Holidays are a great way to recharge your batteries: they are a break from routine, an opportunity to explore new places and try something new. If only you could bottle that holiday feeling and take a sip every time you need it… Well, there is something really similar that’s available, and it only takes a little bit of practice (just a few minutes a day) to enter that mental state of happiness and relaxation that you get when you are on holiday.
The way you spend your time when you are on holiday can play an important role for your health and your mood: for example, you can learn something new or make a point of meeting new people. This helps to build new brain cell connections, keeping your brain young and raising your overall mood. Even planning a holiday can release feel-good hormones! According to a study, planning a holiday in itself can improve your happiness score. With this in mind, plan the holiday that you would like to have, forget about work and what other people do. It all starts in your mind: holidays are about enjoying your time off!
While it’s true that not everybody can afford the time off and that feeling of freedom that holidays bring, in an ideal world you should never skip your holidays, even if you are a workaholic.
Someone asked me why I was going on holiday. Maybe they thought I live a charmed life, but for me a change of scenery allows me to connect with myself in a new way and strike the balance between all aspects of my life experience.
What to Do to Feel Relaxed – Whether You Are on Holiday or Not
When I go on holiday (but also before and after I do) I make sure I carve out some time just for myself. It is an essential part of any break: it helps to have a moment of pause, even on holiday, because we are still carrying with us all our thoughts and maybe worries from the previous weeks. If we are travelling with family we may have busy schedules even on holiday, or there may be various matters that demand our attention.
Thanks to Sophrology, I make the most of my holidays and came back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. I set aside 10-20 minutes a day to practise Sophrology, which allows me to enjoy the moment and let go of stress and worries. Would you like to feel the same way too? Now you can access that feeling on tap, just at the right moment when you need it.
There’s something you can do, ideally, each day, that can help you feel rested and happy: it’s Sophrology. Now you can take Sophrology with you on holiday and make the most of your time away. It doesn’t even take up space in your suitcase!
BeSophro has launched an online Sophrology course, which you can access from your smartphone or any other device. The course allows you to go straight into relaxation exercises after a short introduction, which you can do any time you need them. Probably one of the best use of the exercises is at the airport while you wait to board your plane, or just before embarking on a long car journey with children. Also, it’s important to figure out what you would like to achieve from the holiday: do you prefer resting, partying, going on adventures or, perhaps, have a staycation to enjoy your home comforts? Before even booking your next break, or on the first day of your holiday, just close your eyes and ask yourself what you need. Focus on what you would like to get out of your holiday, from new experiences to new friends. Don’t judge yourself or others but simply decide on what your mind and your body need right now. Your to-do list will not tell you to stop (unless you write it down) and it will still be there when you come back. Just take the plunge, pack up and go. You will soon be back and full of energy to carry on more efficiently.
Some people say you don’t need to take up meditation or exercise to be happier, but it helps, especially if you have a long countdown to your holiday. If you decide to practise a form of mindfulness meditation, either before or while you are on holiday, you will find that even small annoyances don’t trouble you as much any more. Sophrology is a form of meditation that has dynamic relaxation built into it. This means that, while you do your Sophrology exercises, your mind and body are active and balanced while experiencing a nice state of relaxation. It only takes a few minutes to do the exercises so you can get on with your day. Feel the tension melt away and your worries leave the recesses of your mind, and a wave of positivity runs through your whole body.
Keeping Healthy and Relaxed on Holiday
Some people succeed in breaking their routines on holiday, while others use their holiday to create new, healthier ones. Please don’t feel that if you miss a week’s training at the gym or even a week of Sophrology classes (yes, you read that right!) your life will turn completely upside down. Allow yourself to go with the flow, as long as it feels right for you. Swimming in the sea or lying on the beach noticing your breath and enjoying the beautiful surroundings may be just as effective in bringing back positive energy at home as doing a full meditation session. If you do remember to practise mindfulness, make the most of it to stay in the present moment and not think about work or anything else that worries you.
It’s also important to stay hydrated and protect your skin: it is obvious but in a heatwave don’t forget to offer liquids to small children and stay hydrated yourself, remembering that alcohol doesn’t count. Your skin is a vital organ of your body and is often taken for granted so make sure you pack your favourite sunscreen to protect from sun damage.
Embrace the experience: once everything is organised, it is about embracing your time off as much as possible. Life happens even on holiday but if you stay open or flexible you will have the best chance to make it a success!
My Holiday Sophrology Practice
Let me share with you how I practise Sophrology during my holidays. I have a small child, so during his nap time, I practise Sophrology for a few minutes. In the last couple of years, I needed extra relaxation and recuperation because I launched my book The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology, both in the UK and internationally, which meant I was very busy with speaking engagements and book signings. I am delighted that the book has been so well received and has some excellent reviews on Amazon. Taking regular holidays allows me to be mindfully present for my family and my clients, and has given me the necessary head space to be creative.
My Sophrology Sequence
In a sitting position, I use the TRATAC (focusing on a specific point in space, more specifically my thumb with my arm outstretched) to close my eyes. I then do an in-depth body scan, inviting each of my systems to fully relax and noticing sensations. In Sophrology, we structure the body scan into sections or systems from the head down to the toes. I use one tension-relax exercise for each system and the out-breath to let go of the tensions I felt in my systems. I then pause for a long time, simply observing my breath and letting my systems be, with the intention of letting my body’s wisdom and my consciousness do the work to integrate all my experiences together in a positive way. I ask to be connected to what I need that day at that time of day. Each time I do this exercise a different word, inspiration or realisation comes to mind. Then I take a few minutes to simply come back to my usual state of awareness.
This is a very simple practice but it allows recuperation, integration and connection. It brings joy to the next part of my day and helps me make the most of my time with my family.
You, too, can learn this and other sequences to practise on your next holiday, or while you wait to go on a break. Just head over to the Sophrology online course on my website to enjoy the benefits of Sophrology.