Don't be a loser on holiday!
Holiday means holiday. It’s a time to switch off, rest and relax. However, so many people come back from holiday more tired than when they left. It seems to me a “blue Monday” syndrome in large scale. How come is it so hard to just relax during time off and go back to the office recharged and full of energy?
Rest from and rest for
Normally we think of resting FROM something. We strive freedom from work, commitments, responsibilities, running a business, etc. But have you ever considered resting FOR something? This change of gestalt will help you re-consider how to spend your well-deserved time off work. It’s not just about avoiding certain things; it’s about creating the condition for relaxation to happen.
Just do nothing
We live in a doer culture where action is encouraged, praised and rewarded. This strong conditioning doesn’t help when it comes to relaxation. Even when you are on holiday, your doer attitude is in action. You may even feel guilty by just doing nothing. In addition, the mind is so overstimulated due to the fast paced modern lifestyle, that it’s hard to just scale down, change gear and let go. The thinking mind is always at work, planning, ruminating, analysing and having a full on inner debate. You just need to sit in silence for few minutes to notice this phenomenon.
Home or away?
In order to relax and enjoy your time off, you do not need necessarily to go far away to some exotic destination. No need of jet-lag, long hours on a flight, change of climate, food, etc. All this can be actually disorienting for your body and counterproductive. You can relax anywhere, anytime and for free. However, aim to be in nature. Just by being in nature, you will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and initiate a cascade of positive stimuli for your body/mind.
Meditation in nature is the key
When on holiday is your best chance to be outdoor. If you choose a beach holiday, try this: swim consciously. Pay attention to the temperature of the water and to your floating body relieved by the law of gravity; co-ordinate body movement with your breathe by counting how many strokes you complete before taking in more air. Look at your hands forming bubbles as they break through the water surface. Look at the horizon and the shining waves bathed by the sunlight. Swimming meditation is one of my favourite meditations. And if you like running, you can do the same by running consciously.
The idea is to radically change direction, from outwards to inwards. From social events, parties, gathering, group activity, and in fact any activity towards your inner world. Be with yourself and in nature. In our modern world we completely lost this connection with ourselves. We are constantly connected with the outside world and we forgot how to connect with our inner world.
Holiday is the best time to be with yourself. Rediscover this formula for relaxation and you will feel rejuvenated, energised, rested and more creative. Ready to go about your usual business but with an extra edge.