The Importance of Down Time

You can’t serve others if you neglect yourself.
Maya Agelou

After starting my own business a few years back, I have found it extremely difficult to switch off, even when “away” feeling like I should be contactable.

This led to me cancelling (twice) a few days away with lifelong friends at my favourite place in the world, the one where I feel most at peace. It is a place close to civilisation, but it may as well not be as it is about as “off the grid” you can get.

Last week I was fortunate to be able get there and had one of the more special weeks of my life. I played 500 (cards), did crosswords, walked, fished, beachcombed, caught crabs, ate, read, slept and laughed; all without technology, purely enjoying the environment with my daughter, her friend & her father.

I have written before here about the fact that caring friends and family will often know you need a break before you do. I didn’t realise how exhausted I was and have just tried to ignore it – my mother knew, she, like most good mums has a sixth sense. During one of my check ins with her I had to ask what day it was, I could feel her smile of relief down the phone, it was awesome.

There is no doubt life is speeding up for all of us – whether its kids, careers, families, work – self-awareness around your energy levels is critical. Peter Cook wrote some time ago about maintaining your mojo, the big ones for me were:

  • Retreat Quarterly
  • Spend time in nature
  • Keep nothing in my head

At one stage the four of us were beachcombing, all about 200m apart, I looked up and saw the others searching for nothing but all finding our own piece of gold, time stood still, it was a beautiful moment.

Please take the time to have a rest if you can over Christmas and New Year.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to catching you again in 2019.

Charlie Pidcock