Give me a break!
by Jacquie Wise
Sometimes we don’t believe we’ll feel rested unless we can escape to some beach for two weeks. You don’t have to have a long break to feel rested. There are many smaller ways to recharge your batteries.
Try ‘running away from home’! I like to ‘run away’, sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend. ‘Running away’ means different things:
Sometimes it’s doing something you don’t often get the chance to do. It might be something as mundane as window-shopping, but it’s always something fun.
Pottering around at home can be a holiday for you if you don’t often get a chance to do it.
Sometimes it means doing something that’s totally different, perhaps something you’ve never done before. It can be just for one afternoon, but it feels like so much more.
The last time I ran away for a whole day, a friend of mine invited me to join her at her family’s beachside house for a weekend. We arrived one evening and enjoyed a good giggle over wine and pizza. The following day, we spent the morning at a spa where we each had a massage. By the time we drove home that afternoon, I felt rejuvenated and it lasted for weeks afterwards. I’ve decided to go down for just one day to repeat the pampering experience now and then.
Are you bored? Maybe your work (or your whole life) is low-stress and mundane. You might need to do something exciting to alleviate boredom. Work out what adventure means to you, then book your time to make room for it.
Or if your job involves a lot of drama and stress, your best holiday might well be the opposite: relaxing on a beach.
Find ways to make tedium more enjoyable. If you can’t run away from your chores, do the ironing in front of a favourite tv show, or play dance music as you tidy up the house. Get a friend to help you with your chores, then help them. Teamwork is motivating as well as uplifting.
Commit to making time for yourself, not because you feel you should, but because you want to feel relaxed and recharged.
I was having a conversation with one client who says she can’t easily catch up with any of her friends, because they all have families and find it difficult to get away. When I suggested that she book a date with her friend well in advance, she said she preferred to be spontaneous and didn’t like to plan to have fun.
I get that. But booking a date in advance doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous about what you do on that day. At least you create the chance to ‘run away’. Otherwise, when you feel like some spontaneous fun, you can’t find anyone to share it with you, so you end up not ever doing anything.
You need to leave time for your mind to daydream. When did you last have a long bubble bath, or lie on the grass and watch the clouds drift by, whether alone or with someone?
When you’re in a new environment, you can think more clearly. In a new environment, you don’t have the distractions of home and the energy around you will be different. That’s why so many people make life-changing decisions when they’re away.
If you are going away on a longer holiday, give yourself a couple of days at home when you return, to wind up again slowly before you go back to work.
Take lots of photographs, because chuckling over memories gives you the chance to enjoy the same event many times over.
Book in small breaks throughout the year—they can be more rejuvenating than a long holiday.
Be realistic about how many activities you can really enjoy in a short time of leave. If you cram too much into your schedule you’ll end up feeling more exhausted than when you started. That’s why so many of us cringe at the Christmas season. We squash into a short month all the catching up we needed to be doing throughout the year.
Go for a drive for a day and park in a new environment, and take your journal with you. The different environment often shifts something to allow you to think much more clearly.
It’s likely you can never think of what to do when the opportunity arises, if you’re not used to relaxing. Try creating a ‘fun list’ through the year. Just write down ideas of things to do or places to go that appeal, whenever you come across them, perhaps in newspaper ads and reviews.
Keep each idea on a separate scrap of paper in a jar and pick one out whenever you feel like doing something. If you’re not in the mood to do the thing you picked out, pick another.
Don’t be satisfied with living your life in ‘One day…’
Live your best life now, one day at a time.
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