Guilty pleasure – 5 top tips to refuel during the summer and gear up for Autumn

July 15, 2014 by Jenny Garrett

I am delighted to share this guest blog, written by Els Deboutte. Els is a business and career coach, trainer, speaker and author. She is the creator of Make me Fly!, a training and mentoring program that helps women in their 30′s and 40′s to take back control over their life, their work, their passion and joy. She recently published her second book “10 steps to reinvent yourself”, a career orientation and authenticity book which is temporarily available for free on her website She’s a wife and mother. In her spare time she stretches her boundaries by practicing karate. I met Els while speaking at the Jump conference, we instantly hit it off and I am sure her wisdom will help.

Els Deboutte Rocking Your Role

It’s summertime! Feels like half the world is coming to a stop, packing the family, shipping the kids, drinking cold beers at summer festivals.  But according to a recent study by HR Services provider Securex, 2 out of 3 employees remains available for work calls and emails during their holidays. It doesn’t necessarily cause more stress, it only causes stress when being available is not a free choice.

A few weeks ago I was running a personal effectiveness workshop. 1 participant was returning from a burnout, another was flirting with it. Being a double burnout survivor myself I knew what they were going through. And I also knew what got them there: the constant pressure of ‘having to’ and ‘having no other option’.

But nothing creative comes from an overcrowded and under-slept brain. Here’s my 5 top tips to refuel during the summer and gear up for  Autumn.


#1 – Have fun!

Recently I read an article stating ‘the’ 9 habits successful people practice. Though most made perfect sense, one of them was missing: having fun. Doing fun things, letting go, being goofy, not having a care or ‘must’ in the world. Laughing is the healthiest anti-depressant and it’s free.


#2 – Switch off or not, but make a clear decision

I often felt guilty knowing my colleagues were keeping the shop open while I was at the pool. But I also remember taking calls on holiday and feeling guilty towards my husband and sons for letting work intrude our time together. Make a clear decision: you’re in or you’re out and act accordingly.


#3 – Organize to not be there

Make sure urgent things are covered before you leave and that other things can wait for a few weeks. Try to avoid having to respond to things. If this is difficult, imagine something terrible had happened to you, how would they cope then?


#4 – Spend time alone

Having had a stressful time and overloaded schedule, I decided to spend a day at my sisters, who lives at the seaside. It took some negotiation with my husband. I was lucky to send my son over to my mom while my other son was on a trip anyway. We had a supertime! I love my husband and my kids but spending time alone refuels your sense of freedom and abundance. It’s easier to give more.


#5 – Tweak before returning

Taking things from a distance, makes you balanced. What elements of your life feed your energy and what elements need tweaking? Less what is more what else? Make a plan for your return to discuss or just adjust what you want to do differently. I guarantee better results.

I totally get it, the guilty feelings about switching off. As a business owner it feels like abandoning your child. Taking real holidays, having fun and even spending some time away from the people you love is necessary and smart. It’s taking care of your most important asset: you. Nothing to feel guilty about.


Jenny Garrett is the Award Winning Coach and founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy. She’s also the author of Rocking Your Role, a how-to guide to success for female breadwinners.