Learn to take small steps to happiness and realise that even on your holiday you can progress your plans. The sun is out and it’s time to go on a holiday and take that lovely little break to wind down and relax. Holiday often marks a distinct change in our rhythm and as we are taking a break from work many people also think that on a holiday anything goes.
If holiday is about letting go of all daily requirements towards self, are we tempted to drop all our balls and sink into a state of unconscious existence where self care takes a second place? Or should we remain mindful of how we are investing in our wellbeing?
One of my favourite quote of all time is this one by Oscar Wilde:
“Everything in moderation. Including moderation.”
My interpretation is that sometimes you have to let your hair down and do things that aren’t necessarily good for you. I do this all the time, I live super heathy during the week and relax my self-care rules at weekends. But I find some people let go all good rules on holiday and use it almost as an excuse to indulge in over-eating, over-drinking and zero exercise, for instance, like it’s compulsory to disobey wellbeing.
When I go on a holiday I still want to function if not in my optimal state all the time, but close. I like to stay in a happy, alert place where I can enjoy the company of my family and friends and make the most out of our days together. And this is why I think it’s important to keep injecting the daily habits that keep me in a positive mindset and moving forward, even when I’m not necessarily thinking about my bigger life goals and conquering the world.
To inspire you to take those little small steps to happiness whilst on holiday, I’m sharing Dalai Lama’s ‘6 perfections for happiness‘ which for me act as a great checklist of little things I can do to keep my mindset on the upward spiral.
Dalai Lama’s 6 perfections for happiness
“For generosity, nothing to do, Other than stop fixating on self.
For morality, nothing to do, Other than stop being dishonest.
For patience, nothing to do, Other than not fear what is ultimately true.
For effort, nothing to do, Other than practise continuously.
For meditative stability, nothing to do, Other than rest in presence.
For wisdom, nothing to do, Other than know directly how things are.”
Let’s break these down to actionable steps:
How to keep a ‘giving’ mindset also on holiday? We often think that we have ‘deserved’ our holiday so it’s only for us to be in the receiving end. But holiday or not, I always try to approach any situation with mutual abundance in mind and see how I can ‘give’ before I receive. This can be simple things, such as not getting upset if the hotel has made a mistake in my dinner reservation. When you believe that the world is not out to get you, but you have so much to give, most situations look a lot less dramatic.
Morality is about developing discipline. For me it’s about being disciplined in one self and not to fool one self, which is very easy to do especially on a holiday. I don’t suggest you shouldn’t indulge on those pool side cocktails (I certainly do!), but I feel much happier in myself when I keep 50% of my fitness regime going and go for a run or do a yoga session every three days.
This is to develop tenacity and your ability to stay peacefully in any situation without jumping into conclusions or giving up when you face the first obstacle. A great one to practise during holidays as often family drama and conflicting preferences may push everyone’s buttons. Practise patience and observe yourself in a challenging situation. Are old patterns being played out or is ego stepping into the arena?
You may think that it is your ‘right’ not to practise self care during a holiday. And I agree that sometimes one needs a longer break from the civilisation. However, I believe there’s two ways to live one’s life. You can aim to be right or to win. I have all the right not to take care of myself whilst on a holiday, but I don’t think that will serve me on the long run. When you do what you love you will want to practise your craft at least a little bit also during holidays.
Being more present in the moment is definitely something we can all practise during holidays. I love meditating and I’ll be setting up my mat on top of a rock overlooking a lake in Finland. If you haven’t practised meditation before, now is a great time to start. I use Deepak Chopra‘s guided mediations (or the sounds of the forest when I’m on my rock), but there are many great apps to get you started.
This is about learning to replace self limiting beliefs with wisdom. Pick up a book that expands your mindset from the DrivenWoman recommended reading list. As I’m moving more and more from ‘doing’ into ‘being’ I’m keen to understand how my body already knows my purpose and guides me, and how I can better align with the rhythm of nature so I have picked a book about moon cycles as my summer reading.
Happy summer holidays and please share your happiness habits in the comments below.