As an entrepreneur, I recently embarked on my first holiday with mixed feelings. While I yearned to disconnect and recharge, a part of me felt guilty and irresponsible for stepping away from work.

The question lingered in my mind: Should I be working even during my time off?

This dilemma prompted me to explore the concept of work-life balance and the increasing difficulty of truly shutting off when we go on holidays.

In our hyperconnected world, where technology blurs the boundaries between work and personal life, finding the balance between productivity and leisure has become more challenging than ever. The pressure to be constantly available, responsive, and productive can make it incredibly difficult to detach ourselves from work obligations, even during vacation time.

Neuroscience findings shed light on why disconnecting from work can be so challenging… Our brains have evolved to prioritize survival and reward-seeking behaviours, which are closely tied to work and accomplishment.

  • The pursuit of goals and achievements triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation.
  • Consequently, our brains become wired to seek work-related stimulation and experience a sense of reward from it.
  • This neurological wiring makes it harder for us to disengage from work, as it has become intertwined with our brain’s reward system.

However, it is crucial to recognize the detrimental effects of constantly being “switched on” and the benefits of allowing ourselves true rest and rejuvenation during holidays…This is where coaching can play a significant role in helping us navigate this challenging landscape.

Coaching provides valuable support in creating a healthier work-life balance and breaking free from the notion that being constantly available equals productivity.

  • Taking a break allows our brains to rest and recharge, leading to increased creativity, improved problem-solving abilities, and enhanced overall productivity when we return to work.
  • It also promotes better mental and emotional well-being, reducing stress levels and preventing burnout.
  • By giving ourselves permission to fully enjoy our time off, we nurture our relationships, engage in hobbies and activities that bring us joy, and reconnect with ourselves on a deeper level.

So, how can we overcome the challenges of disconnecting during holidays?

It all starts with a conscious decision to prioritize our well-being and establish boundaries. Here are a few strategies to consider:

  • Set clear expectations: Communicate with clients, colleagues, and team members in advance, letting them know about your upcoming holiday and the importance of disconnecting. Set clear boundaries regarding your availability and ensure there are backup plans in place for any urgent matters that may arise.
  • Delegate and empower: Trust your team and delegate responsibilities before you go on holiday. Empower others to make decisions and handle tasks in your absence. This not only ensures a smooth workflow but also builds a sense of trust and accountability within your team.
  • Create a transition routine: Develop a routine that helps you transition from work mode to holiday mode. This could include activities such as writing a to-do list for when you return, organizing your workspace, and mentally acknowledging the tasks you have completed before taking time off. This ritual can help signal to your brain that it’s time to disconnect and shift focus.
  • Practice self-care: Use your holiday as an opportunity to prioritize self-care. Engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul, whether it’s spending time in nature, practicing mindfulness, reading, or pursuing hobbies. Prioritize restful sleep, healthy eating, and physical exercise to support your overall well-being.

Remember, no work on holidays is not a sign of irresponsibility; it is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By disconnecting and allowing ourselves true rest, we can return to work with renewed energy, clarity, and a fresh perspective.

And tell me: How do you navigate the challenge of disconnecting from work during holidays? What strategies have you found helpful in achieving a healthy work-life balance?

Please contact me to start your coaching work with me soon 😊

Sincerely yours,

Dr Sophie