So, It's that time of year. Spring Break. Holiday Vacation.
Or is it? So many of us need a long awaited break from the hum drum of daily life and responsibilities. We look forward to "time off" or "time away".
Or, do we?
Remember, most of us have other things going on when we're not necessarily "on" for work or college or day-to-day responsibilities.
There's the nagging voice of the million other tasks waiting for us to come and meet them with a cheery smile.
There are people in our lives waiting to hear from us and there are little ones wanting our undividied attention and the excitement of time off.
So, how do we get through this ?
I'm going to take the time now to remind all of us that breaks are meant to be a time where we STOP. Where we get to be still.
To think and remember the WHY of our life.
Why do we work so hard?...
Why do we have people in our lives?...
Why are we looking for connections? ...
Why are we in college or trying to get that job?...
Why do we keep advancing in our profession?...
Why do we celebrate our promotion at work?...
Why do we make time for loved ones and nurture our loved ones?...
Why do we Cook and clean? ...
Why do we work on our patience and tolerance?...
Why do we want to accomplish that next task?...
If you don't know your WHY then you're spending your life spinning in circles. And hey, I know none of you wise individuals would ever want to live a life going in circles.
So, let's talk to the wisdom inside. Yes, that part.
We've created lives, or we are slowly paving out lives that feel right. Building a life that has some direction, some form of meaning, that we trust and hope will give us a sense of PURPOSE.
A sense of Value.
"I can love."
"I can be loved.
"I want to make a difference. "
"I want to feel good."
Yes, please let yourself be brutally honest here.
Don't we all want to feel good?
To sit down after a long day and feel like "That was a good day. I did a good job".
We are all raised to want to feel good. What does that even mean?
I think its fair to say that we are all selfish. We all want to feel good. And I use the word carefully, with all good meanings associated with that word.
And I don't mean selfish in a bad way. I believe we all need to have a healthy dose of selfishness in order to be people who show up for life. Who show up for ourselves and who show up for today and the tomorrow that will come.
We just want to use the selfish drive to self-nurture in order to bring us to the next level of movement. Of giving back to others. Of showing up for the life you want. The people you are looking to bring into your life. The people in your life already who you are seeking to get closer to, and who are seeking to feel more connected to you.
So yes, let's define our WHY.
What is YOUR why? Take a moment to think about what your reasons are. What pushes you through the long days? What keeps you going?
Here's what I've gotten from the myriad of people who've taken some time to sit with the question of "why".
"We are doing all of this to...."
To GIVE BACK.
To MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
SO, please give yourself the gift of prioritizing this time. What is your "why"?
Can you take the the vacation and holiday season that's here to refresh, to "spring clean", all essentially to slow us down, clean out the clutter and remind ourselves of why we are who we are.
Clean up the extra "stuff" so that the important items, goals, realities and vision stand out. Give them the space to shine brighter, and to redefine how to prioritize and integrate these visions, and goals.
Think about why were are headed to where we are headed and HOW to make today more meaningful than yesterday.
And please, take the pressure off of yourself.
It's not about feeling at edge or feeling like you just can't do, be or give enough.
It's exactly the opposite.
It's all about slowing down.
Feeling the beauty that this time has to give.
Its about cleansing our inner critical voices that come in the way of living lives we want to live.
Lives of inner clarity.
Lives of direction.
Lives of purpose.
And the way we do that is by lowering the pressure, stopping to compare ourselves and listening to that voice of why we are doing what we are doing.
On that note, I've come up with 3 pointers that are helpful maximing this time so that you can lean in to the lessons, and not only survive, but essentially thriving over this vacation and holiday season.
1. Set a SCHEDULE
Yes, I know I know we all like to have lazy days and days without alarms. But, It's so important to have structure and create some kind of movement. Too much sitting around, too much thinking, too much of doing nothing promotes "yucky, stuck feelings". And none of us like those.
Get out of bed by a certain time. Get out of PJS (or those dresses that feel like PJs :) and put yourself together. You deserve to feel good. It'll make you in a better mood, I promise!
Set one or two things for the day. Be more present with your children. Take a few moments to check in and connect with your partner. Commit to reading that chapter youve been pushing off. Take 5-10 min to stretch, do a yoga pose or just dig your feet into a soft fluffy rug. Feel yourself in the moment of calm. Of the noise lessening. Of today.
And remember to take care of your body. No neglecting yourself. Eat well, 3 meals, healthy snacks, movement and normal bedtime routine with enough hours of sleep.
2. Add Self-Care To the TO-DO List.
Over Vacations or Breaks we tend to think we will get our laundry list of "To Do Things" done. First of all, please set realistic expectations for what can and cannot get done over a few days off. Next, please add a self care activity to the TOP of the list.
Yes, the top. Before you dig in, give yourself a little time to energize. Call a buddy. Go for lunch with a girlfriend. Get a massage. Have someone help around the house so you can read a book with a warm cup of tea. Something to make that list more manageable.
Also, blend self care activities into the list of things to do. So, after every few checks on that list, do something for you. Get your favorite coffee. Take a 5 minute mediation break. Sit outside in the grass. Listen to a "feel-good " song.
Something, anything. Just blend "me-time" into that list.
3. Be Intentional about WHO you Spend time with.
Yes, some of us (many of us) have obligations. Family or friends who we have to meet up with. If it feels like an obligation it probably isnt the most enjoyable visit :) So, do what you need to to take care of you . Go for a limited amount of time, decide which topics you will discuss, and which are heated topics best to be kept on the shelf, and enjoy the moments of connection that are meaningful. Remember to nurture relationships that have been there and will be there for you and your family. Take the good, set limits around the challenging.
And, make sure to schedule some time with those of your friends or family that you truly enjoy being with. Those people you can just be so YOU. Surround yourself with others who support you, your life and the choices you make. We all have people who believe in us. Stick with those people so that this time feels really good !
Overall, just be sure to take it easy. Flow compassion. Know that most of the time things don't go exactly as planned, so have a good outlook on things. Sometimes things go better than expected. And sometimes they don't go as well.
Do your best to ride those waves. Remember, these are the times we create memories. Connections. Love. Relationships. Just Being.
Sending you a relaxing and joy filled, energizing vacation and holiday!