3 Types of Vacations That Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur
These vacations give entrepreneurs the restoration they need.
These days, we could all use a vacation. But while everyone has been working from home, some feel this reality is more like living at work. According to a May 2020 Washington Post article, nearly half of Americans reported a decline in their mental health since the beginning of the pandemic.
For many, a vacation is a reprieve from the stresses of daily life, where you can try to bury the trauma of your 9 to 5. But the reality is, rest isn’t what most entrepreneurs need right now. What they really need is restoration.
Sure, some may say vacations are restorative in nature, but the restoration I’m talking about is more like fixing something that's broken. Farmers have learned that you can’t plant the same ground with the same seed, year after year, and expect the same yield. Farmers must replenish the land after each harvest to restore the land.
In the same way a farmer needs to restore the land to top notch shape after a busy harvest season, you too have things to fix. No leader is immune to the taxing nature of the leadership, especially leading through a tough season. That’s why you should consider a vacation centered around restoration rather than just purely rest.
These three types of vacations will restore you and put you in better shape mentally, physically and spiritually.
Back in 2014, I took five days away from work and attended a business mastery program in Las Vegas. The program was anything but restful. The days were very long, and I spent more than 14 hours each day in a cold conference room. But the long days flew by, and I returned not only with a notebook full of ideas to implement in my business, but also a restored psychology and relationship with work.
Explore conferences that will not only challenge you as an entrepreneur, but might also incubate you with other like-minded people. Do this and you'll see improvements in your business psychology.
According to Mayo Clinic, exercise helps with better sleep, better energy and better psychology. But finding time to workout each day is easier said than done, so sometimes the answer is making exercise the entire agenda.
In 2019, I took a week from work to go on a physically demanding trip to Colorado. Each day I hiked up and down mountains, averaging seven miles a day. The trip was a shock to my physical system and set in motion a series of positive dietary, exercise and sleep habits that lasted months.
Find a physically challenging endeavour and throw yourself into it for a week. When you come back to the office, your work challenges will pale in comparison.
This type of restoration isn't necessarily a religious experience or silent retreat, although both can be wonderful. Spiritual restoration is about reminding ourselves why we work. It’s about connecting to your higher sense of self. You are more than your job title or your company. Entrepreneurship is a calling to serve, and it’s much bigger than the day-to-day work.
Perhaps stepping away for a week to serve an underserved community or population might be the perspective shift you need to reinvigorate your passion for work. Find a cause or charity that resonates with you, and sign up for a week. You might be surprised by how much helping others helps you.
If this sounds like work, well, it is work. Remember that restoration isn’t rest. Restoration is work that is easy to ignore, and the consequences of not taking care of yourself are obvious. Use your next vacation to not just take a step back from work, but get better.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor