Yesterday was my first day at work after deliberately taking the long Easter weekend off.

Since I became self-employed 11 years ago I learnt the hard way (through a couple of very severe burnouts) that pacing myself and giving myself proper breaks from work was essential.

I had a lovely, slow, quiet Easter weekend. I enjoyed slow leisurely mornings, I went swimming in the local river twice with a lovely group of people, I went on long walks with my dog, visited the car boot sale, met some lovely people who will look after my dog this summer, I made homemade pizza with my family and watched a funny movie, I binged watched a Netflix series with my son, did an easter egg hunt with my daughter, I read and listened to some books, I ate some yummy really dark chocolate. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. Slowing down and being led by what my heart and soul want to do is very replenishing. 

Even though I love what I do, I always find the change of pace after coming back from a break, even one as short as this one, quite challenging. I don’t know if my ADHD brain contributes to this but I suspect it does, because what I notice is that I have resistance to getting back into work mode because my brain sees EVERYTHING that needs to be done, and wants to run away. My brain is trying hard to protect me from uncomfortable feelings, so the temptation to procrastinate is huge.

What I’ve learnt over the years is that the way to avoid this is to ease myself back into work very gently and slowly. I’ve been writing about self-care as a solopreneur for over 8 years, you can read my first article about this here.

When I come back from a 2 week long summer break especially, I plan to have at least 2 or 3 easy days to bring myself back into working mode gently. I wrote about this in this article. Here I had a shorter break so one day feels like enough.

Because of the way resistance works, as soon as I give myself permission to take things slowly, my system relaxes, the resistance eases, and poof, as if by magic, I no longer feel the desire to avoid work.

Another tactic that helps is to plan my return ahead of time, as in writing a list of everything I’ll need to do when I get back from my break, because I tend to forget. Being clear that nothing intense or extra challenging is taking place immediately when I’m back also helps avoid overwhelm.

I hope this helps and if you have your own tips and ideas to ease yourself back into work mode, I’d love to hear them. Just comment below.

Here’s a collection of other articles about self-care, gentleness and self-kindness I’ve written over the years:

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