How To Make Your Energy Last All Day

One of the biggest issues for people these days, and something I talk about often with my clients, is finding the energy to do everything we want to do.

Between the mandatory work and family obligations, let alone the plans of exercise, good food and a side business, it seems inevitable that we're going to collapse into bed each night depleted.

And the worst thing is - we still don’t feel like we got to everything we wanted to that day, so are already planning the to do list of tomorrow.

I was vacuuming my house today (yes, exciting) while listening to a podcast (are you guys into the Audible Esther Perel podcast on relationships? So fascinating!) when I felt super thirsty, hot and overall pretty tired. Old Georgie would have told me to suck it up and keep going until the job was finished. Yeah, she was pretty nice.

New Georgie listened to her energy level. She grabbed a glass of water, her Kindle and sat on the balcony for 10 minutes, taking a break before returning to the housework. She sounds much nicer right?

It’s taken me a long time to learn this but ‘pushing through’ is no longer the best way to get my to do list done and is a surefire way to run out of steam. So what can you do instead?

Change your self-talk

As I mentioned in the scenario above, my self-talk didn’t used to be the greatest. I thought I was super motivated and resilient but, really, I was just treating myself like shit to get things done.

Now, I get to the same destination, but treat myself much more nicely along the way.

I’ve also adopted the mantra ‘I have plenty of time’.

When staring down the barrel of a busy day, I remind myself that ‘I have plenty of time’.

I can either stress and huff and puff through every activity, living out of the moment and fretting about what’s next on the list, or I can do one thing at a time in a relaxed way, with the same result...and so much less stress. Try it!

Get into alignment

Hello Jess Lively. She is all about alignment (I think she recently mentioned she takes around 2-3 hours to get into alignment before she starts work). I’m not at that level but I definitely take time to think about this concept before launching into my next activity.

Tonight, I knew I had to make dinner, then jump on the computer to write to you guys.

Instead of ‘pushing through’ again, I cleared up the kitchen, made myself a peppermint tea, lit a candle, got comfy and settled in to write from a much nicer mental space.

I love to write so why make it a ‘have to’ when it’s a ‘want to’?

Check in with yourself regularly

This is probably my favourite tip and so bleedingly obvious, despite all my years of not doing it.

I learnt it as part of my intuitive eating journey with Paige Schmidt, and although it was specifically related to food back then, I now use it for general day-to-day use.

Depending on my schedule, I try and take a short break mid-morning and mid-afternoon, as well as my regular walk at lunch. I step away from my desk, grab a cup of tea or water, and just take a few minutes to reset my brain.

It helps me refocus on my tasks and particularly helps if I’ve been in a perpetual cycle of email/chat/phone for the last hour or so.

It’s no wonder we don’t feel productive if we never check in with ourselves or step away to recalibrate.

Try these tips this week and let me know how your energy levels go. Have a great one!

June Recap and July Intentions

Happy second half of 2017 lovely readers! How was your first half? What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

June (like May) felt super long to me again - when I went back and reflected, I felt like I’d worked a lot, socialised a lot and rested a lot - not a bad trifecta. So let’s recap on how I went with my June intentions and start some planning for the second half of the year.

June Recap

Enjoy quality time

I feel like I really nailed this one - I had a great trip to Sydney to catch up with some friends early in the month, then went on to one of my favourite weekends of the year - the Winery Walkabout in Rutherglen.

I have been going for at least 10 years and can only remember being washed out with rain once. Given it’s winter and super cold up there, that is a pretty amazing strike rate.

I’ll let the photo do the talking but it was so nice to catch up with friends and family and take it slow with some delicious food, coffee and, of course, Bobbie Burns Shiraz.

Do one weekend hike

Thanks for holding me accountable readers, because I finally did this one! I walk regularly, but the real intention here was to go somewhere different.

I started off researching some of the best walks in and around Melbourne and, surprisingly, many of them I have already done. This includes Dights Falls, which I did many weekends over five years when I lived right near there.

It made me realise we often take our routines for granted, and here are all the walking guides heralding the amazingness of a walk I did all the time like it was no big deal.

I didn’t venture too far, but did a great walk around Banksia Park in Heidelberg and ended with brunch at the lovely Heide Museum of Modern Art. A beautiful Saturday!

