If you only unplug on holiday you are just getting a short reprieve from stress, long term it does not help. Start building a daily practice to unwind.
We all look forward to taking a holiday, I often see the insta accounts of holiday companies showing us how us to unplug offering meditation, sunset beach walks, trail rides, luxurious spas, wellness programs, massages and great food.
The point of a holiday is to relax, unwind and de-stress though I have to ask why are we not doing that every day, why do we need to wait for a week or two every year just to have fun. I just do not think that is good for our long term health.
During the festive holiday seasons, especially in the US between Thanksgiving and Christmas we know for many it can actually be very stressful, financially and emotionally. Trying to fit in as many friends and family as possible, it can also be a time where difficult relationships are exposed once again. If you have a wonderful family and great friends we can experience stress other ways such as travel which is well known to deplete our energy, having to complete a mountain of tasks at work before finally switching off the computer, if you ever manage that in today’s world and finally taking a breath.
But what for? A few days of fun before returning to the same mess that was there before. That is not unplugging just a temporary reprieve from the daily grind of life. It does not have to be that way, it should not be that way.
I remember many decades ago when with a group of friends we would drive down from London to St Tropez in the South of France for 2 weeks holiday, that time was the first we were all working and getting paid to vacation, it felt amazing. Though one of our friends an investment banker would call in to work each day to check in on things – it is not taking a break where your mind is still attached to the stress triggers which long term cause burnout and anxiety.
How many times do we see other vacationers with their phones glued to their ears, always pacing up and down in deep conversation.
Where I now live in the Hunter Valley in Australia, home to horses and wine, it is a big tourist attraction. Every Thursday groups of families and friends descend on our peaceful haven to ‘get away’ from their busy city lives.
You can spot them a mile away, charging around in their cars, honking their horns and generally being in a hurry to go somewhere, there is certainly no tranquility for their mind or body. I watched a group of women a few weeks ago enjoying what should have been a glorious early morning stroll through the parkland with the sun rising and the birds singing. What were they doing, well there were 7 of them all walking and staring at their phones.
So if that is you and that is your life, the question is why wait for a holiday to relax when even that is hard to pull off. If you really want to restore energy to your mind, body and soul and re-invigorate your life then while wellness holiday retreats are beautiful don’t allow that experience to be short lived.
We know from neuroscience, just spend a few minutes with Heartmath or Dr Joe Dispenza, that when we align our heart and mind we develop a coherence that allows us to tap into our creative and intuitive self, to receive the wonders of the Universe, to experience joy, happiness, gratitude, excitement not just for a few fleeting minutes but sustainably whenever you want it.
We know that continuous exposure to traumatic and environmental stress, think long hours at work, toxic family and friends leads to a depleted immune system and then illness.
So the next time your family, friends and you decide to book a holiday then perhaps ask yourself first what are all of the things that I want to experience on that adventure and why am I not doing that every day when I am home. Those holiday memories may stay with you though the emotional release and restoration of energy will be short lived.
Start a daily practice to slow down, reflect, recalibrate and feel gratitude and excitement. Ask yourself how you feel at the beginning of each day, what do you need to do to get to a place where you are functioning optimally not just at work but life as well. Ask yourself what choices did you make which led you to feeling the way you do and then make a conscious choice to change them. Switch off from social media, tv and news for an hour day at least.
Then when you take that holiday you will experience it entirely differently, as you will already know how to unplug mentally and emotionally whenever you want.