February 16, 2015

How to Make Every day feel Like a Vacation.

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Taking an annual overseas holiday has been a relished theme in my life over the last few years.

There’s something about these holidays that is magic for my soul. I get to experience true bliss; peace….nirvana…heaven. I always return home invigorated, refreshed, loving life and ready to take on the world.

My recent Thai holiday got me thinking. I want to experience this magical state of freedom, peace and exuberance everyday…not just when I’m away on holiday.

After all, it’s my God given right!

So, what is it about these overseas holidays that rocks my world? How can I reproduce this from the comfort of my own home? How I can capture the magic every day?

Being blissfully present.

My life at home is busy; to-do-lists, appointments and constant planning is a perpetual theme. It’s like ground hog day. When on holidays, the franticness is taken out of the equation and I allow myself to let go. There’s no mental juggling required. I easily slip into engaging in the present moment. Internal chatter gives way to tranquillity as my senses go into overdrive, soaking up the scenery, the culture, smells and tastes. I embrace stillness. Conversations last that little bit longer, I’m more patient and accepting and allow things to unfold without the continuous critique. Life is suddenly beautiful.

Enjoying guilt-free relaxation.

Without pressing daily commitments, it’s easier to let go. It’s all about relaxing, unwinding no stressing, no worrying…just happiness and blissing out. I indulge in activities that relax and nourish me. Reading, listening to music, paddling in the ocean, daydreaming whilst gazing at the sunset, even sleeping in. And the best thing is that it’s all guilt free. There are no responsibilities vying for my attention. Life changes gears, and my priority shifts to creating days of soothing, tranquil enjoyment.

Giving the “task-master” a break.

At home I have a plan for how I like to live my life…and it’s based on a little loving discipline. Work hard, stay focused, exercise at least five days a week, eat healthy foods, have alcohol free days, do my yoga, meditate etc. I have a plan because I know what I need to function at my best. If I slip up.I feel a little guilty (yep it’s a bit of a theme that I’m still working on).

Holidays are my ticket to let my hair down without any of the guilt. I’ve worked hard to get here and this is my reward. I can eat a little more, skip some training and have a few more cocktails without my bossy inner task master berating me. I allow myself permission to indulge in the experience without guilt robbing me of any pleasure. Phew…how liberating.

Enjoying spontaneity and adventure.

My holidays are built around adventure and spontaneity. My carefree and silly nature (which is often overshadowed by my Ms Responsible side) demands to be entertained. The child inside screams “I want to play.” The weight of decision making gives way to the frivolity of tossing a coin to decide how the day plays out. Frustration in getting lost gives way to amusement of stumbling across hidden treasures. Inhibitions effortlessly diffuse and suddenly I dare myself to push boundaries and be a little zany. A new place and absence of calendar is the perfect recipe for inviting in some spark.

Unplugging from technology. 

Holidays are supposed to be about unwinding and recharging. For me, that means unplugging. Most days I am connected to emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…and of course the phone. Technology has been revolutionary for communication, but being constantly available can be exhausting. It pushes us into “flight vs fight” mode, compelled to respond…instantly. When on holiday, there’s so much to do, see and experience, I easily give myself permission to switch my technology off. As a result I get rewarded with deep, genuine connection and rich experiences.

Everyday life can sometimes feel like being trapped on a hamster wheel. Our little legs work feverishly to keep pace with the unrelenting cadence of life. The responsibilities of marriage and mortgage, schedules and unforseen dramas; it seems that there little time for anything else. It’s easy to see how spending down time somewhere new can be invigorating for the mind, body and soul.

So the current challenge is this:

Now that I’m back at home, how can I bring the magic of holidays into my everyday life?

With a subtle change in perspective and a tweak in priority, we can all create this magic. We can carve out moments to tune into the here and now (heck there are mindfulness apps that train you to pay attention to the present moment). We can and should take time out in our days and weeks for down time, relaxation and doing those things we love.

We should reward ourselves regularly for who we are and all that we do…and it’s okay to do so with the absence of guilt. And maybe it’s okay to let go a little in the process; to reconnect with the child inside and have some fun along the way.

I may not be staring at palm trees and turquoise water all day long, but with a few small tweaks, it is possible to bring the beauty and serenity that we experience in our holidays into our everyday.



Buddhism Says Relax. 

Author: Donna Warr

Editor: Renée Picard 

Image: Andres Nieto Porras at Flickr

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