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How I transformed my well-being on a family holiday


well-being scene on holiday

It’s the end of July, school’s out for summer and you’re off on your family holiday on Monday. You’ve been looking forward to getting away for what feels like forever and you’ve been making sure you’ve got everything sorted from beachwear to books and everything in between. And while you’re looking forward to spending that sought after ‘quality time’ with your family, your nerves are pretty frazzled and you’re craving some time by yourself to recharge your batteries in peace and quiet. It seems an impossible ask and you feel a quiet sense of guilt for thinking that you could have some you time away from the family.


But wait!


What would happen if you did carve out some time to recharge so that you could be the best version of you while away?


I guess you’re reading this blog right now because you’re wondering how it’s possible and rest assured there IS a way to have a lovely family holiday AND look after your own well-being at the same time.


I know because I’ve tried and tested it out a few weeks ago and I’m here to share my top tips to ensure that you recharge your own batteries properly while on holiday this year.


So pop the kettle on, make your favourite cup of tea and keep reading to learn how you have the power to make your well-being a priority on your next holiday with these six steps:


Before you leave

(Don’t skip this part.....planning is the most important part to ensure that other things don’t take priority!)


1. Have a think

Before you go, take some time to figure out what you need right now. Not your partner, kids or friends...YOU.


Do you crave time alone on the sofa to get lost in the latest fiction novel?


Or does your achy body crave a massage?


Do you need to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper?

plan your holiday well-being

Whatever it is, write it down and have a think about why you need that time out for yourself.


How will it impact your time as a family?


How will it make you feel? Less stressed? More patient?


For me, my first priority was to get my meditation practice back on track, as it had been reduced to a few minutes here and there and I could feel that I was quick to fly off the handle at silly everyday things, which I knew was a sign that i needed more time in quiet stillness. So I wanted to use my holiday as a clean slate and get back into a daily practice.


My second priority was to take a yoga class, where I could be a student and not the teacher for once! My previously regular habit had slipped with the busy demands of a young baby and I craved some time on my mat just for me. I knew from experience how much meditation and yoga help me stay sane and I desperately needed to make my practice more consistent.


2. Explain


Next, it’s time to tell whoever you’re going with, partner or friends, how you are feeling and what you really need. If it’s half an hour each morning to yourself without being interrupted, explain why you really need this to your travel buddies. You’ll probably be amazed by the support you get!


If you’re unsure how to start, use these 3 sentence starters to help:


· At the moment I’m feeling (stressed / depleted / anxious / unhealthy)


· I need (to take an exercise class / some time alone each morning)


· This will help me to (be more patient with you all / really enjoy our time together)


For me, this was pretty easy as my husband was well aware that I needed some me time. I knew that his time to nurture his hobbies had been limited recently so we decided that we’d both have some time where we could recharge our batteries. For me it was meditation and yoga, for him it was an adrenaline fuelled bike ride around the nearby mountains. An example of how we all need something different! By deciding beforehand our plans, we made sure we both had the right stuff with us to make it happen (although my husband did forget his bike helmet but we made it happen with the help of the amazing staff at Alpkit who lent him one).


3. Get googling!

Now it’s time to research where you’re going and see what’s on offer. If you crave a solo wild swim, have a look what’s nearby or join the Facebook group for the area and ask the locals.


When you’ve found what you’re looking for, book in for the class or schedule in a time during the holiday for it to happen (this way, time won’t get eaten up by other stuff and you’ll make sure you get your time to recharge).


research holiday activities

My research led me to the most beautiful yoga studio on the edge of Lake Windermere. I booked myself onto a class before I’d even left for holiday, meaning that it was scheduled into our week away, all paid for and something great to look forward to.


My meditation practice was scheduled in for each morning during baby’s first nap when my husband would be in charge of the baby monitor and I could sit in stillness safe in the knowledge that everyone was looked after.


