Time off work is widely seen as an important aspect of a healthy work-life balance. Successful entrepreneurs, executives and self-employed business owners know that the key to their success is working on the right things. Time off work is an investment of your time in yourself that will positively impact on your work life. Walking the Camino can be the perfect opportunity to release you from the stresses of your everyday life and reconnect with yourself.
Here are our top 6 reasons why should take time off work to walk the Camino:
1. Time off to relax is as important as work
If you never take time off to unplug both your body and your mind will become fed up, you will be miserable, stressed and demotivated. After all you can only beat a stick for so long before it will break.
Studies in Europe suggest that 50–60 % of all lost working days can be attributed to work-related stress. In the US 83% of workers say they’re stressed about their jobs and nearly 50% say work-related stress is interfering with their sleep. With so many people reporting work related stress getting away from it all will improve not only your own mental health but allow you to see things more clearly and return refreshed, focused and perhaps even with new insights. Walking the Camino de Santiago is a unique opportunity to unplug from your daily life and simply walk. Enjoy the leisurely pace of the Camino as well as the freshly prepared local food and feel your tensions slip away.
2. Time off to recharge to take on the world
For most businesses autumn is one of their busiest times of years. If you don’t take a break over the summer months or the quiet months running up to your busy time of year, then you run the risk of burning out before the end of the race. If you take time off during your quiet period you will return recharged which will positively impact you and your company’s future productivity.
A more practical benefit of taking time off during a quiet period is that you are less likely to miss out on any important decisions. Although walking every day on the Camino will physically tire you and ensure a good night’s sleep. It will also give you that vital time to let your mind wander and work through any sub-conscious niggles you might have and allow you the time to let go of them, freeing your mind for new challenges.
3. Time off to get fit
Walking on average 20km (13 miles) each day on the Camino de Santiago will improve your physical health. This gentle exercise every day accompanied by freshly prepared food will help rejuvenate you from within. What could be more stress relieving than walking in the beautiful Spanish Countryside? Getting into the great outdoors has been shown to improve self-confidence and with that Vitamin D hit (through Sunscreen of course) your mood is sure to improve. You will return a fit and happy self-confident person, ready to take on the world.
4. Time off to learn something new
Taking time off work can also be a productive time where you learn something new. Download a book or some business literature you have been meaning to read. Catch up on blog posts and videos on areas that you are interested in, connected or not to your work. After a day’s walking time relaxing with a book or listening to an inspiring story can help you put your own issues and thoughts into perspective. Also being in Spain or Portugal will give you a chance to try some new food, learn first-hand about their culture and perhaps even test out your Spanish or Portuguese language skills.
5. Time off to grow
As executives, entrepreneurs and self-employed business owners your job is to make decisions. You want to be working ON your business not IN it. For this to happen you need to have time for strategic pondering and this is best achieved when you step back to see the bigger picture. After all big ideas ripen slowly. Walking the Camino will give you the opportunity to escape from daily distractions allowing you time for reflection.
When seeking a direction or vision for your career path it won’t come at once and the Camino will allow you the time to gather all those little thoughts into a holistic picture for you to work towards. Inspiration may even come from those you meet along the Way. Who knows what pearl of wisdom someone may impart to you that suddenly will put everything in a new light.
6. Time off to realise that life goes on
Stepping away from your business or office doesn’t mean it will all come crumbling down. In fact it will give your employees a chance to step up and take on extra responsibilities. This can then also be something that they can continue doing when you return if they do it well thus freeing some of your time for other business or personal needs.
Now that you know you why you should go check out our 5 Steps to get you ready to leave work for the Camino:
 Healthy Workplace – Campaign Guide http://eguides.osha.europa.eu/stress/IE-EN/
The American Workplace Is Broken. Here’s How We Can Start Fixing It. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/american-workplace-broken-stress_us_566b3152e4b011b83a6b42bd
 The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise from the US National Library of Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16416750