Do you need a holiday from your life ?
or, would you rather enjoy every day, and not need a break from it.
Definition of a holiday
“A time devoted to leisure or rest, off from your job, and usually away from your home.”
Do you feel like you need a holiday from your life, or would you rather enjoy it every day and not have to feel desperate for a break from it?
I get the educational benefits of travelling to see other cultures, or travelling to see family and friends, or the longing to feel the warmth of the sun on your body in a healthy way. But these feel like wants rather than needs.
So don’t be fooled… holidays that you feel you need, can be over-rated. They don’t last long enough, and they don’t always deliver. That can be as much to do with expectation that it will be perfect and fix everything.
So here’s a plan…
1. Set yourself up so you do a job that is something you want to wake up and do – even if you’re on holiday !
2. Live every day in a way that allows you to get the rest and play you need.
3. Find happiness in the little things, in yourself and in your relationships.
4. Feel at home, no matter where you are.
Then you won’t feel like you need a holiday from it … right !
This got me thinking…
We haven’t even felt the need for a big holiday treat for years.
Why? And. How?
Does that mean we don’t need to de-stress in a big way, and have enough energy and fun ?
How have we managed to create a life that means we don’t ever think about taking holiday from it ! Unusually, I started to look back to where we used to be, and the changes we made. Read on for the back story, and then the 7 steps we took to get here.
Inspiration for this post
This Coronavirus has a lot to answer for ! It’s given us all time to stop and think, and listen to what others are saying. Holidays seem to be a big topic.
The physical challenge
It looks like so many people can’t wait till this covid pandemic lockdown is over, so that they can go on holiday. Some are worried they’ll even miss their holiday (or holidays ! ) this year. It makes us realise how so many people are now pushed to the limit, so of course they can’t wait till the time when they can get to escape literally, to take the pressure off. We probably all find it easier to understand for those physically on the front line, but it can feel harder to justify for the majority of us that are told to just stay at home during this pandemic, and do nothing !
The mental challenge
Doing nothing however, isn’t so easy for everyone, mentally. Personally, I like to work all the time, which is a great distraction, but that isn’t the best long-term solution either. Again, we all need a balance.
A holiday, or a break, isn’t going to fix big problems, but it’s good to be aware of when you need a little break to tweak… to get the balance back before it gets out of hand. Usually, we’d go to the beach, or go out for a meal or to the cinema. We’d talk to other people, and we’d feel refreshed. But none of that has been on offer during lockdown.
Now that lockdown is opening up a little, it’s a bit scary for me as I feel vulnerable with both lungs damaged post pneumonia. We can get out a bit now ( with rules !) but we don’t have our friends or family close by, and it’s not as easy to strike up a conversation when you are all social distancing. If someone doesn’t social distance, I run a mile ! Coincidentally all this has hit us today, as mental health week ends. We’ve realised we’re getting off balance, and need a good tweak. Paul just suggested a wee break, now that we can go out from tomorrow Hahahaha a holiday you might say, how come, if we’re living our dream life !
True, but we’ve noticed that the more ‘true’ to ourselves we have become, the more we feel we’re living our best life. The more we live our best life, the faster we notice when things go off balance. And it comes up sharp ! Life feels out of sync. and uneasy, pretty fast, but it never lasts long because we just can’t go on till we address it. We have to fix it as fast as we can ! So this week we might hire a car, and move around the island for a few days now that we’re allowed ( with a mask on 😉 and try to get the balance back. In fact, as I write this, things already feel so much better ! Just addressing the need to re-balance can fix things for us now !
If we do go out, I’ll bet we’ll be doing as many foodie things we can though. We can’t get away from what we really love to do too. I’ll report back to you when we come home.
The back story.
What we used to do.
When we were both in corporate careers, and used to really look forward to our annual holiday so we could just stop, relax, and pamper ourselves. At that time, we saw our holiday as a treat to refresh the batteries. We‘ve been through many years when we just didn’t have time to take a proper break, so mini breaks and other distractions gave us our ‘holiday’ to refresh.
