Take a holiday? Why? So many people are telling us they are not interested in taking a holiday. Especially since there is ‘no-where to go’. Particularly for those of us in Victoria’s lock-down. But even if you don’t want to take your annual leave, back to back virtual meetings are taking a toll. Meaning that people are not taking a break at all. We can’t even make time for lunch outside. Let alone take a week off.
What would I do with an extra 30-minutes?
So, I started thinking. If I had 30-minutes of time to do anything that I wanted, and I had to stay with 5km of home. What would I do? Lots of things sprung to mind instantly. Including, I can’t believe it, but cleaning the oven. 30 minutes of more non-interrupted sleep. Time to catch up with a girlfriend and hear about her new job. A little more piano practice. Perhaps a yoga session or a bit of more exercise. I could even run to the edge of our 5km lockdown border.
All of these little things started to pop into my mind. In no particular order and without judgement. 30-minute bike ride with my son. Sitting in the sun on my beautiful chair. Walking to a café and purchasing an over-priced smoothie. Washing the dog. Combine two 30-minute blocks and I could make marshmallow. Or Turkish delight. Something I’ve always wanted to master. Did I mention more sleep? And, most importantly, more time for mindfulness and meditation.
Mindfulness is the best holiday
Mindfulness (or meditation) is a super-power. It is a vital skill that we need right now. Certainly, it increases performance. Indeed, makes us a better leader, manager, friend and family member. And it is like taking a little holiday. Whether you sit still or are on the move. With your eyes opened or closed. Breathing and being mindful really is like taking a holiday. Furthermore, if gives you a chance to rejuvenate, re-focus and balance yourself.
Supported by research
Mental Health experts, for example from the Black Dog Institute, advocate wellbeing as a way of improving our lives. For instance, welling helps us stay resilient. Along with building social support and self-efficacy. As well as coping with adversity. They list mindfulness and meditation as an element that contributes to wellbeing and resilience. Along with finding your strengths and using them. Also yoga, gratitude and importantly, sleep, exercise and diet.
Not only is mindfulness supported by research. Breathing, in particular box breathing is practiced by Navy Seals, emergency service workers and our armed services. Just a few rounds of this specific breathing pattern, has a dramatic affect on calming our nervous system. Along with regulating our fight/flight/freeze response. In less than 5 minutes we can return to calm and focus. As though we have taken a little holiday. And the best thing is, we can do it anywhere.