Most of us look forward to time ‘off’.
Holidays, breaks, spa days.
Instinctively, we know this stuff is good for us.
We relax, recharge, indulge in a little escapism
But why is it, when you think about it, that we arrange 50 weeks of the year full of things we have to do, that our ultimate dream is to NOT have to do them.
Take a break from the things that we have chosen to spend our time on.
Or find ourselves without an alternative.
Weird isn’t it?
When the early happy excitement of the job/the house/the family injects us like ‘motivation Viagra’ with energy and impetus.
As years go by, the repetition and (dare I say) mundaneness, erodes the joy.
There are only so many times you can fill in expenses forms/clean someone else’s poo off the toilet/sit in an identical daily traffic jam with any convincing degree of glee.
You don’t like to admit this.
So I’ll do it for you.
50 weeks a year, daily life can suck balls.
And it’s not your fault.
We’ve been talking about adding little snippets of happiness into your life at every opportunity but today we want to encourage you to ‘take things away’.
You’re trying to write a scintillating and intelligent email full of wisdom and wry humour…some builders are smashing up your kitchen, you’re being reminded every 10 minutes that we ‘still haven’t been to buy some new school shoes’, by the owner of the feet and someone JUST let you down on something really important.
Your mind in five places at once
(And there’s washing out and you need a wee)
Hard to concentrate.
But more than that, hard feel genuine happiness.
Science tells us that ‘distractedness’, lowers our mood – and its bigger sister; overwhelm, can lead to anxiety and depression.
The reason we crave the holiday is not just the break from the mundane – it’s the narrowing of our focus.
This, in turn, increases our happiness.
We discard the distractions
Losing ourselves in nature, splashing in the sea, the mountain views, the food, the feel of the sand under our feet, the faces of people we love.
Immersing ourselves completely, physically and mentally in the precise moment we inhabit.
And then the next one.
All of this without interruption, or your attention being fought for.
When you drill deep, you find that the part of the concept of ‘holiday’ that is so intoxicating – is the fact that your attention is absolutely unequivocally, yours.
And you don’t have to share unless you want to.
This is key
During those 50 weeks; work, family, relationships … life – stretch our concentration, focus and mental capability pretty much relentlessly.
And rather than aiming to remove the extra mental noise to calm things down… we tend to ADD to it – in an effort to block it out.
Most of us are never more than a few minutes from flicking on the TV, liking posts on Facebook, scrolling Instagram, checking emails, sending texts.
Playing with apps in waiting rooms, Netflix in departure lounges, podcasts at the park.
“Checking our phone before we speak to a human in the morning and last thing at night”.
In the 50 real-life weeks, we can fill every spare second with noise.
On holiday we enjoy the radio silence – tuning attention instead to the sounds of nature and of human connection
For 2 weeks of the year, we instinctively know how to simply be.
We remember what actually matters.
We know how to be happy.
Make grand plans for how things will be different after the inbound flight.
Then we go home and it ebbs away until a year later you really need a holiday.
So today we ask you to find when;
- you can cut out the noise
- you could say no (rather than a yes, you regret)
- the spaces exist… between the ‘musts’
- the opportunities are to pare down the busy-ness
- you can impose boundaries for your attention
- you should stop or let go
At the end of the longest, warmest Summer we can remember – we invite you to get into the REAL holiday spirit.
Clearing some space to relax and feel chilled every day.
Not to NEED a holiday – but to welcome one.
And reignite all the happiness that you deserve and that the overwhelm swallowed up.
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