The end-of-summer Bank Holiday will soon be here. We all love our leisure time, but it seems to pass by so quickly. How can you make this day count and have a really special time? Try the following:
- Get up in good time
- Do more of what you love
- Be in the ‘now’
- Take time to reflect on your ‘harvest’
- Be kind
- Remember the workers!
GET UP EARLY
You may be very tired and really looking forward to lazing about, catching up on sleep, but that’s not going to refresh you nearly as much as you think. If you waste half the day in bed you’ll feel dissatisfied. Your enthusiasm and energy levels will drop and instead of feeling revved up you could be deflated.
Put the alarm on for only half an hour later than usual and get up to welcome the day. Get going on something enjoyable and absorbing. Being taken out of yourself will do you so much good. Remember – a change is a good as a rest.
DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
What do you really enjoy? What gives you fulfillment, uplifts you, leaves you feeling great? You may believe that you’ll love a few hours vegging out with daytime TV, but think about this. How will that leave you? Answer – fed up with yourself!
Before the Bank Holiday focus on what you like doing, and what leaves you with a sense of satisfaction, to carry you into the Autumn. Make a list of alternatives and commit yourself to doing at least one of them.
PLAN YOUR DAY
Is it really such a great idea just to drift? Playing it by ear may seem to promise relaxation but it rarely works out that way. You’ll find you enjoy your down time lots more if you are a little bit organized.
Once you’ve chosen what you’re doing, have a schedule. This means having clear ideas about transport, meals, equipment, directions and anything else you need. This may sound obvious, but unless your Bank Holiday is going to form part of a longer break, it is just one day. Be realistic about what you can do. If there’s a chance you’ll spend hours in a traffic jam, for instance, make alternative plans. Be flexible and prepared.
BE IN THE ‘NOW’
Much is written and said these days about being ‘in the now’. However, this mindfulness isn’t something you should only practice in quiet groups, forgetting about it when ordinary life kicks in. Try to be in the ‘precious present’ as much as you can – and here’s an important tip. Experience life, don’t just photograph it! All the time, at special events, from concerts to theme parks you will see people with their phones and tablets always on hand, to snap those special pics. Then your life gets posted on social media, but if you think about it, you haven’t lived it.
What’s the point of impressing your friends with all the exciting things you’ve done if you haven’t truly be present, in those magical moments? So if you’re going somewhere delightful, content yourself with taking a few photos and then put your device away. Really be in each moment, as much as you can. You’ll find you have a much better time and you’ll feel as if your day has gone on for much longer.
DO A GOOD DEED
Make sure that you do at least one deed today that helps someone and makes them feel happier. The wonderful thing about kindness is that it is greater than the sum of its parts. Making someone smile raises your own feel-good hormones, and it also has a similar effect on anyone who witnesses this – so there’s no need to hide your light under a bushel!
IF YOU HAVE TO WORK
Of course Bank Holiday isn’t a ‘holiday’ at all for the countless hard-working people in shops, cafes, hospitals and the like. If you’re one of the workers, make a promise to yourself that you’ll at least have a laugh and stay as up-beat as you can. For those of us who are able to enjoy leisure, lets make a pact that we’ll be extra-pleasant to the heroic people that make it all possible.
BANK HOLIDAY IS A TURNING POINT
August Bank Holiday comes at the end of the holidays, when the first hint of Autumn is in the air. The days are drawing in and mornings and evenings may be misty. You may understandably wish to ignore this, telling yourself you’re making the most of summer, but this may not be such a good idea.
Taking a few moments to reflect on how your summer has been can be helpful and grounding. This is harvest time – what about your personal ‘harvest’? Are you pleased with what you’ve achieved? If you think constructively you may find you’ve been more successful than you realise. Remind yourself to be positive – even perceived ‘failures’ can be useful learning experiences.
Ask yourself also what you would like to accomplish as the Autumn progresses. See this as a new start. It is always poignant to say goodbye to the sunshine, but there will be other times of fun and laughter. For now set yourself some attainable goals to pursue, as the year wanes.
Spend ten to twenty minutes meditating. This will be very renewing and energising – especially helpful if you’re tired and depleted. You’ll probably find that some meditation will make you feel more rested than a lie-in.
HOW WE CAN HELP
In this article there have been several suggestions on how to approach the Bank Holiday. Start early to make the most of your time, plan, be clear about what makes you happy, be in the present moment, be kind and take time to reflect. Sometimes, however, any one of us can feel so down that we don’t have it in us to make the effort. Maybe you are lonely, or you’ve been coping with a series of knock-backs. That’s when you need input from one of our team of encouraging Readers. If you only do one thing this Bank Holiday, put in a call and take the first step towards cheering up.
PUBLISHED: 22 August 2016