Why Making Time to Play is Crucial for Your Sanity – And Your Business

My birthday was last week. And it was on a Wednesday.

Usually, I’d postpone any celebrations til the weekend, and carry on with work as if nothing had happened.

But this year, I decided to do things a little differently – I gave myself the day off to play, have fun, and spend time with family.

I kicked off the celebrations by going sailing with my dad and sister (yes, it was about -3c, and yes, there was ice on the deck it was so cold. But no – that didn’t stop us having a fabulous afternoon, or drinking a lot of prosecco!).

Sailing Photographer New Forest

Then the morning of my birthday, I got up early to photograph the frosty sunrise and connect in with my muse, Mother Nature.

Nature Photographer New Forest

After brekkie with my mum and dad (the first birthday breakfast with them in about 20 years!), I opened my pressies before popping up to London, where I checked into a gorgeous hotel and had afternoon tea overlooking Sloane Square and reading Big Magic (it’s awesome!).

Business Photographer New Forest

Then to top it all off, I had awesome sushi with my hubs, a blissful treatment at the new Lush Spa (OMG! you have to go!) and dinner with my dear friend Jen.

Business photographer London

All in all, it was a fabulous time, packed full of shenanigans.

But I have to be honest, getting to the point where I allowed myself to take that day off was a struggle.

“I can’t possibly take time away for something frivolous – I’m WAY too busy”.

“Everyone else will be working – what’s the point of taking a day off by myself?”

“It’s just a birthday – let’s not make a big deal about it”.

On and on my monkey brain went.

Business photographer London

Even though rationally I knew it was fine for me to take time away from my biz as I’d planned and scheduled it, I still had a nagging worry in the pit of my stomach.

Yet, as I started to relax and enjoy myself, the stress ebbed away.

I noticed I was beaming from ear to ear, laughing a lot, and feeling totally in flow and connected. Then, magical things started to happen.

I was gifted free products by the Lush spa as it was my birthday. I received a complimentary room upgrade at the hotel we stayed in. Jen and I received free glasses of champagne during our night out. And I returned to work with several new client enquiries in my inbox.

And so, this experience reminded me of a principle that’s equally applicable to birthdays as well as life – beautiful things happen when we let go and allow.

Allow ourselves to relax, enjoy, receive, and be looked after. Allow ourselves to play, have fun and be ourselves. Allow ourselves to do what lights us up and celebrate any day we choose ‘just because’.

Business photographer London

So, dear friend, I ask you – what little stresses can you let go of today? What treats and pleasures can you give yourself to feel amazing? How can you make this all way more fun?!

Time for another slice of birthday cake…


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