Posted: by Rhian Wednesday, 22 June 2016 @ 16:15
When we talk about holidays one of the consistent things that come up is that you want to go away ‘to switch off’, unsurprisingly, considering our lives are pretty hectic. We’re all juggling work, children, families, social lives, gym commitments and financial pressures. I look forward to my holidays all year round, they’re a time to focus on relaxation and recharge my batteries. On my last holiday I did all of the usual fabulous indulgent things I’d usually do away, but for a change, I took some time and put some thought in to habits to create on holiday that I could take back to my day to day life, in order to carry the holiday chill a bit longer.
The result? A set of simple tasks/changes that have lasted a lot longer than my tan!
Stop seeing life through a lens
It’s a terrible holiday habit, but we all get a bit snap happy, so this time I took in the scenery and put my phone down. I breathed in the air, I felt the warmth of the sun, I truly appreciated where I was. I soaked it up, and I experienced it. Once I’d taken the time to inhale my surroundings, I’d take a photo, one photo, but I now remember the smell, the sounds and the feeling I had when I was there. I’ve taken this home with me, I don’t record social occasions on my iPhone I experience them by being completely present.Find your happy placeWhen taking a mindful moment (or a meditative moment) I find it really helpful to picture a relaxing place. I generally go to a stream I remember from childhood, but I used my holiday to find more places where my mind would truly relax. By taking in my surroundings properly (see above) I could take those very real places with me everywhere. Those happy places are comfortably in my mind, and I can visit them anytime I like!
Enjoy your food, no, really enjoy your food
I am so guilty of wolfing my food down and seeing it as a necessity. This holiday I had the luxury of a villa with a kitchen and barbeque, I love cooking but I think I’d forgotten just how relaxing and restorative it is. There’s nothing like pouring love into cooking for your family and friends. I’d take time in the greengrocers finding beautiful fresh food, I enjoyed speaking to the butcher (or trying to in Greek) and now I’m home I plan meals and enjoy the process of preparing for them.
Take what you need, and get rid of the rest
You’re forced to think carefully about what you’ll wear (or not as the case may be) while you’re away. I stuck to hand luggage for a week and I still had clothes left over that I hadn’t worn. OK this is easier on a beach holiday, but when I got back I had a wardrobe overhaul, realising how many things I was holding on to ‘just in case’. I found it was a great time to go through my belongings and donate my unloved items to local charity shops.
Unplan your time
Jo recently returned from Ibiza and wrote a great blog on ‘the joy of a holiday with no plans’, with this in mind I made sure that at least some of my holiday was dedicated ‘no plan’ time. When you’re holidaying with friends and family you can feel the need to have an itinerary and to keep everyone happy. This time round I made sure that there were times when I planned to do nothing… and it was bliss. Now I’m home if I see my week is getting busy to give myself some proper ‘no plan’ time, not time to clean and do washing, time to read a magazine, have a bath – do nothing!
Just say no
With the above in mind I also wanted to be able to say no, no to plans, no to meals I didn’t want to go to, no to activities that I didn’t fancy. But this is a work in progress, saying no without offending someone is something I still haven’t cracked. This is one for my next holiday, if you have any advice on this one I’d love to hear it!
That’s it. There’s no end of reasons why sleep is good for you, so ditch the phone next to your bed, turn off the laptop and stop catching up on Game of Thrones, instead, read then turn off all the lights, crank a window and sleep! On holiday I also slipped a daily afternoon nap in, if only that could be a daily occurrence.
Explore, dream, discover
I find that when I’m on holiday by imagination runs wild, a lot like a toddler who gets excited when there’s new people around. I love taking in new cultures, different architecture, new smells, tastes and new experiences. Daily life can get pretty mundane, we often see the same four walls for hours on end and it makes concentrating hard, to say the least. I now make sure I take a walk when I’m starting to switch off, if I’m working on a creative task I take myself away from the office. Away from work I’ll make sure I check out the latest new bar or restaurant, I’ll keep an eye out for exhibitions that spark my interest, all things that allow me to ‘explore, dream and discover’ every day not just while I’m away.
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