I am just back from a really restful time on Queensland’s glorious Sunshine Coast with my family. We spent 5 nights up there, in a unit right on the beach – I woke up each morning, rolled over and checked out the surf without my head even leaving the pillow… mmmm bliss.
Yes, the first couple of days were extremely wet, the surf was huge, and the beach was no place to be. But we planned for this by taking Risk (the board game) and many books and magazines with us – and we ended up spending a wonderful lazy day with the rain and the surf pounding outside and the five of us absorbed in a game of Risk. We have the Lord of the Rings version – and it is all about armies and territories and getting the One Ring from the Shire to Mordor.
And we watched cable television – a real novelty for us – including test rugby matches (well, I actually sank into the spa bath that night and retreated from the testosterone charged atmosphere), Scooby-doo, Loony Tunes, etc…
Then as the weather cleared we spent time walking the beach, reading our books on the verandah in the sun, playing tennis, swimming in the heated pool (well – the kids did!), tripping to Mooloolaba for a spot of lunch and people watching, visited our favourite art gallery (Hart Gallery at Mooloolaba and Noosa), kite flying on the beach at sunset and watching our eldest son have his first surfing lesson (BIG success there… he came out of the surf after an hour and a half with a grin from ear to ear – he’d managed to ‘get’ it, despite the cold water and wind chill that had us frozen solid on the beach..)
Oh, and we did a lot of eating, and our fair share of red wine drinking. (Definitely red wine weather).
You know the best part about a beach holiday in the middle of winter? No crowds… no total apathy from the heat and humidity… no mozzies… no sunburn… no crowds…
Now, I wanted to use my week away as an introduction to the topic of taking a break.
I know us women who do too much often arent really very good at that. Or we wait until we are falling down with exhaustion before we stop for a while.
But it really is much more healthy to stop regularly and have small breaks to recharge your batteries so you never get to the point of burn out.
I have been taking my own advice this year, and so far have had two three-day weekends away just my husband and I, and also this week away with the kids. And a couple of single weeks earlier in the year where we stayed home and relaxed with the kids and did day trips. And we have booked another week away before the end of the year for the 5 of us… good family bonding time. And somewhere in the next month or two it will be another weekend away as a couple.
And you know what I have found? That I am healthier and happier and much less stressed than at this stage in previous years. I havent had any colds or flu for months now… and I put this down at least in part to this strategy of restoration and relaxation.
A dear friend of mine has taken a different tack after a recent bout of ill health, and has made the decision to not work the last week of each month… (yes, she runs her own business, this probably wouldnt be quite as easy to organise for those of us with a job and a boss)… I will be watching her success closely !!
What’s your strategy for rest – for escape from email and telephones – from appointments and deadlines – from running hither and thither…???