Here come the summer holidays!!
As both a teacher and a mum of 3 school aged children, the cycle of term-time and holidays plays a huge role in my life. Recently, I’ve noticed around me how adult stress levels often get upped just before a holiday. It’s as if the holiday can become a deadline. We get really busy, trying to get through everything on our to-do lists, so that we can then pull out the plug and relax. While this makes perfect sense, as it’s hard to beat that fabulous feeling of relaxation, when we know we got to the end of that list. On the downside, it can make the lead up to a break quite stressful. I’ve definitely been guilty of thundering towards a holiday at full throttle, only to have to spend the first few days of it winding down again. It becomes all or nothing. The irony of stressing out to be able to do “nothing” and recharge.
It is so important to have breaks, whether we’re lucky enough to go away on a lovely holiday, or simply just to have a little time away from daily jobs and chores. But I think it can be hard if we see the breaks as our only time to recharge and fully relax. It can set us up with really high expectations. Perhaps we expect to feel 100% relaxed and recharged after our break, only to feel disappointed if things don’t quite go according to plan. It can also mean that we come to see our non-holiday time as secondary in some way; as a kind of waiting space until our next break or holiday. And this seems such a shame, as non-holiday time is, for most of us, the majority of our lives.
So maybe we can try to blur the lines a little between holiday and non-holiday time. Be a bit more mindful, so it becomes less all-or-nothing. How about inviting little pockets of holiday into our daily lives, to bring a little of what we are yearning for into our everyday? We can deliberately and mindfully allow ourselves moments of holiday-like relaxation, find everyday ways to recharge, experience little adventures in our non-holiday days.
Maybe we can also develop an awareness of how we are in the time leading up to a break? If we know we have a tendency to veer towards the frenetic, maybe we can experiment with being more openminded and less fixated on getting everything on our to-do list done. Maybe that list is actually unrealistic and could be edited? As long as we get through the essentials on it, maybe it’s possible that, even with an ‘unfinished’ or edited list, our break can still be fabulously restful and recharging. And we may even begin it less frazzled.
I’d love to hear any thoughts or ideas you have on this idea of blurring the lines between holiday and non-holiday. What are your experiences? Please share below in the comments. For example, how do you bring pockets of holiday into your daily life? How do you approach the days up to a break? It’s always inspiring to hear other people’s thoughts and experiences.
Thank you so much for joining me here.