For many of us returning to work means the end of the space simplicity and fun we had on holiday. But does this really need to be so?
I believe that with a new intention we can create a holiday feel to everyday life. To get your creative juices flowing I will share some ideas my clients and I are experimenting with.
One of the joys of camping is getting away from intrusive and addictive technology, so continue this by creating a daily technology-free time. At the very least turn the phone and TV off during dinner and enjoy connecting with your family, savouring the food, and eating dinner in peace.
Schedule white space
It is such an energising gift to know that you will always get some daily “me time”, where nothing is booked or planned. Use the waiting time around kids’ activities to read, walk or listen to music. Take a small detour on the way home from work and spend time by the river or park to unwind before domestic bedlam begins. Make the hour before bedtime spacious and do something to unwind and relax, so that you fall asleep easily. Find a way to nourish your senses every day. E.g. absorb a view, listen to uplifting music, or savour a piece of quality chocolate or a cup of tea. None of these activities take very long but they really replenish your energy.
Get out in nature
Enjoy the summer weather, by eating outside, it doesn’t take any longer, but it makes you feel in a holiday mood. Leave the office at lunchtime and lie under a tree and watch the clouds or insects in the grass. In the evenings, watch the sunset, play tennis, potter in the garden or walk around the block. In the weekends explore river walks or gullies on foot or bike. Getting outside does wonders for stress levels.
Create a list of achievable treats you can give yourself, and schedule these little pleasures into your week. Sing in the car while commuting; buy a flower or photo frame for your desk. In your lunch hour meet with a friend or visit an art gallery, new café, bookstore or library. After work take a fun class, play with your dog or kids, dance or sing while you cook or do housework.
Spending meaningful time with people whose company you enjoy, makes you feel connected energised and reminds you that there is more to life than work. So socialise all year around by making connecting and entertaining easy. Keep cooking to a minimum by inviting people for afternoon tea, dessert, takeaways or a potluck meal. Save time and combine socialising with an activity you are already doing, like tennis, golf, cycling or walking. Or invite friends to join you on an outing such as berry picking, going to a market, or attending an event at the summer garden festival.
Identify what aspects you love about being on holiday. How can you give yourself a taste of that in everyday life? Many of you will believe you can’t afford the time to follow these suggestions, but as my clients can testify these small changes reap huge returns and will reward you with increased energy, focus and joy.
Annemarie Coulson is a Hamilton-based life coach. She specialises in supporting struggling, sad or stressed clients to make choices and changes that lead to greater happiness and life balance. For more information visit www.lifecoacher.co.nz or phone 021 076 5450.