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Bringing your positive holiday habits home with you

Written by Sarah on

I’ve recently been lucky enough to enjoy a yoga holiday on a beautiful Greek island. It’s made me think about how any holiday (not just yoga or exercise ones) are a brilliant circuit breaker and chance to press the reset button on our habits.

Being on holiday, especially in a hot country, makes it easy to get into positive habits. All the stuff we know we should be doing at home; getting enough sleep and relaxation time, drinking lots of water, swimming every day, eating fresh fruit, vegetables and fish (alongside the odd ice cream obviously – a delicious way to keep cool and it is a holiday!). All the while having ample opportunity to top up our vitamin D stores via the glorious sunshine.

It’s funny how we automatically think to put sunscreen on and take water out with us when we are on holiday in a hot country but we don’t think to take these actions at home in the UK! The change of scene and break from our normal routine makes it easy to create new patterns of behaviour.

It’s also a time away from our normal life commitments, responsibilities and distractions, a time to reconnect with ourselves and reflect about how our lives are going and changes we might want to make.

As we move into Autumn and spend more time indoors hiding from the rain, wind and dark nights and our summer holidays become a distant memory, it can be harder to stay active and to avoid the temptation of comfort foods.

Back in 2020 I came back from the same Greek island at the end of September and knew we were heading into a winter of lockdowns and uncertainty. It felt like a really scary, unprecedented time for everyone. Things were also tricky in my personal life as a long distance relationship was coming to an end and I was finding the isolation of working from home very stressful. I knew I had to take some actions to look after my mental health as the nights drew in and our lives became more contained again.

Around this time, I discovered a podcast called The Last 8% Morning. It’s a walking meditation podcast which encourages you to go out for a 20 minute walk as soon as you get up every morning and to listen to the podcast while you walk. It’s a pretty simple format but the act of getting out first thing in the morning, regardless of the weather and moving for 20 minutes whilst focussing on breathing, gratitude and goals (the main themes of the podcast) really set me up for the day. Going out before having time to think about it/talk myself out of it and before I’d got ready for the day meant that I didn’t have to worry about my hair getting wet or it being cold as I knew I could come home after the 20 minutes and have a reviving hot shower.

It made a massive difference to my mood and even though it wasn’t always easy to get out of bed in the morning and brave the elements, I always returned feeling better for it and ready to face the day. I kept doing it every day until Christmas and then it fell away as a habit. But it was long enough for it to have an impact and I think it really helped me to get through the early stages of that relationship breakdown and the uncertainty of the wider world at that time.

As the seasons change think about a new positive daily habit that you’d like to start and see if you can keep it going for 30 days and if it makes a difference to how you feel. If it brings noticeable positive effects, you are more likely to keep doing it.

If you’d like some support with building positive habits into your life, get in touch for a free consultation.

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