Ep 206 Lessons From Vacation
Today I am sharing 3 important lessons from our recent vacation. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed and never have time to use your vacation – or if you do you can never enjoy and disconnect – this is for you.
In This Episode:
- Stories from time at the lake
- The importance of knowing your mindset around paid time off
- The value of knowing when and how to plan around work
- Self care as a necessity – why you can never find time, and how to change that
- How I get so much done
- Free planner – www.michellebourquecoaching.com/mytime
Episode Transcript (Transcribed by OtterAi with minimal edits)
Michelle Bourque 00:01
You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque, and today’s episode, I’m discussing lessons from vacation. Welcome to the pitcher time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.
Michelle Bourque 00:38
Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast. Friends, it’s good to be back. I was off last week, for the most part. And I chuckled because I have become so much better at mind management. And I’m going to talk more about that today being mostly off, and especially mind management around work. But I will be honest, I still did not entirely disconnect. But we did have a really amazing time. And so today, I thought I would share some of the lessons that I took from vacation and give you some tools along the way. Because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there that might not take full advantage of time off. And I think there are ways to make it better for yourself in order to enjoy the time that you do have. So here’s what we’re going to talk about today, I am sharing three lessons and a few stories for you to walk away with. And this is important because I want you to learn these things. Now. Don’t wait until you are 20 plus years into your career. I remember when I first started this mind management work and life coaching and I was talking to one of my girlfriends over a glass of wine at her restaurant. And she was like, wait, what do you mean, your thoughts create your reality. And I was like, I’m not really sure. But I’m going to find out. And so that is my goal with this podcast is to share all of these things that I’ve learned. So that you can be more empowered to take control of your time and your life and really do what it is that you want to do, especially into your career. Because I do not believe that there is such a thing as work life balance, per se, I do believe that there are ways to integrate work and life. And that looks different at different times for every different person. But I want you to see again, how much control you have over your time. It really is your time. So let’s get going. I’ll start by saying I have an amazing team and my corporate job. Now, based on what I teach you here, you might say that’s a thought. And
you are correct it is. But it also feels like a fact because I choose to believe it so deeply. It has been years since we’ve had a full team in place where I could also have the thought they will figure it out. So first lesson for you look at your thoughts around your team, and around your boss. And around taking time off in general. And past years I’ve worked with folks now wait, I want to be sure you hear what I’m going to say here. Because I almost said, I used to work with folks who would make me feel guilty about taking time off. And that is not possible. Nobody can make you feel anything. They say words. And we make it mean something. This is so important to know. Because oftentimes, we blame our stress and our overwhelm on the job on co workers on partners. It is never the external factors. So in the past, I may have had a thought along the lines. They think I’m slacking if I take time off. Now, my thought these days is my team is amazing. And they will figure it out. I could have and you can to decide on purpose, the thoughts that serve you best. And I could have had those thoughts back in the day. Except I didn’t know any better. And I will tell you, I was not on edge. This vacation as much as I have been in the past thinking, oh my gosh, they’re going to think I’m slacking because when we take that thought a step further, when you’re thinking something like they think I’m slacking, you are most likely feeling guilty. And then you are most likely li checking messages, replying to emails and doing it from an energy of, I don’t want to get in trouble or something along the lines of fear or stress. And I’m going to just quickly tuck in an extra piece of info for you. This is not one of our official three lessons in the podcast today. But when you have thoughts like that thoughts, like, they will think I’m slacking, that’s something that you are already thinking about yourself. I’m on to you. Because I’ve been there, I have a lot of thoughts around working hard. But that is a podcast for another day. So just pay attention to what you think other people are thinking about you. And then find how that is true that you are thinking that about yourself. Let’s get back to talking about vacation, because I will also tell you, I did take some time that I purposefully planned to check some corporate emails, but it was much more from the intention of I don’t want to see 414 unread messages every single day. So it was a lot of delete, delete, delete. And if I felt like it was something I wanted to respond to, I did, if not, I kept it unread from my return. Friends, you have the option to put out of office on and we can then be in a much calmer place to trust that people will see that. And if it’s really important, they will contact the folks you offer on your message. And I will tell you, there was a patient that left me a message. And when I called her back on Monday, she was thanking me because she said that my message was so clear, she really appreciated all of the options. But she just wanted to leave the message because she knew it wasn’t timely trust, they will figure it out. The mindset behind being able to enjoy your vacation, by the way, your much deserved vacation can be a bit of a challenge, I get it. But I am telling you, if you can learn these tools sooner in your career than I did, it will be magic. So get your mind clear on what you want to think about you about yourself, taking time off, and being clear on what you want to think when others have words to say, just trust they will. And you know what? There may still be bunch of folks around me that have the thoughts. Oh, must be nice. There she is taken some more days off or whatever. But if I concern myself with thinking about that, where is the benefit? There is none. You always have agency over your thinking, decide on purpose in a way that is useful for you. And know, once you start doing this work, it is not a problem. When you catch yourself thinking the thoughts around maybe having to do work on vacation or maybe thinking people are thinking you’re slacking, like, the key is to start recognizing it and seeing them as thoughts not as truths. And then you get to decide if you want to keep thinking them. Do not use this work as a tool to beat yourself up over so often. And I have been guilty of this too once we start learning this. And we see oh, it was my thinking I shouldn’t be doing XYZ. No, no, no, no, no. This is all about making the changes. Being curious, being compassionate, and doing the work to create the life that you want. Now, listen to it’s also okay to work on vacation. Now, you might be thinking, What are you talking about? You just said, disconnect from work and enjoy time off. Here’s the thing. There are coaches out there who talk about resting and disconnecting and how wonderful it is.
