I recently got back from a vacation and fell into a major post-vacay funk. As Canadians, we know how hard it can be to go from basking in the sunshine and breathing in the fresh ocean air to the hustle and bustle of an icy cold winter in the city. I knew I had to shake the post-vacation blues somehow so I took some time to reflect on what made me so happy while I was away. After giving it some thought I pinpointed one thing that I think made all the difference: I had slowed down. So, in an effort to bring some vacay vibes into my everyday life these are the little moments I’m focused on slowing down to enjoy each moment that I was experiencing.
I’m definitely not a morning person yet somehow every day while I’m on vacation I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed like some kind of Disney princess. Why? Because I know I don’t have to rush out the door. So, lately, I’ve been setting my alarm a little bit earlier. I put my coffee machine on auto so I wake up to the sweet, sweet sounds and smells of brewing caffeine. I pour it into my favorite mug and make a little frothy coconut milk to add to it. I spend some time cuddling with my pup and I leave my e-mails and text messages for a little later in the morning so I don’t get overwhelmed by my to-do list
Why does food taste so much better on vacation? Probably because we’re not shoving it down our throats as we race to our next meeting. That’s why I’ve tried to slow down my mealtime routine as well. As an added bonus, mindful eating can help you stay on track with maintaining a healthy diet. You’ll probably find yourself reaching for healthier options and avoiding quick fixes to cravings that tend to emerge when we’re feeling stressed and tired.
No one wants a treadmill minute to go by any slower than it already does. I hear that. But, it’s important to remember that getting to move your body is a privilege. When you start thinking violent thoughts about your trainer or instructor (we’ve all been there). Take a deep breath and shift your focus. Before you race out of the studio and move on to the next part of your day, take time to stretch and feel all those awesome endorphins flooding your body. Even just a few minutes of post-workout mindfulness can transform your experience and the rest of your day.
Conversations With Loved Ones
Life is short. One thing I really loved about my vacation was having the chance to sit and talk with my mom, my brother, and his partner. It was so nice to have the opportunity to reconnect with the people that mean the most to me. We shouldn’t have to wait until we take a vacation to do this. So, next time you make a coffee date with a friend, have a date night with your partner or visit your family, embrace it. Put your phone away, check-in with the people in your circle and be present. Forget about the other things you could be doing, that nagging to-do list can wait!
When I’m on vacation, I sleep like a baby. When I’m home, insomnia is my middle name. So, slowing down before bed has definitely been my biggest challenge. One strategy I’ve been using lately is the brain dump. I check in on everything I accomplished for the day, I think about what I need to get done the following day and I schedule out my time in iCal. Then, I put my to-do list to bed and try my best to enjoy some tech-free time. This isn’t foolproof, there are many nights I still find myself tossing and turning but, I’m slowly making progress.
Making it through the tail-end of the winter in Canada is no easy feat. So, take some time to embrace the small, everyday moments that bring you joy and hold on tight. Sunnier days are ahead!