Taking a Break – And Why It Can Be the Most Important Thing You Can Do

I am terrified that we are taking a break and that season number one of the Be Less Typical in car sales podcast has ended. I’m scared you, our loyal listener, will find a new show and forget about us. I am worried we will lose the momentum we’ve gained. All of those feelings are looming over me, like an eagle hunting for its prey.

I was even worried I would love having the time Be Less Typical takes, back in my life. I was worried I wouldn’t want to come back and work on it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with narrative podcasting; it takes us about 40 hours per week to produce one episode. Yes, that’s right, one episode. We have no help, it’s just Patrick and I, so there’s no back up to fill in when we are sick, out of town or just plain tired. If you want to hear a fantastic podcast episode about what it takes to make a narrative podcast check out Start Up’s latest episode here.

However, my fear that I would want to quit has not happened (all of that other stuff is still looming though, so please prove me wrong!). Our first week off has done quite the opposite and I have been pleasantly surprised.  Therefore I decided to outline my top 4 takeaways that I have learned about the benefits of taking a break!

Before I get into that, if it’s been awhile since you have taken a break or vacation, I urge you to put something on the calendar. Even if it’s a stay-cation where you stay at home and relax.  The benefits of a break have outweighed any worry I had going in. I want that for you too! (Side note – Patrick and I ventured to Miami for our mini-vacation. I had a work trip scheduled so Patrick joined me for the second half of the week through the weekend. If you haven’t been to Miami, I recommend putting it on your bucket list! The water off the coast of South Beach is aqua and beautiful.) Now onto my top take-aways!

#1- Rejuvenated

First of all, I slept more than I have in a long time. I was able to wake up when my body wanted me to, instead of when my alarm was sounding. I noticed that this created an energy in me that was apparent throughout the entire day.  There was no need for my mandatory 1pm tall blonde roast with 2 creams and 2 sugars from Starbucks. This energy was in more than just my body, my mind was alert.  I feel better than I have in a long time, and I’m now ready to get back to work!

#2- Creative spurt

This was a big eye opener for me. I found myself coming up with all sorts of new ideas. Normally, my mind is engaged most of the day with my job; managing 12 employees and automotive dealer training activities for a financial institution. In the evenings, I’m usually working on Be Less Typical; searching for guests, editing, script writing, recording, blogging, and curating/creating social media content. During my commute, which occupies approximately 2-3 hours of my day, I’m consuming educational podcasts or talking on the phone to my family. This doesn’t leave a lot of extra time to let my mind wander. I noticed that this break has allowed me to open the gates and tap into my creativity once again. Without even trying, I’ve come up with new show ideas and surprise formats (yay!), guests to contact, and blog/periscope plans. This list could go on. It’s amazing that taking a step back and taking a break can actually propel you forward more quickly than the trajectory you were on before.

#3 Inspired

Wow! We are inspired for the future and all of the things to come. I’m inspired by the ideas we have been able to come up with. I’m inspired by the beauty of this world. Taking this break, has allowed us to slow down and look around. Sometimes we get going so fast and are so focused, that we forget to take a minute to look around.

#4 Reflection and Gratitude

This time has allowed us to look back at how far we’ve come in such a short time. Building something from nothing, something that we are so proud of, gives me a feeling of grand gratitude. I’m so thankful for the automotive social community for embracing us and our show. I’m thankful to our guests and mentors for spending valuable time with us, sharing stories and insights. I have a heart full of gratitude for you, that you’re reading this.

In the past I have heard it said that fear is the opposite of faith. I was afraid of so many things, and looking back I can now say that by stepping away and finding balance again has completely restored the passions that I thought had escaped me. By taking a breath I was able to rejuvenate myself and find that creativity and inspiration that I had taken for granted. Most importantly it gave me the opportunity to look back and be grateful for how far we have come. The blind ambition and trust that we are doing something special and unique is back and I have found the faith again that this is all worth it.

So when you find that you are feeling burned out, step back and find some time for yourself. Sometimes a little time is all it will take to recognize your next steps and get things back on track.

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