For many of us, 2017 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2018! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year鈥檚 resolutions.

Staying dedicated to your professional goals is admirable, but it鈥檚 important to take time to recharge too. In fact, studies show that making time for R+R can help you stay healthy, be more mindful, and even boost your productivity when you head back to work. Curious about how successful women see and use their downtime in an age where burnout runs rampant, we surveyed eight women who have already scheduled time off in 2018. Scroll on for the six ways they plan to use their break from business 鈥 plus what they believe they鈥檒l get out of spending time away.

A group of friends laughs together

Make the Most of a Life Milestone

Maggie Germano is a certified financial education instructor and financial coach for women. She spends her time helping provide support and tools to help ladies take control of their money, break the taboo of discussing debt and income, and achieve their goals and dreams. A business owner who started her company as a side hustle, Germano is busy 鈥 and now she鈥檚 planning a wedding too! Needless to say, taking time off in the upcoming year will be vital.

鈥淚 started my business in early 2016, and I have finally quit my day job,鈥 Germano shares. 鈥淚鈥檒l be a full-time business owner starting in January 2018. Though I plan to ramp up my business in 2018, I also think it鈥檚 incredibly important to take time off; I don鈥檛 believe that anything is sustainable if you don鈥檛 make time to rest and recharge, no matter how much you love it. I鈥檓 also getting married in November and plan to take a three-week honeymoon. I won鈥檛 do any work during that time, as I know I鈥檒l be working very hard on my business (and wedding) all year, and a long honeymoon will be a much-needed reward.鈥 She tells us that her time off will be a success if she can recuperate from the wedding and business planning and recharge for 2019 and everything it might bring.

Beat Burnout and Work Smarter

鈥淚n July, I announced my exit from the online copywriting scene,鈥 Margaret Olatunbosun tells us. 鈥淚 was working over 12 hours a day (in addition to being a part-time registered nurse) and was completely burnt out.鈥 A budding entrepreneur, Olatunbosun says that taking time off comes with two objectives that鈥檒l help her succeed over the long haul. 鈥淔irst, I鈥檓 planning for monthly staycations in hotels to reflect on my journey as an entrepreneur; as an introvert, this really appeals to me. Second, I want to use the time to redefine what it means for me to be a creative entrepreneur so I can work with fewer clients.鈥

Saloni Doshi from EcoEnclose chimes in that working smarter, not harder, is a great way to preserve energy while getting tons done: 鈥淢ost days I鈥檓 at work from sunup to sundown, and I absolutely love every second of it, but I鈥檓 an all-around better human being and much better boss when I鈥檝e had some time to do things I enjoy and take a break from the busyness of running a business.鈥 Doshi explains that in the coming year, she鈥檚 decided to be preemptive about taking breaks, scheduling them to prevent ever becoming exhausted in the first place. 鈥淚 hope these scheduled staycations will keep me feeling fresh and inspired to be the best business-owner, boss, and mom I can be,鈥 she confides.

A woman takes a break on a road trip

Find New Inspiration

Sevensmith is a cool company that sells ethically made home decor products from artisans around the world, and founder Liat Tzoubari tells us that she鈥檚 inspired during her R+R, especially when vacationing to places that surface new ideas. 鈥淚鈥檝e been working overtime since the beginning of September to ensure that we were ready for the holiday season, which has been extremely busy! But I鈥檒l be going to southern Mexico in January for two weeks to soak up some sun and lay by the beach. Knowing this is ahead of me has helped me get through this tough and stressful time; I鈥檓 most looking forward to spending quality time with my husband, reading a few good books, and being able to take a step back from my business.鈥 Tzoubari shares an added benefit to getting away: 鈥淚 find that clearing my head helps me think of new ideas and different angles for my business, which is hard to do when you are knee-deep in operations on a day-to-day basis.鈥 We couldn鈥檛 agree more.

Make Planned Time for Play

It鈥檚 easy to fall into a routine of work, work, work, but business consultant and coach Miara Shaw asserts that scheduling leisure time is a key component to her success. 鈥淏eing a coach (and someone who is always developing other people and their businesses), I intentionally take each Monday off, in addition to the month of December.鈥 Shaw says that she uses her time wisely, simply catching her breath and doing the things she enjoys most. 鈥淚 love reading a book, sleeping late, catching up with friends, and relaxing,鈥 she spills. 鈥淚 must refill myself, as my business requires me to pour into others frequently.鈥

Two women vacation together

Break Free from a Regular Routine

鈥淓ver since I was a child, I鈥檝e associated 鈥榲acation鈥 with 鈥榯ravel,鈥欌 explains Monica Eaton-Cardone, the co-founder and COO of Chargebacks911. 鈥淥perating a global company with corporate offices in both the US and the UK, however, I already travel more than I鈥檇 like. To be honest, the idea of a vacation wasn鈥檛 all that appealing.鈥 On the other hand, Eaton-Cardone admits that she needs a breather from time to time and that the magic in taking one comes simply from breaking up her routine. 鈥淚 need to be exposed to new ideas and gain a fresh perspective,鈥 she admits. 鈥淚 live within a short drive of some amazing history and scenery, so I鈥檝e started planning a few long-weekend getaways over the next few months. I look forward to being able to 鈥榮hut down鈥 in small doses.鈥

Spend QT With Loved Ones

Tiffany Dyba, a career coach, says planning a 2018 trip with her husband is an awesome reward for the hard work she鈥檚 put in as a new business owner. 鈥淭his trip could not come at a better time, as I am feeling the 鈥榥ew entrepreneur lonely syndrome鈥 and he鈥檚 been busy working in retail. We haven鈥檛 had a real vacation or chance to connect like we normally do in a long time,鈥 she confesses. 鈥淢y goal for this trip to Iceland is to live in the moment and be present.鈥

Kristin Groos Richmond, the CEO and co-founder of Revolution Foods, agrees. 鈥淚鈥檝e always thought that taking a vacation is critical, given the intense nature of building a company. Vacation offers a chance to focus on family, personal time, and passions in a dedicated way that lets me come back to work feeling more effective and fulfilled in my career journey. My personal family trip this year will be for two weeks to Kenya, where I lived and worked in 2001/2002. I鈥檓 very much looking forward to sharing a magical place and incredible people and culture with my husband Steve and sons Watts and Caleb.鈥

Are you planning some R+R for 2018? Tell us what you hope it鈥檒l do for your energy, creativity and health on Twitter @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)