A Guide to Self-Care and Rest During Your Holiday

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 plentiful as possible for yourself and those around you. Hopefully you’re now reaping the rewards with a fulfilling career, interests to enjoy, and the world of social opportunities that open up as a result of all of this. Yet as enjoyable as this can be, it also takes time and energy, which often means that looking after number one -that’s you -ends up at the bottom of the pile.

When holiday time finally arrives, you might feel the urge to keep going -albeit in a different way -to ‘make the most’ of your break. There are so many options out there for tapping in to your inner explorer, the sheer abundance of which can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. You might even feel a slight pressure that you ‘should’ do these things just because you can! That sense of obligation to fill your forthcoming free time sees you applying the same level of meticulous dedication and planning that you put in to the rest of your life, as you aim to squeeze every last drop out of that precious window. Which can be great, of course, but can also leave you too exhausted to actually enjoy it and even more drained when the times comes to return to work -none of which bodes well for being at your brilliant best. Yet it’s possible to strike a healthy balance between resting up and having some holiday fun.  

By building a routine of simple, nurturing self-care in to your break, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, whilst creating healthy habits to continue once you’re back in the swing of the day to day grind. Taking a little quiet time out to simply be, rather than constantly do can have a big effect on the rest of your life, giving you the mental space you need to live your life it to its fullest. The great news is that 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 to breeze through that longed-for break with enjoyment, ease and kindness to yourself:

#1: Music to the Ears

Make a playlist of tunes you love; familiar favourites 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 reverberates.The 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: Savour the Flavour

Make yourself a drink you enjoy, whether that’s a nice cup of herbal teaor something more adventurous. How does it look in your cup or glass? Notice the light as it glints 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 savour it... really taste it. Notice the sensations as the flavour spreads across your tongue. A true 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 looks at the palms of your hands. Notice their life-lines; their colour, length, and the curious way they criss-cross each other. Gently press your thumb in to the opposite palm, drawing small circles in the centre, 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 out and see what works for you. You really owe this to yourself, so give yourself this break that you so deserve and see what a difference it can make. Rest up and enjoy.

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