Last week I had a wonderful 4-night break in a log cabin with amazing views. Despite being below baseline for 2 weeks before hand, and being rather overwhelmed by the travel day, I had a wonderful time and felt amazingly well.
Despite relaxing with a little gentle yoga on arrival and going to bed really early, I didn’t sleep wonderfully that first night, so I was a little concerned that a major crash was on its way, but I chose to ignore that thought and just be present in the moment. I was in a very beautiful place, and I felt content that if I did crash, I could just relax and enjoy being there.
The next I had a very gentle day. We had a slow morning and decided to have a drive out to a viewpoint and have a picnic lunch. I had a very short walk into a forest and felt exhilarated by the beauty of being there. I did a really nice meditation when we got back and had a long afternoon rest. I let go completely of all thoughts of work and social media and didn’t even open my computer that day. My friend cooked dinner that night too, while I sat outside enjoying the view and reading. I was already feeling a lot better than I had been and couldn’t believe that I was doing so well, so I had another early night.
The following day, I woke up really early, it was damp and misty but everything looked so beautiful I was tempted to have a short walk around the grounds, taking pictures before breakfast. Later in the morning, we went in search of a woodland adventure and the universe didn’t let us down. Although I chose to walk just a little further than I normally manage without a crash, I chose to believe that if I took it slowly and stayed relaxed, I would be fine. I walked 400m with my friend before turning back whilst she continued to do a 2km circuit. I had so much fun appreciating nature, taking pictures and a little video of a waterfall, that I only got back to the car about 2 minutes before my friend. I pretty much stuck to my normal routine for the rest of the day, but instead of a bit of Netflix in the evening I played a board game with my friend.
On the last full day, we also had another morning trip out in search of woodland, where I walked a little further again, trusting that all would be fine if I took it easy and listened to my body. I also had another wander around the property, late afternoon after my afternoon rest. At the end of that day, I found that I’d walked over 5,000 steps, and yet I still felt fine.
On our return journey we had another amazing forest adventure. Again, I walked a little further than normal and even though I was a little tired once I got home, I took it easy and the following day I still felt a lot better than I had done before my holiday. I was also able to get the work I needed to get done, done, without any sense of pressure or exertion.
All in all, I’ve been amazed at how much I was able to do and how well I felt, so I’ve been reflecting on how being on holiday was different from my day to day at home, and how I could bring more of that into home life.
Gratitude and appreciation energise
Before I went away, the weather forecast for our break was constant rain and although I’d wanted to have a woodland retreat, I’d realised that we weren’t as close to accessible woodland as I’d thought when I booked. However, I made a commitment to myself to enjoy the break and be appreciative of everything I could find to be appreciative of. It was far easier than I thought but I stayed mindful of offering appreciation everywhere I could. I’m convinced that the joyful appreciative state of my emotions, energised my body. Now, the challenge is to keep that state in day-to-day life!
Letting go of all pressure makes a huge difference to energy
Another thing that was different on holiday was that I let go of all pressure. My lovely friend was perfectly happy to go with my flow, so we only did things together when they felt good for me to do. I also left behind all thoughts of my work (apart from 2 hours when I ran my weekly groups). Although I love my work, I can find I put a little pressure on myself to achieve, especially around social media and marketing. Letting go of all of that for my time away seemed to free up an enormous amount of energy, that was very healing.
Physical things don’t cost nearly as much energy as pressure
While I was out and about, I decided I wouldn’t hold my activity back to the levels which I knew were sustainable. I walked a bit further when I felt good and just soaked up the experience of being in nature. On two consecutive days, I did two short walks. On the second I found that I’d done 2.5 times the number of steps I would usually do in the day, and I didn’t crash afterwards. This fits with another holiday experience I had 5 years ago where I was able to build up my swimming substantially, throughout the week I was there. Without pressure, physical functioning can improve very quickly!
Choosing to believe that you will be OK and being present with what is, frees you to be as well as possible.
Whilst I was away, I chose to believe that I was replenishing. I decided to listen to my body on a moment-to-moment basis and make decisions about what to do based how it felt, and not on past experience. When I had a thought that maybe I’d done too much, I just told myself to relax and enjoy and wait and see. I told myself that I could rest up and get over it if I had. Just as long as I was relaxed and joyful, I believed that I was doing the best for my wellbeing. I chose to trust that I was healing.
I now feel very excited about the magic of combining belief, trust and appreciation with a lack of pressure. It’s great to have the evidence for how well they worked together, and I’ve been able to apply them with enthusiasm again this week with great results. My functioning has been better than it has been for a long time. Long may it continue!