We used to see these as luxuries if we could afford it, if we were lucky once a year. But now, we all have so many choices, that life has become complicated and hard to keep up with. So now holidays also have become expected, in all sorts of short and long forms, and much much more often than once a year. They seem to be a necessity just for most people to get through life.
It just doesn’t seem right that you have to live a daily life that you need to keep taking a break away from. So I got to thinking how did we manage to break away from all that.
So what did we do to get here, and how can you create a life you don’t need to take a holiday from ?
It’s just over 20 years now since we made our very first break from ‘normal’ living, when we went to live in Hong Kong for 3 years. We decided to change our lives to make sure we were living to work rather than working to live.
So we came back to the UK in the year 2000, and our first adventure began.
We had our new professional photography careers, then our boutique hotel and spa, then the fine dining restaurant. Every one grew so well for us and became a great success. We worked hard and felt very fortunate.
The final piece came when we started working with a business mentor again and were digging deeper into our ‘brand’ if you like. Who we were, how we did things, and why. Once we had simplified that, we didn’t stop. We wanted to simplify everything !
7 steps to simply living more
20 years, and a few adventures later, every day is still a new day, and I’d like to think we’re getting it finally. If I were to summarise, we did it through a mixture of these 7 steps. I’ve put them in an order for a reason !
Simplify, and make space – in your home, your mind, your time, your relationships.
Focus on the most important things – you, your friends, family, and community.
Make it a habit to take good care of yourself.
Be realistic, not idealistic so you can deal with the imperfections of life.
Stay positive, and thankful – don’t compare with others.
Find little things that give you joy and make you smile and do them every day.
Have a purpose when it comes to your work. Make your job something you get up every morning to do, even if you were on holiday !
We did it over time, some in baby steps, some with massive leaps. Some were handed to us on a platter – but careful what you wish for they say, as you don’t always get it in a way you imagined.
The biggest jumps give you confidence when you see it all works out, no matter what.
Our first thoughts were to do no. 7 , the ‘job’ , that was actually the work we just wanted to do every day. It was a big step… in the right direction. So we changed our life to work for ourselves and we thought we did it !
We loved both our jobs, and our clients so much. We had a ball. But we loved working so much that we let it take over our whole life.
Our mistake was to not take time to care of ourselves, or our own relationships. It was incredible how much we could get done ! We still tried to do too much even in our personal life. It wasn’t difficult because we loved it and we were very driven. We were choosing to do too much and choosing to own too much – we were really enjoying life but the cracks were beginning to show, and we had to keep addressing the balance.
That’s why I put the job / work part as number 7.
It’s so important to get right, but it didn’t work until everything else was in place for it to work. We realised that there are plenty of ways to work in a way that serves your purpose. Your purpose doesn’t ever change once you know it. We knew that no matter what business or even social event that we did, we would do it in the same way, for the same reasons. So your purpose will always be there.
By the time we got to this latest adventure, we were simplifying to the max. We then realised that we had to create space, in order to let our journey unfold ( rather than dictating it ).
We had to work hard on numbers 1, 2. Numbers 3 and 4 are tough, but no. 5 and 6 come more easily to us. You’ll also probably find some easier to do than others, but mix and match. Take it at a pace that works for you.
When we started to simplify, we were getting the space we needed to feel free. During the process, ( they say careful what you wish for !) , we changed, opportunities arose, and we had the space in our heads to allow life to unfold.
Our life is both perfectly imperfect, and imperfectly perfect.
It’s not about the future for us, we focus each day on making life work. That’s all we have, and all we need. We put our trust in it.
If you can set it up each day so that you do a job that is your life work, in a way that you get enough rest and leisure, and are happy in yourself and your relationships, and your home, no matter what or where it is, it’s where you would rather be. You won’t feel desperate for a holiday from it right !
What’s your story ?
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