Do you find it can sometimes feel just as stressful on holiday as it is to be working? Why is this and how can you have a truly relaxing holiday?
Things that worry you don’t just go away!
Although you want a truly relaxing holiday, you may still find yourself thinking. About work issues, colleagues or the boss getting you down. Perhaps you’re worried about job security, your health, family members, finances.
So many thoughts can still be buzzing around in the mind wherever you physically find yourself.
Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you’re out of your comfort zone on your holiday that too can create a whole new set of stresses.
You might feel anxious about finding your way around in a different country. You might feel unsure about dealing with the local currency and ensuring you have enough money. Maybe you feel anxious about catching your flight connections. If you tend to get anxious over daily challenges back home, you’ll do the same even when you’re on holiday.
Here are 6 tips to help you have a truly relaxing holiday:
Number 1: Relax
It depends what kind of holiday you’ve booked yourself in for. Sometimes there can be so much going on. Perhaps you’ve booked lots of daily trips and have schedules to stick to. Maybe the hustle of group tours are leaving you no time for peace. Or the reality of spending 24 hours a day every day for a week with the ones you love is challenging!
It can feel impossible to find time to relax!
Or you may be at odds with the rest of your family, Sometimes as a busy mum all you want to do is relax on the beach and read a book. Children have other ideas – they love to keep busy enjoying games and new friendships.
It’s important to schedule in time for yourself to rest and truly do things that are your choice. On the other hand it’s also great to spend time together ‘just being’. You can let the children make their own entertainment, share walks together, go rock-pooling; simple things.
Some of you might like to read ‘How to Switch off from Work when You Go on Holiday‘.
Number 2: Eat meals slowly and eat with enjoyment
When you’re on holiday it can be lovely eating outside on a warm evening.
Some of the enjoyment arises because you haven’t had to prepare it yourself!
Food and drink become a real pleasure on holiday as you have the time to savour every morsel. You step outside the usual habits that might include eating while watching TV or working at a computer.
In everyday life, mealtimes can sometimes be rushed, with little enjoyment. It’s worth noticing how you eat when you’re on holiday and maybe take some of those pointers back with you.
For example, eat away from your laptop and focus on savouring your meal, without other distractions.
Number 3: Notice nature
Not all holidays are the same yet even on a city break you can enjoy nature. You might find yourself sitting by a canal, a beautiful public garden or even a bench beneath a big, shady tree.
Holidays give you the chance to spend more time outdoors, whether it’s the beach or the countryside.
Let your senses enjoy everything around you – the views, the aromas and the textures.
Enjoy walking barefoot on the sand or the grass. Get some binoculars and sit still enough to watch the wildlife – there are always birds wherever you go!
Number 4: Stop and enjoy the view
Holidays are great for this. You might sit outside and watch the sun set or spend ages gazing out at the sea. It feels very nurturing!
You might have climbed to the top of a tall building and have an incredible view of the city.
You may even find yourself in an area that’s ideal for star-gazing without the usual light pollution from cities and towns. Make the most of this – just one example of a ‘dark sky’ is in the Northumberland National Park.
Stop to enjoy the views when you’re on holiday. Then when you get back home, see if you can stop a second each morning when you pull open your bedroom curtains. Let yourself be present, before your busy day begins, whatever the view!
Number 5: Do something a little different
Your whole holiday may be a cultural delight if you are visiting another part of the world. Everything you see and do is a completely new experience.
Yet even if you’re taking a break nearer to home, you can still try new things.
Book an activity that’s out of your comfort zone, or is something you’ve never done before. Maybe eat at a different kind of restaurant, experience a new sport like water-skiing or a gentle pony ride. Book seats for a little local theatre show or visit an off-the beaten track museum or church.
Number 6: Explore without a map or agenda
Let yourself loose from the map. Smart phones are great for helping you find your way round a new city but sometimes it can be fun to forget about following directions. Meander round shops, markets and cobbled streets and explore!
It’s obviously not sensible to do this when you’re walking out in a bigger area of countryside, but do still bring that spirit of curiousity with you. Look up and around and enjoy yourself along your route. Don’t get overwhelmed with directions at the expense of enjoyment!
6 Tips and 1 Reminder
The 1 reminder for a truly relaxing holiday is to be present. Stay relaxed. Appreciate and enjoy your holiday experience.
Then you can return home with a greater sense of well-being. You’ll feel rested and happy.
And don’t forget that these 6 tips for truly relaxing can be adapted into your real, everyday life. Even if you’re unable to go away on holiday, you can still bring a holiday feeling to some of the things you do!
Happy holidays and happy relaxing!
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Coach
Truly relax with Place of Serenity