When you run your own business, the idea of taking a break can often seem impossible.

There is ALWAYS something that needs thinking about or doing, and making time for time out sometimes feels like a luxury we can’t afford.

I like to think I know the score on self-care, and I am well-versed at encouraging my clients to prioritise their well-being – but it was time for me to practice what I preach!

My recent trip to Mexico taught (and re-taught) me about the importance of stepping back, recharging, and finding inspiration in unexpected places.

Here are 10 lessons I learnt from our adventure:

1. The Power of the Pause

Taking a break isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. You simply have to take a step back and take stock before you can move forwards.

There is beauty in pausing and slowing down.

Without being consumed with the daily demands of our business, I found myself moving more slowly, taking time over a coffee, and my brain slowly unwinding.

This allowed me to recharge, gain perspective, and come back to Blighty with renewed energy and excitement.

2. Nature is Nurturing

Given the diabolical Summer we’ve had in the UK, I’d forgotten what it was like to feel the sun on my skin! The vitamin D worked wonders.

Walking, swimming, and simply sitting outside and sharing a meal became a sanctuary. It reminded me of the importance of making the outside part of my daily life.

3. Renewal in Reading

I’m an English Lit graduate and have always been a BIG reader. A sucker for business books and all things human behaviour and personal development, you can usually find me gobbling up non-fiction.

But on this trip I did things differently and took a bunch of carefully chosen fiction books for escapism.

I’d forgotten what it was like to get lost in language and completely immersed in the characters. I’ve not left business books behind by any means, but it’s reminded me how wonderful it is to get absorbed in a good book.

4. The Art of Yoga

Practicing yoga is a daily ritual of mine when I’m at home, but usually when on holiday I forgo exercise, almost as if I’m rebelling against my norm! But this trip I took my yoga gear and enjoyed some classes and some solo practice.

As always for me, it wasn’t just about physical exercise, it allowed me to strengthen my mental well-being and focus on my breath.

Being still yet focused is an art, and I now vow to keep practicing wherever I am in the world.

5. Quality Time to Reconnect

As many of you know, my partner in business, Graham, is also my partner in life.

On a day-to-day basis we are very focused on our business and the work we deliver for our clients, and it would have been easy to get waylaid into constant work chat (especially because we love what we do!)

It was a joy to enjoy lighter conversations, share loads of laughs, and simply enjoy each other’s company.

6. Recharging for Q4 Success

The final quarter in a business is a particularly demanding time for any Business Owner, and ours is no different. We set aside time and space on our trip for Q3 reflection as well as strategizing our priorities for Q4.

It was the most perfect backdrop for us to think clearly and without distraction. We’re now super focussed on our priorities and feel ready and raring to go with a clear mind for the run up to the big C at the end of the year.

7. Sharing Self-Care

Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s a responsibility. It’s vital for anyone in the consulting or coaching game to look after themselves so they can best serve their clients.

As I nurtured my own well-being practices, I realised the ripple effect it would have on everyone around us.

8. Digital Detox

Being away from my phone with my nose in a book or whiling away time walking on the beach reminded me how much I’m usually glued to my phone or a screen.

Disconnecting allowed me to be present in the moment, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to do as much digital de-toxing as I can now I’m back home.

9. Space for Inspiration

In our beautiful resort you couldn’t help but feel invigorated. New sights, new people, different foods – everything inspired me.

I’m a big fan of routine and structure, but discovering ‘new’ stuff made me feel truly open-minded and creative.

10. Take a break!

I realise how bloody lucky we are to have had this trip. But like-wise I also acknowledge that we’d left it too long before taking time out.

It’s far too easy to put off taking a break, but we have a responsibilty to do just that. So much so, we are intentionally scheduling time out for 2024 now, which I know will see us in good stead.

In Summary

My retreat to Mexico wasn’t just a holiday, it taught me a lot about myself, my needs, and my ambitions for the future.

It reinforced the importance of well-being, the value of quality connection, and slowing down before you can speed up.

And in spite of the jet-lag I feel calmer, more balanced and raring to go for a successful Q4.

Bring it on!

#SelfCare #WellBeing #SteppingBack #Recharge