We all look forward to chilling at holiday time. But if you spend a week just lazing around you may come back to the daily grind with less energy, rather than more. Make your holiday a renewing and enlivening experience by following our guidelines.
You may feel really drained by the relentlessness of everyday life and believe that if you can just stop for a while you’ll get better. But it rarely works that way. Doing nothing doesn’t encourage positive change – throwing yourself into physical activity does. Consider a holiday walking, riding, scuba-diving – anything, as long as it stimulates you. Getting up early to trek through amazing countryside and experience fresh sensations is totally different from the morning alarm that signals joining the rat race. Feel-good hormones will course through your body, you’ll be taken completely out of yourself and when night comes you’ll sleep like a baby. When the holiday ends, you’ll feel empowered and optimistic about life.
There are plenty of courses you can go on, so that when your holiday is over you’re wiser, with more ideas about what you want to do with your life. Learning something distracts you from the incessant chatter in your head that’s probably taking you back to all the usual worries. You could learn sketching, sculpture, jewellery-making, creative writing, or something more practical or intellectual that’s going to help you get on. Chances are you’ll meet some like-minded people who can support and advise you. Make sure whatever course you choose is about your true interests, not learning something just to further your career. Your mind will be broadened, and you’ll come back with more determination and focus.
Going back to a familiar holiday destination may seem inviting, but it’s not always the best choice. Travelling somewhere completely new can have a much better effect, as it ‘shocks’ you into mindfulness, bringing you very much into the present moment and arousing your sense of wonder. Places such as the Himalayas or Machu Pichu in Peru can provide spiritual experience, but you can also get a similar benefit from places closer to home – wonderful lakes, mountains and coastline. Cities with their art galleries, museums and historical buildings may serve the same purpose. So select your holiday for its power to amaze. It’s great to know there’s ‘more out there’.
We all know that spas are intended to be healthy, but maybe you need more than a weekend. Plan a few days longer, and take advantage of any alternative healing methods that are on offer. Indulge yourself in massage, reflexology, acupuncture and a healthy diet. Make each day on your holiday one where you seek some form of physical healing. Hopefully you’ll return to find a few nagging ailments have disappeared.
A spiritual retreat is a wonderful way to spend your leisure time. This could take all sorts of forms, depending on your preference. If you tend towards nature worship, there are Druid wildwood retreats to enjoy. If your leanings are Buddhist, Christian or simple ‘New Age’ there are many alternatives that will expand your perception. Meditation, mindfulness and creative visualization will open your inner eyes, showing you new perspectives on yourself and life in general. Your holiday could bring you a personal awakening that will mean nothing ever seems quite the same again – in a good way!
Maybe none of the above fits it with your budget and requirements, so design your own healing break. Maybe you could spend one day walking, another having sauna and massage, another day learning something etc. This could work well as long as you’re ether very self-disciplined or have committed to this along with a friend or family member, for mutual motivation. The choice is yours – as long as your holiday takes you somewhere completely new, physically and mentally, you will come back energised.
We have looked at several ways to spend your holiday, being active, learning, adventuring, health-seeking and wisdom-seeking. You can also design your own therapeutic vacation. Possibly, however, the pressures on you are such that any holiday is just a dream. However, there’s one break you can give yourself and that’s a healing chat with one of our supportive Readers. Don’t delay, treat yourself today.
PUBLISHED: 17 August 2016