Ep. 75: You need a vacation! How to take one (and get paid) even in a pandemic

"Your missed vacation called me and told me to remind you about it." - Amanda McKinney

When’s your next vacation?

I know 2020’s been a crazy year and all vacation plans were pretty much thrown out the dang window but be honest -- did you even have some planned? And by planned I mean on the calendar, hotel or Airbnb booked, planned. Not just in your head.

If you’re like me, “in my head” planning happens all the time but it’s not real unless it’s on the calendar. So I wanted to share my thoughts with you on why it’s critical - yes, critical - to schedule vacation for yourself as an entrepreneur.

How Vacations (or Staycations) are Helpful for Yoga Teachers

Let’s face it, 2020 has changed the way we work, live and definitely vacation! Many people are working from home and getting out less and that means cancelled vacation too. And the experts at the Society for Human Resource Management said this:

“Now that work is home and home is work, employees may not properly disengage, making it impossible for them to unplug and refresh.” - Society for Human Resource Management

It’s important to have this baseline for context because it’s easy to fall into this trap of not disengaging from work. I feel like if anything in my 3 years of being an entrepreneur has helped me more in this year, it’s the fact that when I decided to create an online business I had to set some boundaries for when and where I would work.

For example, I just told someone the other day and it really hit me that it could be a helpful tip for others - I do as much of my work as possible on my computer, NOT my phone. I definitely use my phone for work but I limited that as much as possible. And what this has allowed me to do is to separate myself from the work because that’s when the computer is open.

To be clear I think about work a lot and I’m not perfect with this but when I close my laptop, it helps me close off work for a while.

And the Harvard Business Review said this:

“The benefits of taking a vacation are clear: it results in improved productivity, lower stress and better overall mental health. It also spurs greater creativity.” - Harvard Business Review

And you know how important our mental health is! And to know that creativity can come through as well -- why would you not want to book a vacation?!

What constitutes a vacation?

To be super clear, while we might all want to go on a month-long vacation to our favorite beach, mountains, wherever, this might not be accessible to us right now. Maybe we can’t travel due to Covid19 or maybe finances are an issue. Or it could be something else.

All of these are real roadblocks but when we dig deep, we will find that a vacation isn’t a location at all.

“The value of vacation is to remove the stressors of one’s day-to-day engagements. If that can be achieved through staying at home, it would have the same mental health benefit as going elsewhere.” - Boston University epidemiologist and mental health expert, Sandro Galea

BAM! That’s a statement I want to remember the next time I think “I can’t go on vacation”.

Can you remove the stressors of your day-to-day responsibilities for one day?

What about half a day?

How can you make this happen?

That’s the thing I want you to remember too. You can make this happen. The thing you have to do is identify what your day-to-day responsibilities are. Once you have a list of those, you figure out how you can remove those from your day and you’ve got yourself a vacation my friend!

These vacations and staycations are likely going to look a little different to us for a while and that’s okay. Let’s embrace it and get creative --- which we need vacation to do!

No matter where you vacation/staycation, here are some guidelines that will help you:

  • Get a change of scenery - this can mean a different house/hotel or it can mean shutting the door to your office space at home

  • Plan ahead - being spontaneous is fun sometimes but the stress of not knowing isn’t likely the best for this time. Make a plan and enjoy it.

  • Identify the type of experience you want to have - do you want to be more active or more relaxed, do you want other people or do you need to be alone. This is important to know.

  • Spend time outdoors - even if you don’t want to hike all day, do your best to see something in nature, it will do you well.

  • Unplug - turn the technology off!

  • Create memories - whether you’re alone or with others, create memories because that’s typically what we remember about vacations.

How To Plan For Vacations (and get paid!)

I’ve heard this many times:

“Yoga teachers don’t get time off”