Is it time for a rest?

Last month I did something I’ve not done before. I closed my Etsy shop for a whole week! It was terrifying but also necessary.

Being self employed is tough especially when it comes to evenings, weekends and especially holidays; how do you switch off? I know that I find it impossible to completely ignore my emails etc. out of office hours but it is vital for your mental health.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I am a workaholic and I’m also not ashamed to say I enjoy my work (most of the time anyway!) I don’t have any major commitments and don’t really have any hobbies except enjoying a bit of cooking, reading, walking. This year I’ve been persuaded to go away more than usual and if you know me you will understand how anxious I am in the weeks leading up to the trips. I try and get through the stress by reminding myself that I will enjoy it once I am there.

Earlier this year we visited Iceland, which was certainly one ticked off the bucket list but I decided we needed to go somewhere warm to make up for how cold we got back in March. I’m very impatient when it comes to holiday hunting so we just booked on the first one I found online, turned out I was very lucky as we booked a very luxurious villa in Fuerteventura; the perfect place for switching off.

Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the Canaries but it is not as highly populated as most of the others. The weather is fairly consistently mid 20’s with a breeze so warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities without getting too hot and bothered.

As I mentioned earlier, the accommodation we had was quite spectacular, it was a few kilometres out of the most popular town Corralejo but as we had a hire car included we knew that wasn’t an issue. It was beautifully peaceful; we had our own private hot tub, swimming pool and terrace. Breakfast was included and it was very impressive, doughnuts for breakfast anyone?

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It was really easy to get about on the Island as there are not many roads and traffic is minimal. Public transport is notoriously bad so a hire care is really recommended! One day we took a trip down to the South to visit the Zoo and Botanical Gardens, it was a real highlight as love animals and I really love giant cactus.

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We also took a dune buggy tour one afternoon, 3 hours of whizzing about in the sand getting very dusty but also getting to visit some little places on the West coast. We loved the fishing village of El Cotillo so much that we went back for our last day. Our best meal of the holiday was there too in a fish restaurant overlooking the sea.

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So that is what I did whist I had full week of my shop in ‘Holiday mode’. I’ll be honest and say I did check my messages a couple of times but knowing that nobody could actually purchase anything gave me the few days off headspace that I needed to be able to come back full throttle. I really do recommend it, even if you are a self confessed workaholic or worried about the loss of earnings, your brain will thank you. I hope you liked my little snippet of my trip and if you have any questions about visiting Fuerteventura feel free to ask me in the comments but I’ll leave you with my tips for having an Etsy shop break.

5 TOP TIPS FOR TAKING A BREAK FROM YOUR ETSY SHOP

  1. Time your holiday for a relatively quiet time. A couple of years ago I went away in September; generally my busiest month of the year and it was so stressful. I will not make that mistake again. Everyone’s business will be different; if you sell wedding stuff then you will want to be around for late Spring, early Summer, if you sell woolly hats, you can probably spare a week or two in high summer.
  2. Give your customer’s plenty of warning that you will be unavailable between certain dates and by unavailable that means you wont be able to respond to queries etc. either. You could mention it on your social media channels, put up a banner on your shop and alter your announcement. Just remember to switch it back when you return.
  3. Use the automation features provided by Etsy. This might include the ‘Holiday Mode’ but also the automatic convo response. You can set it to magically send a reply to anyone who contacts you.
  4. Stick to your cut off deadlines. As I sell mainly custom items which require a couple of days to prepare I close my shop a few days in advance so that I have plenty of time to clear them before I go away. In the few days before that I message any customers to explain about the cut off point. You also don’t want to be working right up to the line as that leaves no time for packing that suitcase or for any urgent last minute jobs that you might have forgotten.
  5. If you really have to check your messages whilst away, be strict with yourself and set a time limit. For example only look once every other day. I found that deleting the apps from my phone and switching off notifications helped as I was less inclined to have a quick peek if I had to login through the browser every time.

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