While you’re on holiday:


4. Change the mundane

As the saying goes, change is as good as a holiday and the change from your usual routine is probably one of the most important aspects of taking a holiday. While you won’t be logging onto your laptop each morning, some of your normal day to day tasks may stay the same while you’re away, especially if you are self-catering. So here are some ideas to spruce up those mundane tasks to make your time away feel that little bit more special:

meal preparation on holiday

· If you’re self-catering and can’t bear the thought of coming up with answers to the dreaded question of “What’s for tea tonight?”, why not book a meal prep service for the week in advance so that you don’t have to worry about doing the food shopping or finding new recipes? The ingredients will come to you already for you to follow the instructions and deliver tasty meals while you’re away.


· If you want to drink more water, get a big jug filled with cucumber or mint and keep it topped up with water so that it’s on hand and easy to drink? It’s about making what you need easy to achieve!


· Make your first drink of the day a special ritual. Buy some loose leaf tea to take with you instead of your normal tea bags or switch up the instant coffee for proper coffee beans and take a cafetière with you. Perhaps even spend the time writing a gratitude list while enjoying the first sips of the day. You'll be amazed at how this will set you up for a calmer start to the day.


Before we left I decided to cook meals that we wouldn’t normally choose so before leaving I went through all the pages I’d labelled in my cookbooks and chose a few to cook. The asparagus risotto that I’d had my eye on for weeks that always seemed too much effort after a day’s work tasted delicious and I was able to enjoy the slow (and long!) process of cooking it. It was nice to leave a few nights without plans and we enjoyed local delicacies from the towns we visited and a pub tea one night.



5. Disconnect
disconnect from phone on holiday

Did you know that on average people spend five hours a day on their phones, checking them 85 times per day?


Shocking isn’t it?


How about spending those five hours to do more of what you need on holiday?


Now I’m not saying to go cold turkey and leave your phone at home: You’ll likely have your hotel booking details, flight boarding passes and transport information stored on your phone, but once you arrive, do you really need to keep your phone on all the time?


Your holiday is time for you to reset and relax. Not to be notified of who has favourited your Vinted item, or who has commented on your latest Instagram post, let alone be bombarded by your work emails, leaving you feeling flustered and stressed out.


I get that you’ll want to snap all those precious moments, but why not turn your phone onto airplane mode to restrict all those annoying notifications and give yourself a proper break?


Delete those social media apps so you’re not tempted to quickly check on your favourite celebrity and then get sucked into a two hour scroll hole. And don’t worry, you can easily re-install them on your return (if you really want to!)


Make sure your out of office is on so any work emails will be dealt with on your return.


Luckily for us, where we were staying was pretty remote so Internet access was hit and miss, giving us the perfect opportunity to totally disconnect. When we arrived I let our relatives know that we were taking some time away from our phones, which meant we didn’t feel we had to send daily updates of out holiday to loved ones, which gave us more time to actually enjoy it! The TV in the cottage we were staying in didn’t get switched on once and our evenings were spent playing card and board games (UNO being a particular favourite!) And I took one book away with me which always comes on holiday with us...an old school puzzle book! A great way to disconnect from technology and use your brain!




When you get back from holiday:

6. Make new habits

Have a think about what you’ve enjoyed from your holiday and what you want to integrate into your daily life. While eating out every evening is probably not going to be feasible, maybe having a monthly evening out will give you something to look forward to each month and give you quality time as a family. It doesn’t have to be big changes: small changes that have a positive impact on your well-being are what is needed!


For us, we decided to make time each month to do something just for us, whether that be taking a yoga class, going for a wild swim or taking the time to cook a special meal. We’ve still to turn the TV on back home, as we’ve become pretty competitive at UNO and are enjoying time away from Netflix.


On my return to normality, it was clear to me that those small changes I'd made and prioritised during holiday were having their effect: For a start, I wasn't overwhelmed with the unpacking or the mountains of washing to be done. I was calmer, more grounded and more 'me'.


Know that you too can take time out to re-find yourself on your next holiday!


If you’d love to use your next break as a reset for your well-being practices but feel like you need more help, get in touch for a one to one well-being reset session with me, where I'll help you get clear on what you need and how to get it. Drop me an email at abi@thewell-beinggarden.co.uk


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