Authenticity Quickie: Holiday… it would be so nice!

Let’s go away for a while
You and I
To a strange and distant land
Where they speak no word of truth
But we don’t understand anyway

Holiday
Far away
To stay
On a holiday
Far away
Let’s go today
In a heartbeat!
~Weezer

There’s a trap for us creative types.

When we’re in the midst of a project, we will work tirelessly, without end, 12-18 hours a day for weeks without coming up for air. Our work is never done, there’s always just one more tweak, we haven’t booked quite enough clients — especially when we are our own boss!

In fact, in our current culture, we have turned “busyness” into a sort of status symbol — a measure for success. And it’s a problem.

From Fast Company: Why You Need to Stop Bragging About How Busy You Are

“When you look at human performance science, there’s such great evidence that working all of those hours really doesn’t get you where you want to go.”
~Brooke Schulte, Author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time

From The Huffington Post: Being Busy as a Status Symbol: Why American Culture Values a Lack of Leisure Time and What We Can Do About it

“There is a real danger in being too busy. Constant work overload can lead to burnout, a failure to prioritize important tasks and decreased social support, which in turn can reinforce burnout.”
~Jon Jachimowicz, PhD Researcher in Behavioral Economics at Columbia Business School

The solution?

If we took a holiday
Took some time to celebrate
Just one day out of life
It would be, it would be so nice
~Madonna

“This is very important — to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you’re gonna lose everything…just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That’s why they’re all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.”
~Charles Bukowski, prolific poet, novelist and short story writer

Andrea Fish BoilThis weekend, I had the opportunity to get away just for a couple days with a group of people I didn’t know to celebrate my friend’s 40th birthday.

A 4.5 hour drive up to Door County, Wisconsin, a lack of reliable cell phone service, and a totally go-with-the-flow open agenda left my brain bouncing between…

oh my God! I haven’t checked my email in like 5 hours… who do I think I am just galavanting around Wisconsin, drinking New Glarus, rummaging around the city-wide rummage sale, and eating cherry pie at a fish boil when there’s so much work I should be doing?!

and

Thank God for this gorgeous hike. I am at one with nature and everything is perfect exactly as it is. Om shanti…”

Truthfully, I came home feeling refreshed, with new friends in my network and new ideas in my mind. It was exactly what I needed.

Think you’re too busy for a holiday?

Here are some practical tips for planning your escape:

1) Schedule it.

Put it in your calendar in advance. A day, a weekend, a month. It doesn’t matter how long. Don’t wait for the opportunity to present itself. Make it. I have heard myself saying as of late, “If it’s not in my calendar, it will never happen.” I think I’m going to change this mantra to, “I’m putting it in my calendar so that it will definitely happen.”

Fish Boil Toast2) Invite a buddy.

Or make it a group outing with friends or colleagues. When I worked in the production department at the opera, my boss used to occasionally close the office and take us all to a baseball game.

It’s so easy just to tell yourself the lie that you’re too busy — having some accountability will help you stick to your plan. I AM a big proponent of taking time away by yourself as well. If that’s what you’re craving, try building in accountability by booking a reservation in advance, buying a ticket or even just telling a few friends about your upcoming getaway.

3) Baby Steps.

If the thought of a whole weekend throws you into a panic, try just a half-day retreat. My favorite go-to for a mini vacay is the Korean spa just outside of town. For about $25 you can get an all-day pass to hang out in their hot tubs and dry saunas, take a nap in the “meditation lounge, and catch a movie in their theatre furnished with comfy leather recliners.

These mini retreats have been essential to my mental health when feeling stuck, frustrated, and overwhelmed or battling the mid-winter blues in Chicago or when I just need to change it up a bit and engage in some self-care rituals that get my creative juices flowing.

Other good options are museums, parks, forest preserves, greenhouses, coffee shops… wherever you go, leave your laptop at home and just bring a notebook and a pen.

Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday

Exchange the cold days for the sun
A good time and fun
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
~Scorpions

Wisconsin Sunset

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