I always take time to reflect at the end of a busy period in my life but I haven’t spent much time reflecting at the end of a holiday period before. After this year’s festive break, I thought it might be useful to reflect on the downtime too. Here are a few of the things that I’ve found…
Naps are awesome. I occasionally manage to squeeze one in one weekends but over the last couple of weeks I have had an afternoon nap pretty much every other day and always before a night out (we’re still allowed those in Andorra!). Naps have been shown to help reduce stress, improve mood and increase alertness and it certainly helps for me. The key is not sleeping for too long. 30 minutes does the trick!
Daily yoga is really good for me, physically and mentally. When I’m not working I find it really easy to get into the routine of doing 30 minutes of yoga every morning and I reap the benefits, especially when I’m skiing most days. Like skiing, I find yoga keep em out of my head and very present as I focus on the moves. I finish each session feeling calm and a little stronger. The challenge is now to keep this going into real life. So I have planned shorter sessions into my calendar and will endeavour to keep going every day. Namaste.
Not drinking doesn’t reduce the fun. I’ve only had a glass or two of champagne over this holiday period (only because I have to limit my intake with the acne medication I’m taking at the moment) and it really hasn’t changed how much I enjoyed any party or dinner. In fact, I’ve been happier at the end of the night as I could drive home and felt fresh – and up for doing yoga – every morning. I’m not planning to drink at all in the near future, except some champagne on my birthday. If I’m limiting it, I’ll be limiting it to the good stuff. I have also discovered that alcohol is not responsible for my festive weight gain – goodbye, cheese.
Time on my own is important. I’ve known this for a while but in my enthusiasm to spend lots of time on the ski slopes with my sons and lots of time with friends, I forgot to schedule in much time for myself. Hence naptime and yoga time were precious! I have already scheduled in some time for myself this week to just be by myself. Know what you need to be your best self and take it – every one around me enjoys me much more when I have some time to myself.
Voice notes are better than Christmas cards. My parents still haven’t received their Christmas parcel from us – the Andorran post is hit and miss! So, I don’t bother to send cards any more. This year, however, I decide to send Whatsapp messages to friends I haven’t been in touch with for a while. As I got further down the list and tired of typing, I decided it was easier to record a voice note. And the messages I got back made me cry. Taking a minute to record a message and send it to a friend is an easy thing to do, was clearly values by them and made me feel good too. Try it!
Growth mindset really helps at the top of a red run. My skiing journey since moving to Andorra hasn’t been smooth. Tearing two ligaments on week 5 of our first ski season here and being on crutches for 4 months might have put me off – a colleague recently asked me why at my age I had even thought about getting back on my skis (am I really that old? I mean, I still have acne!). I have since been what I would call a nervous skier but I do love it when I get going. So I keep on trying. Taking my time. Repeating the tips my ski instructor gave me as I deep breathe my way down a tricky slope, and enjoying the cheers from my sons when I make it in one piece. And little by little, I am getting stronger, more skilled and with that more confident. Just because I haven’t done it yet, doesn’t mean I can’t.
And it’s OK to say no thank you! – I have no intention of attempting a black run even if you tell me it’s really a red. I’ll find another way and meet you at the bottom!
What have you learned over these holidays? And how will you take that learning back into real life?