And I’ve worked with some and they have for sure helped me to slow down. But I’ve also learned that my human design is a generator, which means I get lit up when I’m doing things that I love. I can just keep going and going and going and it gives me energy to do the things that I enjoy. And if you’re interested as another little side note and learning more about your human design, you can go to Jovianarchive.com. So that’s J Ovi. A en archive.com, one word Jovian archive.com. And you get a free report. And there is a ton of free info on the W W W is to check out, it can really be almost like a permission slip for you to live your life the way you want to, once you see your human design. Now I have a coach that I just love, because she talks about how she enjoys working on vacation sometimes. Here’s the key when I do it, and I mentioned this earlier, it’s purposefully planned. And it’s from a desire of I want to do this. For example, I worked on a new web page for the planner that I’ve developed for all of you. And if you haven’t gotten it yet, go to Michellebourquecoaching.com/my time. And I also developed a bunch of emails for the people on my email list and a bunch of posts. And when I think of who I can help with this stuff, when I think of you, it lights me up, we had this beautiful house, on a lake in the middle of nowhere in New Hampshire. That wasn’t really the town. In fact, I will tell you where it was, it was on Squam Lake, which I’m aging myself here, but is where On Golden Pond was filmed a film many, many years ago. But it is a beautiful location. And so we were on this lake, and I was thinking about one day, maybe having a place of our own on a lake or a beach. And that lights me up, I get inspired there and I want to do this work. And in the past, let me tell you how messed up our brains can be because in the past, I would be so angry that I had to deal with my corporate job on vacation. And again, by had to I mean, that was my thinking around it. Which means all of that negative self talk is on me, right? Like I am the one in control of it, which is great to know, because I can also change it. But when I think that negative self talk, it leads me to feeling the stress and the overwhelm. And on the
flip side, if I did relax and try to enjoy the time off, I would be telling myself I should be working. So many of you do this to yourself. And it might not be always in a vacation setting. But it’s that micro thinking that you have on a daily basis that when you’re at work, your brain is telling you that you should be doing more at home, when you are at home, your brain is telling you that you should be doing more for work. micro decisions matter if you take nothing from this podcast, but what I am about to say, then I will consider it successful. You do not need to make big sweeping changes at one time you make micro decisions on a daily basis. And practice
does not necessarily make perfect practice will make it permanent. So micro changes over time will lead to lasting change in your life. Our brains can be so crazy, we need to engage the executive part of our brain, not the primitive default brain, our prefrontal cortex, and really choose what we want to think on purpose. So now, if I want to work, and I’m enjoying it, I do, if not, I set boundaries. And when I do work, I plan it so that I know, in the morning, I plan to do work. And in the afternoon, it’s time for Mark and I to do something fun, or whatever the plan looks like on any particular day. Right? The point is, it allows my brain to know it’s okay, I get to decide. It is never the job that causes the stress. That’s a hard one for a lot of folks to accept. And listen, I still have my thoughts around it too. At times. I was still on vacation, for example, on Saturday night, and I got a corporate text at like 10:30pm and I could just immediately feel my body tense up, but I just had to remind myself, I get to choose how to react to this. Remember that that is where you hold your power. Okay, third lesson and the final one for today. I talk about this a lot here self care, and how self care is not selfish. And I want to share our story here because as much as I say that I also kind of had an aha of sorts in Some of my thinking on vacation, I was doing this 20 minute restorative yoga class on the peloton app, of course. And I was thinking as I was doing it, this is so luxurious, quick sidenote, when I first started meditating and doing yoga, 20 minutes of restorative seemed like torture. It was is if I wasn’t doing anything at all, which would make me crazy. But after learning more about it, I realized now how important the restoration part is to our life. And again, I started at the like, five minute classes or 10 minute classes. And now I’m doing 20. And I have not yet graduated
to the 45 Minute class, but I will get there. So give yourself the grace to know that it can take time. Remember, you’ve had this thinking that you currently have for years and years and years, we have to unlearn it, we have to practice new thoughts, rewire the neural networks. And that is where you see the changes. So I’m at the end of this 20 minute class. And Kira, the instructor said, some of you may consider this luxurious. And I thought, wow, I am right on point. And then she followed up by saying, because it’s the 20 minute class and you think it’s luxurious, but I am here to tell you self care is not luxurious, it is necessary.
