2 (hours) for the price of 1 on the Isle of Wight

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Last weekend we spent a lovely couple of days on the Isle of Wight with my family. I booked Friday as holiday so we could travel down to Southampton and take the ferry before the weekend rush started.

It was my first day off work since Easter.

It wasn't long enough, but I sure needed the break.

During the trip, I started thinking about how much longer the days seem when you are out of your regular routine. It's not the first time I've felt like this on a holiday.

We arrived on the island at about 7pm on Friday and left at 2.30pm on Sunday and yet I felt I'd been there for days. A joke started that 1 'normal' hour is worth 2 on the Isle of Wight! And who doesn't love a 2 for the price of 1 deal?!

At the end of the weekend I felt calm and rested and ready for the week ahead.

You could argue that most of us get two days off a week in the form of Saturday and Sunday, but let's face it, that time is often spent catching up with ourselves after a week at work ~ washing, household admin, sleeping, the list goes on. And I'm sure that's not just me.

So how is it that time away feels so deliciously long? Is it because in shelving our regular routines we become more spontaneous, more open to doing new things and stop watching the clock so much? Or perhaps it's because when we're away from home we can't get drawn in to filling any spare moments with stuff that has been waiting to get done for ages? (clean fridge/touch up chipped paint on window/descale kettle, blah, blah, blah, I'm sure you know the drill!).

Whatever the case, I'm interesting in how I can prolong the BOGOF (buy one (hour) get one free) feeling once I'm back in my day-to-day.

Here are a few areas I plan to consider whenever I come back from time away:

Prioritise sleep
Everyone feels better after a string of decent nights. Going to bed half an hour earlier will make you more efficient the next day than if you stay up and plough through that thing you really want to get out of the way ~ I'm guilty as charged here, practically every night of the week.

Schedule chores AND rest time
I admit to being hopeless at this, inevitably ending up doing a series of housey things all day and before I know it's time to go to bed (or past time, see point above). Perhaps I'd get that stuff done more quickly if I blocked off time between to rest and do something I love? This is a toughy as we're not conditioned to 'allow' ourselves rest time ~ and I'm talking about lolling around kind of time, not charging to the gym or calling that friend you promised to get back to asap...

Usually being on holiday means getting outside and seeing different things (even when you're on a beach break), which brings perspective and, I find, wonderfully boosts creative spirit. Getting out for a 'destination-less' walk will calm your mind and help you to focus better when you get back to the things you need to do. Not to mention the health & fitness benefits...

Have some news/TV/email/social media downtime
I am also terrible at this! We've all been there ~ you sit down for a quick cup of tea and a browse of "a couple of things" online and before you know it several hours have passed. Pinterest I'm pointing a finger at you!! A break away with no Internet connection (gasp!) really puts this into perspective. Half a day or more of media switchoff at home will give you some mental breathing space.

Mindful living
In essence, all aspects of life become a pleasure and time will always be your friend if you do everything with a mindful awareness and enjoy it. Why do we make things into chores? Whoever invented the idea that ironing was work/boring/the worse thing ever? (I'm not saying it isn't, but I hope you see my point). Mindfulness is an ongoing journey and takes work, but when you make the effort the benefits are incredible.

I'm a do-er/achiever/completer-finisher type. Can't help it, I've always been like that and it's great on many levels. It's got me where I am today.

But writing this post makes me realise (again) that it's ok to stop the wheel and get off and that aiming to do this more often makes for a happier, relaxed life and better productivity in general. I'll be coming back to re-read what I've written in the next few weeks to remind myself of what I've learnt...

How do you prolong that holiday feeling?

Do you schedule time in your day to do things that you enjoy doing or are you quite good at being spontaneous?


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