The one complaint I get from all of my friends, and all of my family is that I can’t SWITCH OFF.
Even if I’m technically “not working” on a certain day, I really am always working; reading and replying to emails, reading articles, and checking every single social network known to man.
I’ve been in this business for nearly five years now – and honestly it feels like I’ve been in it for 20. I have the constant need to stay connected, go online and never miss a beat.
I’ve only been a CEO, Entrepreneur and Editor for the last 16 months of that time and they’ve probably been the most intense and stressful 16 months of my entire life, and probably always will be.
On the run up to Christmas I am trying to focus on making time for myself and finding time to relax.
Here’s what I’m hoping to squeeze into my life over the next few months.
1. Have Mate Dates
You seriously can never underestimate chats with a friend – sometimes it can help you reassess a situation, see things in a new light or simply give yourself a break from thinking about work for an hour.
Twice this week I met up with a friend for coffee, and while I normally say I can’t, or constantly reschedule, I’m starting to really make the time for those mate dates (also known as bitching sessions).
I’m already planning a dinner with a close friend next week, and I’m pencilling in a cinema outing too.
2. Turn Off Your Phone
This is probably going to be one of the hardest things to start doing – but I’ve had my phone off for the last half an hour as I write this piece.
I recently did a 48 hour social media ban and I realised how amazing it was to be off the grid – no emails need replying, no Whatsapp notifications, Snapchats, Tweets etc.
Part of always being ‘on’ actually involves having the iPad, Laptop and phone on all the time. And if I’m not reading through every tweet ever written I’m taking nonsense selfies or creeping on people’s Instagram pages.
From now on I’m dedicating an hour a day to switching my phone off and just living in the moment.
3. Enjoy A Night Out
This industry involves going to a lot of events and launches (sometimes four or five a day) and it’s definitely one of the perks of the job.
I always try to bring the Goss team with me to most events, and while it’s always been about networking and getting stories – sometimes you have to let loose.
Last night we headed to the Lidl Christmas party in Christchurch and we had a ball.
I was wrecked and I was moaning about being tired but instead I kept going with the Goss team and ended up at two more events.
Prosecco is my poison of choice and sometimes it’s nice to just let the hair down.
4. Go For A Walk
I’m really not a fan of excercise but I do love nothing more than a brisk walk when I want to clear my mind.
Some people say going to the gym and running helps them keep their mind in check, and I have to admit pushing the physical side does go hand in hand with helping the mental stuff.
Although it’s coming into winter now, the weather is still nice enough here to go for a good stroll. I know some people join hiking clubs and walking clubs too, but I prefer going solo so I can really have some peace and quiet.
I particularly like walking to parks around Dublin and then when I find a nice spot a sit down and relax.
5. Read A Book
Although I get sick to death of reading copy on my laptop screen, iPhone and iPad – I never get tired of reading books.
The Great Gatsby is always a book I have around and I like to re-read, I know a lot of people have their favourites, and there’s something really soothing and calming about getting stuck into a book.
Right now I’m reading What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School by Mark McCormack for any business heads out there.
6. Make The Weekend Count
This is a tough one for me because I work most weekends – but when I’m not I try my best to do something substantial with my time.
Whether it’s wandering around a museum in town or travelling home to my family for 24 hours, it’s important to get out of your usual routine.
Recently I’ve made an extra effort to spend time with my family (and mainly my sister’s adorable dog Ted), and it’s nice to get out of Dublin and take a breath.
Obviously some weekends I love nothing more than staying in bed all day, watching Netflix and ordering take away, but sometimes it’s best to stay active and do something fun and different.
Take a drive or meet someone you haven’t seen in ages – anything that’s different from your routine will give you that proper break that you need.
7. Go On A Trip
Not everyone can afford the luxury of going abroad – but it’s so important to get out of this country once and a while.
I love nothing more than grabbing my passport and heading to the airport and I seriously love hotel life. I could live out of a suitcase no problem.
Being physically out of the country definitely helps you mentally to unwind – leave all your problems back home and just take a break.
Last month I went to Malta and not only did I get a bit of a break from work I genuinely had one of the best trips of my life – oh and I got a tan too (very important).
I swam in the blue lagoon and went on a few boat trips and genuinely for the first time in nearly two years I didn’t have a single care in the world.
And you don’t need to leave Ireland to take a holiday – there are so many beautiful things to see and do in this country.
This week I went to Cork for a few hours and even being on a train was nice.
I listened to music, did some writing and looked at the beautiful countryside as we passed through different counties.
Travelling is so important – even if it’s around Ireland, pick a town you haven’t been to and go on a trip (and turn off your phone).