Michelle Bourque 16:38
What an aha, right? It’s the truth, you have to be willing to take time to care for yourself. And I hear so many women who are stressed and overwhelmed and burnt out. And they tell me they don’t have time for self care. They told me that they want to, but they just can’t quite find the time. In fact, I had a colleague one time told me that she didn’t have time to brush her hair. And to that, I will say I am actually try singing to you, but I’ll spare you that don’t impress me much right back in the day. And there are people still in this industry, that think that would be amazing that you are so busy that you just don’t have time to brush your hair. It’s not now that I know more about mindset work, and about planning. What that tells me is that you’re not managing your mind. And you don’t have priority set. Because let me tell you something, saying you don’t have time is just a BS story that you’re telling yourself, you would never say I just can’t find the time to feed my kid or I just couldn’t find the time to get to work. I was so busy cleaning my toilets. No, you are all prioritizing all of the time. And oftentimes, you don’t even give yourself credit for it, you say things like, I don’t have time for it. There are a couple of things that might be going on here. Perhaps you are thinking, honestly that you can do more than you really can in a day because research shows that we often overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do say in a year. So get curious about that. Take a look at what is on your plan. And really what are the things that you want to do? How much time do you want to spend on them? Zero Time might be an answer. And that might be a little enlightening for you, right? But mostly, what I usually see going on is you’re not prioritizing yourself. So it’s a great opportunity for you to get curious as to why that is, start getting curious about how you can start scheduling the time. I want to emphasize, start making small changes. It allows you to get a plan in place and here’s the thing, you have to be the one to make yourself a priority. It’s your job, nobody else’s. And sometimes that means not doing some of the things that you think you quote unquote should be doing. Maybe it means saying no, or delegating. These are skills that I often work on with clients because we have been so socialized to be people pleasing, perfectionist, crazy brains, right? It’s what makes us exhausted. Or maybe you have to start dropping Some of the expectations that you have about certain things, I was reading this book, we should all be millionaires. And I will likely do a podcast about this because I really did enjoy it. And it talked about how women are socialized and expected to be the ones who take care of the dishes, and the laundry and the dinner and the kids and the vacations and on and on and on. And it doesn’t have to be that way. Now, some people may say, I don’t have a partner that will help me to that. I say a couple of things. Number one, have you even asked for help? I know I’m guilty of this, I always think Marc should just know the dishes are clean, empty the dishwasher or the garbage is full, take it out. And guess what he doesn’t. And I know there are people probably thinking, Well, if this is about women’s empowerment, why are we asking for help? Listen, my thoughts are,
Michelle Bourque 20:57
it’s always been going this way. It’s a pattern that you’ve had. It’s like, you are always doing
the work. That’s how it just has been, then you have to let the other person know that things are changing. People are not mind reader’s, my friends, we have to ask for help. And let them know what it is that we want. And for the love of God. It’s a good thing that people are not mind reader’s because things I sometimes say out loud, already make people’s heads turn. And I filter, I can only imagine if everyone could read my mind. So ask for help. And the other thing is, some of you all think it’s more important to vacuum your floors and do your laundry and clean your toilets over taking care of yourself. Think about that, if you have time to vacuum, but you don’t have time to take a couple minutes for yourself. Really, I will tell you one area, for example, that I have kind of just decided not that important anymore. folding clothes now, don’t get me wrong, I will wash them and dry them. And then it’s like you fetch what you want out of the dryer, I will usually fold if there’s some leftover clothes in the dryer, and I need to clear it out before the next load goes in. But I would prefer to take that time and use it either for coaching work or workout or food prep, all of which I consider self care. Remember, self care does not have to mean bubble baths, and massages and facials it can. But it gets to look like whatever is self care for you. And let’s keep it real here, okay, we want our partners or maybe for you, it’s your kids to do things like the dishes and the laundry and the garbage and all the things we most likely can’t really stand doing ourselves. And we want them to also be happy about it along the way. I mean, really, why do we torture ourselves? Get the planner, put your self care on the calendar first. Ask for help start delegating again, for the person in the back who was driving and not listening. I’m gonna give you the website one more time. MichelleBourquecoaching.com/my time. And I’ll be holding some free classes soon. So once you get that you’ll be notified of the classes as well. Let’s do a quick recap here. Lesson one, get clear on your thoughts around your paid time off. Lesson two, you have agency to decide what your PTO or paid time off looks like. There are no right or wrong answers. Nobody knows better than you do. And you have to trust that to be true. Lesson three, self care is a necessity. last reminder, for the planner, I’m telling you, it will be a game changer. Get over there and get it and I was thinking about this the other day, how my life has changed since I started planning more specifically, people are always asking, how do you get so much done? It’s because I plan it. I used to be much more like a chicken with my head cut off. And I will tell you from a dopamine standpoint, that sometimes it feels better chaos feels fast, slowing down and being deliberate. doesn’t always feel the same. Checking the box is that hit that you get but you will see you can get so much more done and so much more long lasting pleasure in your life. Being able to really create the life that you imagine when you start planning and I develop the planner so that you can do it in under an hour. Heck, try not folding laundry this week and get over there and get the planner started right take that hour and get your planner going. Okay friends, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week but for now make it agree day take care
Michelle Bourque 25:06
Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one, go to Michellebourquecoaching.com and click on get started to begin