Like many other entrepreneurs, I am wound pretty tight and uber focused on my growing my business. Not many days go by that I am not thinking about, working on, networking for or otherwise moving my tiny but mighty business forward. It is a daunting task to completely relax for me.
As an entrepreneur, this is the toughest part of our jobs. Unplugging and spending focused time relaxing. While I have not done it much in the last 2 years my company has been my full-time gig, I can honestly say I relaxed and did it well last week
FreeDictionary.com defines relax this way:
1. To take one's ease; rest.
2. To become lax or loose.
3. To become less severe or strict.
4. To become less restrained or tense.
5. To reduce in intensity; slacken:
While it was very difficult to do, I recommend anyone do it from time to time and here's three reasons why...
One can never have too much perspective in my humble opinion. Removing yourself completely from your environment is a great way to gain perspective you need on your own life and situation. Being on the island, with nowhere to be at no specific time was also a completely different perspective for me. It helped me to see just how much work I cram in daily and in every crevice of almost every day. I most certainly will find ways to steal away for rest thanks to the perspective I gained on this trip. I also found myself reflecting on different things while away from work. Reflecting on my life as a wife and mom more than I have in a long time. I also had time to devour the latest Malcolm Gladwell book which challenged me in a number of ways. My closest relationships will benefit tremendously from my newly gained perspective while in paradise.
Our bodies and minds need rest. I am a stickler for getting 8-9 hours of sleep nightly but clearly I stink at resting myself well in other ways. Nothing was more telling than my outright mind and body release the second day on the island. I could barely move. It was great to not have to. Rest or respite (my preferred word) is needed on a much more grander scale than my insistence on nightly sleep. We need to take a break from our regular routines. We need to sleep more than we normally do. We need to break away from our normal thought patterns. We need to disrupt our habits. We need to stop. Stop and just be. It is really tough to do but really rewarding when we do it.
What I'm feeling in the post vacation after glow is not an island hangover. I am feeling a burst of new energy. New energy around my life and every role I have. Ideas on how to apply some of the knowledge I gained from doing nothing for those few days are just one of the welcomed side effects of the full relaxation exercise. I have no tension at all in my body and so my sleep last night was amazing. It's like I got a new, clean slate to start with this day. As I was making my "To Do" list, there was an added sense of urgency for every item that made the list. I have no meetings on deck and I'm sure that is a God send since I am amped up full of ideas and energy for my work.
It's been some time since I completely relaxed like I did last week. I can't even remember the last time but I know it was well before I started my business or even the journey to my business over 5 years ago. I was way overdue and will challenge myself to find mini-respites to experience the tremendous upsides of total relaxation more often. You'd be wise to join me.