Wish you could hang on to that holiday feeling?Sep 29, 2021
Wish you could hang on to that holiday feeling?
What is it about holidays? We long for them and sometimes they give us just what we need but then that feeling slips away and we’re left back where we started, longing for and planning the next escape.
I once drove 7 hours late at night to wake up to the most gorgeous view of a wild Scottish beach. It felt like I needed to drive that far to be able to breath out. I was so stressed that the only way I felt I could escape and get the break I so desperately needed was by putting hundreds of miles between the stress and my physical body.
And I felt better! It did me good to rest, read, do yoga, journal and walk the cold windswept beach with my dogs and my partner.
But it’s a bit extreme if I have to physically escape my life to rest properly!
Other attempts didn’t work so well. Our ill-fated cruise attempt at chilling out and reconnecting was so far removed from who we are and how we like to spend our time that really it should have been a red flag that I was creating a life that really wasn’t mine to try and fit into. We were first off the boat, dragging our own luggage so we could get home and find the ease we had paid so much money for but not found aboard a noisy, high structured entertainment ship!
These experiences (when I take the time to reflect on them) tell me much useful information about myself and how to live in a way that works for me.
They also serve as a warning that if I need to go to great lengths to escape my life then something is off - way off at that time of my life.
The last couple years have had fewer opportunities for holidays for all of us but with an enforced slowing down for many people (although not all and I think this important to highlight - not everyone was financially supported to work from home and certain areas of work became suddenly far more pressured.)
Taking the time to reflect on the restrictions on movement and what they have meant for you will provide you with valuable information. What did you miss the most? What did you not miss?
For me I missed my adult children more than I can describe. Now I miss mountains and just the freedom to decide to go somewhere and explore and experience the beauty of the world.
As for that longed for holiday feeling - well, for me, it's just not good enough to live in a way that requires a huge effort and the necessity to escape in order to unwind and breathe out.
Which means reguallary noticing throughout my day, and particularly during stressful times, how my body is feeling and then trusting it to reset itself by allowing my belly to soften, my shoulders to move away from my ears if they want to, my jaw to unclench - or not. Because if my body is not ready to let go of this brace position, then I have to respect and trust that it knows what it’s doing.
To make this even easier and a whole lot more fun, I can also dream of future holidays or remember the best of past ones and re-enjoy the feelings of ease in my body.
Because the fact that the mind can’t tell the difference between real and imaginary is both annoying (when you’re awake in the night running through all those worse-case scenarios) and brilliant (when you deliberately practice imagining your bones easing in the warmth of the sun, feeling the soft sand beneath your body as the light breeze dries the salty sea water from your skin).
The choice is yours - bring whatever feeling you long for in a holiday into your day-to-day existence because you can. You get to - for free (and without booking flights and driving for hours). It takes practice because, well, no-one taught you to do this at school so it’s probably new information (and may sound a little crazy!)
Then next time you actually do go on holiday it will be much faster to step into holiday mode because every cell in your body will have practiced and be ready.
How cool is that?
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