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TIme out

This week is half term for my children and I try to take time out to spend as much time with them as they will allow. They are 9yrs and 13yrs now and we’ve gone from them pestering me to do things with them to me pestering them!

When I first started working for myself I made a promise that I wouldn’t work during the school holidays unless it was absolutely essential. As much of my work is in schools this is easier to stick to but I make an effort not to blog, write newsletters or even spend much time on social media, during the holidays (in case you are calling me a hypocrite right now, I am writing this ready to schedule before the children finish).

It isn’t always easy, and I’m not going to pretend that I never break my self imposed rule, but I try.

Are there times when I have to respond to a work email? Yes

Are there times when I get a burst of inspiration and have to strike while the iron is hot? Yes

But I try.

We take our family time very seriously. As much as the children are quite happy to occupy themselves these days, we all love days out and spending quality time together. We usually try to have at least one memorable day out during each school holiday and often have mini breaks if we can manage it.

We are fortunate to have a close family. For the last few years we have had a big crazy holiday in the summer with anything up to sixteen close family members all in a barn conversion or similar and we love it!

But you don’t have to spend time with anyone to have time out. Sometimes what we need the most is an hour in the bath or a quiet walk alone – even in the middle of our fabulous big family escapes we all take time to be alone. It’s important.


Why is it important to take time out?

Well, there are lots of reasons. Most people need their own space to recharge sometimes. Taking some time alone can be very healing. It gives us time to look after our own needs without having to consider others. That might sound selfish but most of us live our lives making sure everyone else is cared for and often at the expense of our own needs being fully met.

Stepping away from work is also really important. Allowing our minds to fully switch off from the projects and demands of the job helps us to return feeling refreshed and with renewed enthusiasm for the task in hand. As a solopreneur (gosh I hate that word, is there a better one?) when I take time out nothing happens within the business. I can schedule blog posts and newsletters, I can schedule social media posts, but nothing is created unless I am creating.

When I first started my business this terrified me, in every other job I had ever done there was an understudy. A colleague who would step in if I was ill or on holiday. Now it’s just me. Yes I have people who help me with aspects of my business, but no-one else is responsible for my business but me.

For a long time I didn’t dare step away for more than a day at a time in case everything crumbled around me. But over the years I’ve realised that if I don’t step away and take time out my business can’t flourish. I need time away for my brain to be empty enough for new ideas to flood in – and they always do! I may step away from the business for holidays now but I always return with a long list of notes and ideas to implement as soon as I am back to work.

Really make the most of your time out…

Taking time out doesn’t mean having a week off work to decorate the lounge, (although sometimes that might be necessary), it means really nurturing yourself. Caring for you. Indulging yourself. 

I can’t tell you what this should include because we are all different.

You might want to go for a run or have a round of golf?

You might want a hot bath and a good book?


“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” 

Lucille Ball

Maybe you love going to the theatre and never get chance to go or you have been meaning to tidy up the garden and that would make you really happy?

Perhaps you enjoy having a massage or getting your nails done?

As you can see these aren’t week long indulgences, they may take an hour, an afternoon or a day. Whatever you choose to do though, choose something that really makes you happy.  You may want to be alone or you might be craving some quality time with your son/daughter, your mum/dad, your brother/sister or your best friend. The thing that might be most enjoyable for you might be having a cuppa and a catch up with a loved one and that is perfect.


It isn’t about what you are doing, it is about how it makes you feel.


When we reward ourselves our body releases dopamine and makes us feel happy. Our stress levels are instantly lowered and our body relaxes. If we don’t allow ourselves regular time out our stress levels can build over time and then we get frustrated and short tempered, our sleep is affected and we are not happy at all.

Taking time out isn’t selfish.

Quite the opposite. If we don’t care for ourselves we cannot care for others. We cannot do our best at whatever task we are undertaking. We owe it to ourselves and those around us to be the best version of ourselves we can be and without self care that won’t be possible.


How will you take time out today?

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