The Importance of Unplugging During A Vacation

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I know it's a bit of an oxymoron since I am writing this post as I am on vacation. However, stay with me and hear me out.

Two weeks ago as I was preparing for a two-week vacation in Florida, I was completely overwhelmed. I had so much work to do for clients in preparation of my vacation that I had little to no time to prepare posts for my own blog. I felt guilty that I couldn't get my act together enough to write even a single post and schedule it to go live while I was away. Not one post.

I resigned myself to accepting that I did everything I needed to do for clients before my vacation began and nothing for my own blog. But I still felt guilty. I have NEVER gone on vacation and ignored my personal blog. I have either pre-written posts or I have written them while away when I had a few free moments. But this time it's been different.

I've used this vacation as a chance to unplug and stay in the moment. Since I know I don't do either of those things well when I am at home, I made every effort to do them well while I was away. That's not to say I haven't posted on Instagram, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat. I mean, I can't lose all contact with the social world, right?

But I haven't posted one single blog post - except for this one. Because this trip isn't sponsored (it's our annual family vacation to Captiva Island, Florida), I've tried not to treat it like a social media campaign. I've tried to leave my cell phone in the condo while I go to the pool or for my morning run and bike ride. I've tried to keep my laptop closed.

Here's what I've learned:

Unplugging can be liberating.
Whether it happens intentionally or accidentally, unplugging can lift a burden from your shoulders. I actually boarded the plane with my DSLR camera but without my SD card inside of it and only realized it once we arrived on Captiva Island. Well, there's no where to buy an SD card here, and if you can find one, you're likely to pay $75 for it. This mistake has enabled me to step away from my camera which I normally am glued to, and because my Macbook is currently being repaired at home, I'm not glued to that either.

I am more likely to be in the moment rather than creating perfect moments.
You know those perfect pictures we are all guilty of creating for social media? Well, I didn't feel obligated to capture those. I had many opportunities where I could have craftily arranged items in our poolside cabana to get an impeccable shot for Instagram. But I sat back and let the moment pass, and I no longer felt the need to stress over a perfect picture.

I am enjoying a stress-free vacation.
While I know unplugging isn't feasible for everyone while they are on vacation, it can be a possibility if you make it one. I go on vacation 3 or 4 times per year. When I do, I want it to be a complete vacation. I don't want it to be an extension of my work-at-home business. I realize at a small business owner, you sometimes have to check in. Set limits for yourself if you must check email. Don't get sucked in to a black hole that you'll never get out of.

Long story short, I don't regret my decision to unplug. In a world where it seems everyone is on their phones constantly, it does your mind, body, and soul good to step away from the pressures of social media even for a day. But for now, it's time to get back to enjoying my vacation. There's plenty of time for work once I get home.

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