Balancing Work and Play over the Summer: Who do you want to be in September?

Two Cute Dogs with goggles and hat

I don't know about you, but in the summer I usually end up in a battle with myself.

Like you, I want to serve others. And I also want and need to enjoy the summer and relax. It should be easy, to just say, "I'm taking it easy", but as a business owner there always seems to be something that needs doing. I give myself a motivational carrot to relax, but then keep moving it just out of reach.

It's hard to run your own business...

I know it's not just me. We all work so hard running our businesses, helping and serving others—and all too often we simply don't take enough care of our 'selves'. Why is it so hard to let go? We KNOW as coaches that we need to take care of ourselves: the famous "oxygen mask principle". And yet we're not always so good at doing it.

For me, work has been my "go to" activity to keep my inner critic at bay—a way of proving that I am not the lazy, worthless being my inner critic believes me to be.

And so while meditating one morning a few years back now, I asked myself some questions.

  • What stops me from letting go of my work over the summer?
    • Answer: I'm afraid I will lose clients
  • How can I have more time for myself?
    • Answer: by asking myself this question every morning after meditating and both listening and acting on the answer!
  • What is the ONE thing that stops me from relaxing?"
    • Answer: thinking I HAVE to write an article and newsletter EVERY single week—because it says so when people sign-up!

So in my coaching session with my coach at the time, Mary Johnson, we explored this further. We talked about listening to our own inner wisdom, about honouring and giving our "self" permission to do what it needs to thrive.

What about you? Are you relaxed this summer? Do you feel a sense of calm and ease?

Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • What stops you from enjoying the summer?
  • How can you have more time for yourself?
  • What is the ONE thing that's stopping you from relaxing?
  • What do you need to do differently for your 'self' to thrive?

Now maybe this doesn't resonate with you.

Maybe you're brimming with energy and you're going to use the summer to get stuff done. Or maybe you've decided you're going to give yourself a (healthy) kick in the pants and complete that project... Only you know the answer to that!

But my answers to these questions led me to an important decision: that year I gave myself permission to take the month of August off.

Yes, I did quite a few things here and there—but the key was that I decided to remove all SHOULDs and MUSTs.

So, I'm wondering:

  • What are your "Shoulds" and "Musts"?
  • What do you need to do to honour your 'self'?
  • What do you need to give yourself permission for? (remembering this could be permission to do—or NOT do something!)

I didn't just be recharge my batteries, I also worked on myself: Who do I want to be? What transformation am I hoping will take place over the next month or so?

Because as long as I kept myself busy, I wouldn't get to try new ways of being. In fact calm, non-busy IS a new way of being for me! And I wanted to bring a sense of ease into my working life once September rolled around.

The calm and balanced mind is the strong and great mind; the hurried and agitated mind is the weak one. Wallace D. Wattles

So, thinking ahead to September, some final questions for you:

  • Who do you want to be? I want to be someone who is _____ (write a paragraph or make a list)
  • What do I need to let go of to be that person?
  • What do I need to step up—and step into—to be that person?
    And finally
  • What would it take for you to come home to your 'self'?

Wouldn't it be brilliant if we could all return to our businesses in September, refreshed AND with a new way of "being" to play with?

I wish you a wonderful summer (or winter holiday/break if you're in the southern hemisphere).

If you liked this article about Relaxing and Being/Being ourselves, you may also like:

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools, resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

Image of Dogs with bucket spade, goggles and hat for the Summer by cynoclub via Shutterstock

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