So spring is officially here, the weather is picking up and a definite wave of optimism is now slowly replacing the darkness we have lived under, both metaphorically and physically for the last few months.
According to some reports, holiday bookings have rocketed by over 600 percent since the launch of the Government’s “Roadmap out of lockdown” and staying closer to home, you only need to take a look at how busy our parks and public spaces were in the good weather of last weekend, to see how desperate we are to get on with some sort of life again.
Confidence or caution ?
So things are definitely looking up and we should be mindful of that, but this should also come with a degree of cautious respect, because whilst we are making considerable progress in fighting the pandemic we are not quite out of the woods just yet.
There is still some way to go before we can freely walk into a pub or a restaurant with a group of friends, or head off on a foreign holiday with the knowledge and confidence that we won’t have a significant penalty to pay for our time in the sun, and I’m sure none of us really fancy a hefty fine or another lockdown just yet!
So with that note of cautious respect in mind, how can we best manage our mindset now and in the few months that we must all navigate successfully, before we can take that much needed holiday we’ve been waiting such a long time for?
How does the idea of taking short “daily holidays’ sound?
They are really popular these days, you won’t need a passport or a vaccination certificate to book, there are no long queues at security, no last minute scrabble for a plastic bag for your deodorant and, it’s something the whole family can do, either together or as individuals.
And, they don’t cost a lot either, my 2 weeks cost me £15.
The concept is simple. Starting tomorrow, for the next 7 days, commit to taking just 30 minutes each day to take a short ‘daily holiday’.
There are just 4 simple rules to have in mind :
Rule #1 :
You have to ‘book’ a different activity for each day. You can’t repeat any activity within the 7 days.
Rule #2 :
Your daily holiday is a time to relax, to have a break, set aside any worries or distractions, and focus 100% on the holiday task in hand
Rule #3 :
Be present and make a conscious note of the benefits it brings.
Rule #4 :
At the end of each short ‘daily holiday’, take 5 minutes to plan tomorrow’s, then book it in and look forward to it.
If you live with others, encourage them to do the same and book your ‘daily holidays’ together as a family or individually. Either is good as long as you make a conscious effort to book them and commit to them.
I know it’s tempting at this stage to put this off and to not commit. I can already hear the chorus of “yeah, chance would be a fine thing!” but, in the absence of any other holidays at the moment, surely the management of our own mindset and of our own commitment to self care and recovery, is in our own hands?
So, seeing as we can’t go on a BIG holiday just yet, why not take lot’s of little ones?
And as for the “Yeah, chance would be a fine thing” approach. I’m self employed. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.
Here’s what I’ve done with my ‘ 30 minute daily holidays’ recently:
Learnt “New Shoes” by Paolo Nutini on guitar
Read “The Book Thief” by Markus Zuzak
Painted 4 garden chairs and some fence panels
Got up early and took a walk to watch the sunrise
Took a walk in the evening to watch the sunset
Listened to some old vinyl from the 80s
The benefits ?
It helps us to switch off.
It teaches us how to appreciate the positives in a day
And if practiced regularly, hopefully it will form into a longer term positive habit.
I spoke about this with Louise Stones on BBC Radio Stoke this week. I've added the clip below.
Have you booked yours yet?