Holidays are the one time of the year that we disconnect from our hectic schedules to relax and go slow. In the first few days of my holidays I always fall silent. It’s a peaceful silence when my body readjusts from the busyness to the sedate, and my mind releases itself from the endless to dos and tasks that we create for ourselves. The rejuvenation process begins; I remember to breathe, I have no option but to go slow, I surrender to the peace, stillness and beauty.
Little by little the layers of responsibilities are shed to allow pleasure to become the daily drive. This feeling of silence and stillness is a good place, a place where I like to be. I ask myself what lessons can I learn from this holiday to be able to experience this feeling of connection and oneness more often?
Here are 7 ways that I have come up that can bring the holiday vibe into my everyday life
I definitely remember to breathe more often when I’m on holidays, maybe it’s more time spent in open air that triggers the long deep pleasureful breath. The breath is our life force, it oxygenates the blood and the brain. It energizes and maximizes our potential. It cleanses the body and enriches our cells. When I get home I am going to put a sign above my desk “Breathe”!
The art of being thankful. Often we don’t get time to feel gratitude, to give thanks for all the wonders of life and all the beauty that surrounds us. Every moment should contain a moment of gratitude. You may think while sitting in your office with a mountain of work to do and a traffic filled commute ahead of you that there is nothing to feel thankful for. Please don’t wait until something goes wrong to look back on your good fortune. Can you appreciate your health, your loved ones, your hobbies, your education, your sight, your freedom and the myriad of other things that that you have in your life.
One of the most special times I have spent with my children was on a long haul flight from South Africa to Ireland, they were 2,3 and 11 at the time. A twelve hour day flight with small children is not an exciting prospect but what I found was that for the first time with my children I was truly present. I wasn’t playing with them out of duty, I wasn’t thinking about the housework I still needed to do or the work that awaited me on my desk. I was focused solely on them, it was beautiful. I learnt a lesson that day about being where you are. I don’t always achieve it as my mind races to the next duty or project but being on holiday makes it easier and reminds me of the merits of living in the now.
I have come to the conclusion that there is not enough laughter in my life. Eight years ago I left a job that stressed me out but my saving grace was laughter, I worked in an office with three other guys and we had fun. Everyday was filled with jokes and pranks and laughter. My South African family love to laugh, the simplest thing can turn into an hour of laughs. I love them for it, and of course laughter is contagious so I have been doing a lot more of it lately. Maybe underneath the word breathe I will put Laugh!
Listen to your body
Holidays bring lots of rest and relaxation, unless climbing Kilimanjaro is part of the plan it’s usually a time for taking it easy. Sleeping when you are tired and doing when you are not. We usually become more in tune with our bodies when we have time to listen. If you are fortunate enough to work for yourself try to listen to your body and understand when you are most productive and creative. Don’t work just because it’s between 9 and 5, work when you are inspired and focused. You will be achieve much more this way.
Drink more water. Dehydration causes fatigue, headaches and lack of focus. In the sunshine we are usually more aware of the need to drink water but we have this requirement everyday. Are you drinking enough water?
We live in a hectic world where we expect everything to happen quickly. We complain if we have to wait for our coffee in the coffee shop. The minutes wasted at a traffic light frustrate us and the time spent waiting on hold makes us want to pull our hair out. Being in Africa reminds me that not everything has to happen now. African time is a local saying describing a more relaxed attitude towards time. Maybe we should live a bit more on African time, take it easy, don’t sweat the small stuff and live in the flow, you never know you may even find the time to laugh a little more.
Try to remember to incorporate some of these suggestions into your everyday life, I hope I will still be feeling chilled and happy in a couple of weeks time when I’m preparing for my book launch!
Please comment below if you have managed to integrate holiday habits into your everyday life.