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Pass the Cookies Blog

Storytelling, Inspiration, Brainstorming, Travel & Food for Thought

Force yourself to take a break...

April 30, 2020

     If you’re an entrepreneur of any sort, you know that your work consumes you all around the clock. When you have a business of your own, it’s your baby; you want it to be successful and feel that the only way to make that happen is if you’re on top of everything, all the time. You’re always thinking of your to-do list and looking for ways to improve your company. The motivation feels amazing when you’re being productive, but when do you get to take a break? The perks of being an entrepreneur means that you are your own boss, but most of us overwork ourselves and don’t know where to draw the line. 

Photo: I try to bring a cookie with me on my travels; captured here, the iconic French doors found all over beautiful France!

     Believe me, sometimes I do wish that I could just live the life of a 9-5er. I’ve tried scheduling myself working hours, but unless I have something stopping me from working, I’m not going to stick to those hours. [Honestly, I was also like this in my day jobs, so perhaps I am just a bit of a work-a-holic…] Even when I’m physically away from the kitchen, I’m still thinking about everything else that goes along with running the business as smooth as possible: checking emails, bookkeeping, scheduling deliveries, preparing for upcoming promotions, marketing ideas, updating my website, and reminding myself to post on social media platforms. I used to brush it off when people said, “it’s not good to overwork yourself”; I thought they were just being dramatic, but here we are a few years later and I can feel the damage that those years have done to my body. The bottom line is that it takes serious discipline to be able to pull yourself away from your work. 

Photo: Visiting Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, 2019

     My solution for this became to travel so that I am physically removed from the work and my mind is occupied with new surroundings. Sometimes I go so far out of my way, working myself to the bone because I don’t want to say no or fail anybody, but I have learned that customers do understand and are willing to work around my schedule more often than not. Sure, a week or two out of the country does take away from potential income, but I see it as a fair tradeoff. 

Photo: The Porto waterfront along the Durro River that runs through Portugal, 2019

     So if you have taken notice that I travel a lot, this is one of the main reasons. Also, life is too short to wait...if you want to travel or do certain things in your life, you should allow yourself to, and find a way to make it happen. Taking a break is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. One of the things that I have learned in my travels is that the go-go-go lifestyle is very North American. Our surroundings and the media make it seem like it’s a good thing to always be working and staying busy in one way or another, whereas in Europe, they value the downtime, family time, and simply just slowing down to take in the day. A personal goal of mine is to adapt more of the European values into my own lifestyle. We have one life, we need a healthy balance of work and play.     

Photo: My cookie illustration of miss Frida Kahlo, Mexico, 2018

     What do you do to give yourself a break? I would love to hear any comments and suggestions! Of course now, being in the midst of this pandemic, I can’t travel for a little while, so I am definitely looking for other ideas!!   

     Also, in future posts, I will definitely go into further details about some of my travel experiences so stay tuned!

Photo: Visiting the Great Wall of China, 2019​

     *Note about some of the photos: before I travel, I like to make a couple cookies that relate to the destination, and bring them with me to photograph. In a way, it’s like making my own souvenir of that place. What started out as a quirky little hobby has now turned into a collection that I have accumulated in places far and wide, from China and India to France and Mexico.

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