In this roller-coaster world that we live in nowadays, we are all caught up in the whirlwind of the ordinary busy-ness of our daily lives. This can dehumanise us to the point where we can easily cease to nurture our mind, body and soul. We forget to dedicate time to doing the things we enjoy, to pursue our passions.
That’s why we need to learn to treasure our free time. Holidays are the perfect opportunity to rediscover our inner selves, to follow our deep-seeded passions or take up new hobbies.
I encourage you to take a dynamic approach to your holiday and make the most of your time by living the life you would like to lead outside of the routine of your daily existence. While you’re on holiday, you’re free to reinvent yourself, leave your daily worries away and start anew. You no longer need to conform to the mundane demands and time limits imposed by your everyday life. You are the master of your own time and actions, so rule them wisely to unleash the best version of yourself. Govern yourself by your inner rules and continue to pursue the things you value.
The best way of to relax your mind is, paradoxically, to keep it active. If you spend your free time bathing in a state of idleness and indulgence, it will make you feel sluggish, lethargic – worse than when you came on holiday. To avoid this, take up the activities that would make you a better you or the things that you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time for. Perhaps, you’ve always wanted to take up a new sport, learn a new language, start writing a novel, discover new places or even organise your personal life better (sorting out your pile of digital photos & documents, organising your calendar etc.). Cherish this free time that you’ve earned for yourself. The list of things you can do truly is endless…
Treat each vacation like the unique holiday of a lifetime and seek to make the most of it. Here are my tips:
Exercise your body before you go on holiday and at the beginning of each day of holiday (if possible). There are two main benefits to this:
1. You can enjoy indulging in delicious meals
Eating more than you normally would, without feeling guilty or gaining weight. Exercising at the beginning of each day will help you burn the big feast from the night before and prepare your body for the breakfast buffet you are about to enjoy.
2. Exercising in the morning
It will fuel your body with energy and set your mind in the achievement mode. In this way, you are ready to make the most of the free day ahead of you, so you can relax and enjoy it as you wish.
Plan how you would like to spend your free day.
This will make your workout more enjoyable and make you look forward to starting your “holly” day. Then once you’ve finished exercising, write down the activities or adventures you planned on doing. This will remind you of all the things your mind and body want to pursue, keeping yourself on track, relieving any sense of overwhelm that may arise from too many ideas cluttering your mind.
Make a list of the things you would like to do on each day of holiday.
(dare I say accomplish?)
Then, think of the best order in which to do all the things you want to do. For example, if you are keen to do a series of various things (such as, catching up on your reading, writing up in your blog, sorting out your photos, taking up a sport, discovering new places, learning a new language, knitting, swimming and sunbathing etc.), but you only have a few days of holiday, then it’s best to think of a way to combine all these activities, so you can squeeze them all in your little free time. For example, start by doing the more physically intense activities, such as swimming or taking up new sport, followed by the more relaxing ones, such as blogging, reading, knitting, sorting out your photos or pampering yourself while relaxing and sunbathing. Similarly, if you are planning a day of exploration in nature, take the book with you, so you can read while you travel to the place or whilst taking a moment to rest after hiking.
Respect your normal sleeping hours.
On holiday, you might feel tempted to stay up late or party all night. This may be appealing at the beginning, but remember that if you do so, you won’t be able to enjoy the next day to the fullest. The last thing you want on holiday is to feel exhausted. So, try as much as possible to maintain your regular sleeping habits.
Structure your day and keep track of time.
Holidays are the only time you have to do the things that your heart and mind have been yearning to do throughout the entire working year. You’ve earned this time for yourself, but this time is still limited, so you need to use it wisely, if you want to be able to enjoy everything you wanted to.
We tend to lose track of time in the days when feel free from any commitments and then get to the end of the day wondering where the time has gone. That’s why I think it’s important to maintain the strategy of scheduling, allocating time to each activity you want to do and keeping a time log. This will enable you to plan your day well and cram in everything you’ve dreamed of doing for so long.
And finally, remember to have fun and enjoy each moment to the fullest.
This free time won’t come back until you are able to take the next holiday. If something doesn’t turn out as planned (e.g. it starts raining when you wanted to sunbathe or you missed the coach that was meant to take you to your adventure land), don’t get upset. With a smile on your face, look at the bright side – think of an alternative thing that you also wanted to do in that time. For example, if it’s raining while you are on a beach holiday, that means you can stay in and enjoy the hotel facilities, by relaxing at the spa or working out in the gym to burn the big meals you might have enjoyed until then.
Don’t let anything spoil your mood an good cheer whilst you are on holiday, because it’s the free time that you’ve earned for yourself. This free time that you’ve worked so hard to be able to enjoy is more precious than an all-inclusive Caribbean holiday. Because it’s so rare and easy to lose, this free time is pure luxury, so embrace it happily, try to live it to the fullest and don’t let anything spoil your gloriously good holiday.