If you follow me on Instagram, then you'll have seen that last week I spent the entire week on the sunny island of Ibiza. Ibiza is one of my favourite places in the entire world, and stay tuned, I'm bringing you a travel guide by the end of the week ;)
Tom and I arrived home yesterday after a very long journey (as it always is to get anywhere from Cornwall), but to my surprise when I got home, I felt totally, 100% fine. I felt a bit desperate to move around after having been sat in the car for 5 hours, but apart from that, I was happy to be home. I began to think about the week we'd had, and realised just how important it was for me to take that week off.
I'm a hard worker, and I love that about myself. But sometimes hard work can become a bit overwhelming, exhausting, and just too much! Whenever I go "on holiday" I try to switch off as much as I can, but let's face it, most of the time I've got a laptop and I can't help but check Atlas' inbox once in a while, or make sure that our stats are ok. This time I vowed to myself that I would switch off, completely. And I did. It was the BEST thing I could have done for myself.
Here's why taking a holiday really is the best thing you could do for yourself:
Feel Refreshed: Going on holiday sounds indulgent and exciting. For the most part, it is really relaxing. It is indulgent, but does that make it a bad thing? Sometimes when we're hard working, we feel enormous guilt for taking time off. I know that I get that feeling, and it sucks. There's nothing worse than enjoying time off, but having a voice in the back of your head that says "You really should be doing something productive with your time." But in actual fact, taking that time off to recharge your batteries will leave you feeling so refreshed, that by the time your holiday is over, you've recharged your batteries, let your mind have a rest from the chaos of work. You'll get back to work with a clear head, some of the worries you had a week ago will no longer feel quite as scary, and you may even have new ideas on how to combat those issues!
You'll Come Back with Clarity of Mind: As I said above, when you let your mind rest and refresh, you clear yourself of worries. I'll admit to being a bit of a worry wart, so much so that worries can sometimes consume me and become all I think about for days on end. Sometimes all it takes is a good nights sleep for worries to go away, but other times it requires even more time off. I often find that taking real time off means that I stop thinking about the issues I'm facing, and when I come back to them, they're no longer quite as scary as they once were. I feel like I've got new ideas on ways to tackle the problems, or maybe it's a matter of realising that, actually, that thing you've been worried about really doesn't matter, and you should just stop worrying about it all together. Give yourself some time off to let yourself get the clarity of mind to know whats important and what isn't.
Come Back With Motivation: Without a doubt, this happens every single time I go on holiday. Be it for 3 days or 7, whenever I get back home, into my office, I open up my laptop and I'm eager to get going. Holidays often spark loads of photography inspiration in me, and I dream up shoot ideas. (Annoying sometimes, because they often mean needing to travel back to those places one day, but who's complaining?!).
Relaxation: Feel guilty when you take some time to relax? Don't you dare let yourself! It's so important to take time out, and you should do so every single day. I know how hard it can be do to that in this day and age (I sometimes really have to force myself) but without a doubt, if I take time out for a few days, my body heals, I feel healthier, fitter, happier, and like I said above, more motivated. Just let yourself relax.
Disonnect: This is tricky for a lot of people, especially when your work revolved around the online world. But let me tell you, if you leave your social media alone for a couple of days, your followers are not going to suddenly all unfollow. If you don't post to Instagram as frequently for a week, they're not going to stop liking your images once you get back to it. I'm not saying you need to 100% disconnect, as while we were away I still did post to my Instagram a bit, because I adore photography and the surroundings we were in, so I wanted to share that. But I posted less, and there were a few days where I didn't post at all. And you know what? I survived. The biggest thing I did while I was away was not bring a laptop with me. I'd not done that in years, but by consciously leaving my laptop behind, I was leaving work behind. I associate, like so many others, my laptop with work, and I was going on holiday, so why would I bring my work with me?! I didn't. Did I miss it? Not one bit.
So there you have it. Holidays are so important. You don't have to jet off to the other end of the world to give yourself a break. It can be as simple as switching off for the weekend, disconnecting from the world a bit, and giving yourself some time off. Allow yourself to relax, and you'll 100% reap the benefits of it. I have!