You’ve worked incredibly hard to get where you are; all that energy and enthusiasm studying, working, sharing, and generally doing all you can to make life as fulfilling as possible for yourself and those around you. Hopefully, you’re now reaping the benefits of a rewarding career, and pursuing your interests, exploring the world of opportunities. As enjoyable as this can be, it also takes time and energy, which often means that looking after number one - that’s you – is less of a priority.
When vacation time finally arrives, you might feel the urge, to ‘make the most’ of your time off and push yourself to “get it all in.” Traveling gives so many options to explore the adventurous side of you. However, you might find yourself pressured to do things just because you can. Which can be great, of course, but can also leave you too exhausted to actually enjoy it and even more drained when the time comes to return to work. Seeming impossible to have a healthy balance between resting up and enjoying some holiday fun.
By building a routine of simple, nurturing self-care into your break, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, while creating healthy habits to continue once you’re back in the swing of the day to day routine. Taking a little quiet time out to simply be, rather than constantly be on the go, can have a significant effect on the rest of your life, giving you the mental space to live life to its fullest. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment, even just five minutes a day is enough to provide a moment of calm and clarity. Here are a few ideas for mindful moments that will help you breeze through that much-needed break with enjoyment, ease, and kindness to yourself:
#1: Music to the Ears
Make a playlist of tunes you love; familiar favorites you might have listened to thousands of times. Take some time to sit quietly, press play, and listen. But really listen. No multi-tasking, no checking messages. Nothing. Just listen to the music and take it all in. Notice the beat - is it fast or slow? Does it change? Listen to the pitch and tone of the singer’s voice. Listen to the words - what are they saying? What stories are being told? Feel the bass as it vibrates. Chances are you’ll discover things you’ve never noticed about songs you felt you knew inside out. An opportunity to quite literally tune in to your senses.
#2: Savor the Flavor
Make yourself a drink you enjoy, whether that’s a nice cup of herbal tea or something more adventurous. How does it look in your cup or glass? Notice the light as it shines off the surface. Take a sniff, how does it smell? Notice the way your taste buds react to the aroma. Finally, take a lingering sip and savor it… really taste it. Notice the sensations as it spreads across your tongue. A real feast for your senses.
#3: Your Personal Masseuse
A mini self-massage can do wonders for bringing you back to the here and now. Take a few moments to look at the palms of your hands. Notice their life-lines; their color, length, and the unique way they crisscross each other. Gently press your thumb into the opposite palm, drawing small circles in the center, before slowly moving around your hand in a circular motion. Massage across the heel of the palm, over the soft, fleshy base of the other thumb and along the base of your fingers. Move up each finger in turn until you reach the tip, giving each a gentle squeeze before moving on to the next. Notice the sensations you feel and take time to explore the texture of the skin. Swap and repeat, on the other hand, finishing off by softly rubbing the palms together and pausing for a few deep breaths before continuing with your day.
Easy, simple techniques you can do almost anywhere. Have fun trying them and see what works for you. You really owe this to yourself, so give yourself this break and see what a difference it can make. Rest up and enjoy.