Recently somebody asked me what I do for fun and I drew a blank. Seriously.
Not that long ago I could have answered that question pretty easily - hiking, photo taking, gardening, reading, taking a bath, road tripping, cooking. But running a business is all-consuming and I've found myself stuck on a cycle of eat (sometimes), sleep (not enough), work (like a dog), and repeat.
But that is all about to change! I was reading an article in Fete magazine about the benefits of lazy days. Much like sleep, downtime allows the brain to process the huge amount of data that is poured into it every day. Prolonged relaxation is what our mind needs to consolidate and problem-solve, to rejuvenate and to restore creativity, balance and productivity.
Relaxation activities have also been proven to trigger the production of feel good hormones including serotonin and oxytocin, which enhance mood, create better sleep and even offer naturally occurring pain relief.
But we've known that all along, haven't we? As the classic nursery rhyme sings, "Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream."
Just the other day I was watching an Instagram story from women's mentor Tara Bliss, who was on holidays at the time. She was talking about how taking time out, while beneficial for you as an individual, is also sometimes exactly what your business needs. In other words, it works both ways - your business needs a holiday from you too.
So that's exactly what I'm doing. At the end of August this year the cafe will close for 10 days and I will be going on my first proper holiday in over three years, to Bali!
I have promised myself I won't feel guilty about scheduling in days to do nothing, knowing that their ultimate function is to help me bounce back and perform at my peak.
I have held on to a quote I read years ago about fashion designer duo Viktor and Rolf, who grew up in the depths of suburban Holland. When asked how their upbringing influenced them in becoming the amazing designers that they now are, they put their finger on the creative tendencies of suburbanites: "Because it was so boring. We had too much time to dream."
Looking forward to boring days spent amongst the rice fields of Indonesia.