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”


My answer = “then you haven’t worked with me yet”.


Because I encourage any yoga teacher I work with to take time off and if you plan ahead, you can still get paid during that time. You simply have to plan ahead for this and it works out just fine. As you plan your next year in business, I want you to plan your yearly goals as if you will only work 10 months out of the year.


That’s 8 weeks off!


I’m not saying you have to take it but you could if you wanted to. And it gives you flexibility with your numbers so you have a buffer built in.


But the best thing you can do in this process is to plan for your vacation in two ways:

  1. Get it on the calendar

  2. Know your numbers


Get your vacation on the calendar now. Literally, whenever you’re listening to this I want you to write it down on your calendar, tell your family or friends, whatever you need to do to make it real.


Then look at what revenue you would typically make in that week and figure out what you need to do in order to make up that weekly revenue.


For example, if you need to make $500 in order to take a week off, how can you do that in the next 3 months so you can actually take time off? Host a special workshop? Sell a few more of your digital product? Know your numbers.



Your next step

You know what I’m going to say don’t you?

You’ve got to get it (your vacation!) on the calendar and know your numbers. That’s the next thing you need to do and I want you to make this a priority because it’s critical to your business.


And I want you to know that I’m taking my own advice too. Back in 2019 I planned for 2020 and I mapped out that I would take 2 weeks off at the end of December and you better believe I’m doing it.


So for the next two weeks there will be no podcast episodes, no social media posts, no emails from me. That’s right, I’m taking a full break! And I planned financially for this as well as work-stuff too. I planned ahead and I’m going to fully unplug so I can show up for you in a better way in 2021!


So until next time give yourself permission to take vacation and grace along the way. I’ll talk to you soon!


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