. Hot summer weather gives us more reasons to chill, literally, and the rise in temperatures is ideal for an afternoon at the pool or nearby lake.
As a bonus, spending time around water is nourishing for your brain. “When we’re near, on, in or under water, we get a cognitive break because there’s simply less information coming in. Our brains don’t shut down — they keep working, but in a different way,” according to HuffPost.
4. Find an opportunity to PLAY during your day. In fact, we recommend scheduling play throughout your work day: That might mean doodling or drawing, playing a video game, or just kicking/throwing/volleying a ball around with a coworker. We like to hoola-hoop here at Alkaloid.
Playing is a great way to encourage spontaneity, creativity, and being in the moment … all things that can actually boost productivity.
Why Business Owners Need to Avoid Burnout
We glorify constant productivity in our work culture, and for small businesses and startups this probably isn’t news. But if you’re all work (and no play) all the time, it catches up with you, often in the form of burnout. And that can be dangerous.
“Ignored or unaddressed job burnout can have significant consequences,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Those consequences include conditions like insomnia, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
The over-productive mindset will tell you that if you’re not on top of things at all times, you’ll lose clients. But setting boundaries with clients and telling them you’re taking a day or two off might actually inspire them to do the same.
And you’ll be able to come back from that break with a fresh mind full of ideas.
Reasons to Relax
If you’re a seasoned small business owner, you’ve probably experienced burnout at some point. But even if you “have these burnout experiences, you can in fact recover from them. When you learn how to balance work and rest, you can sustain a higher level of productivity and creativity,” according to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang.
It’s sometimes hard to know when you “deserve” a break, especially when you’re your own boss. While most of us didn’t take vacations this past year, and have had more stress piled on us than we know how to handle. Now is the perfect time to press pause.
Work will still be there when you get back, we promise!