Bonus: you guys also know I’m a little obsessed with Alain de Botton so I wanted to share this passage he posted on Facebook about walking last week:

The shortest trip: On Going for a Walk around the Block

A walk is, in a sense, the smallest sort of journey we can ever undertake. It stands in relation to a typical holiday as a bonsai tree does to a forest.
But even if it is only an eight minute interlude around the block or a few moments in a nearby park, a walk is already a journey in which many of the grander themes of travel are present.
The need to go for a walk begins from the same place as the longing to take off to another country: with a desire to restart our minds. We sometimes cannot work it all out by staying rooted in one place. We have stared at the screen too long, we have been bumping into the same inner obstacles without progress, we have grown claustrophobic with ourselves.
That is why we need the sight of the three oak trees and two robins by the river or the maelstrom of the high street, where we linger outside a grocer’s shop and wonder (inconclusively, yet again) what a yam might taste like. The better part of our minds has a habit of getting exhausted and sterile. It is scared as well. Some of the most profound thoughts we need to grapple with have a potentially disturbing character. An inner censor tends to kick in and blocks the progress we were starting to make towards ideas that - though important and interesting - also presented marked threats to short-term peace.
While we walk, the mind is no longer on guard. We’re not supposed to be doing much inside our heads; we’re mainly occupied with following a path around a pond or checking out a row of shops. The ideas that have been half-forming at the back of our minds, ideas about what the true purpose of our lives might be and what we should do next, keep up their steady inward pressure - but now there is a lot less to stop them reaching full consciousness. We’re not meant to be thinking and so - at last - we can think freely and courageously.
The rhythmic motion of an easy stride helps to separate us from the ruts of our current preoccupations and allows us to wander more freely though neglected regions of our inner landscape. Themes we’d lost touch with - childhood, an odd dream we had recently, a friend we haven’t seen for years, a big task we had always told ourselves we’d undertake - float into attention. In physical terms, we’re hardly going any distance at all, but we’re crossing acres of mental territory.
A short while later, we’re back at the office or at home once again. No one has missed us, or perhaps even noticed that we’ve been out. Yet we are subtly different: a slightly more complete, more visionary, courageous and imaginative version of the person we knew how to be - before we wisely went out journeying.

July Intentions

Take a break from winter

After two almost freezing mornings this past weekend, I am feeling very excited to step away from Melbourne winter for a little while and head to Hawaii for the first time.

The combination of beaches, beautiful scenery and over the top American meals is just what I need for a mid-year break. If you guys have any recommendations, please let me know, I’d love to hear them!

Focus on tech free time (again)

In last week’s post, I talked about using Moment, which tracks the time you spend on your device. Back in May I started reducing my tech time on weekends, but I feel like I’m ready to extend this to weekdays too.

As I said in last week's post, I’m not overly concerned with the amount of time I’m on my phone but more the dependency I have - picking my phone up 20-25 times a day seems pretty excessive to me.

I’m going to use Hawaii as a reset point to start focusing on reading again and not depending on social media so much, particularly while I’m away having a break. Let’s see how we go…

Do you have any tips for reducing time on your phone?

Let me know in the comments below and have an amazing July!

May Recap and June Intentions

Although 2017 seems to be passing quickly, May actually feels like it went pretty slowly for me as I look back on the month.

I relaunched my website on the first day of May, which feels like quite a while ago now, and I wanted to pause and say a huge thank you for your support with launching my coaching business.

I have one coaching spot free in June and would love to chat to you for 30 minutes (complimentary!) about your goals for the rest of the year and see if we’re a good match. You can read about my coaching package here and contact me over here. I’d love to hear from you.

May was otherwise busy with coaching sessions and celebrating the birthdays of some of my favourite people.

Now we’re into the start of winter here in Australia, so let’s see how I did last month and how I’m going to keep warm in June...

May Recap

Have tech free time on weekends

Why do I so often forget how amazing this practice is? If I’m not mindful, my default, switch off mode is to pick up a device and browse social media for umpteen minutes and hours.

Over the last month, I’ve made sure to put my phone on the charger as soon as I go to bed so I’m not scrolling right before I sleep, and I’ve also been going device free for at least half a day on the weekends.

I’m so much happier and present when I do this.

At night I’ve been reading (see what I’ve been reading over here) and on weekends, mixing some productive errands with simply relaxing with Pickles.

Start weekend hikes

Yeah, no… this did not happen... 

Despite my best intentions, other plans or rain got in the way of my hiking dreams.

Stay tuned for June...

June Intentions

Enjoy quality time

I have two trips planned for June, one with friends and one with family - both who live in other cities.

Although that rules out much downtime on those particular weekends, I am excited to spend time with those close to me in person.

There are lots of celebrations in place and it will be a great break from everyday routine. Not a hard intention to meet!

Do one weekend hike

I’m not sure this will equate to staying warm in winter, but at least one weekend hike has got to be possible in June.

I have been walking on the river behind my house as always, but am going to plan at least one weekend day late in the month where I try out a new area. Wish me luck!

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What are your plans for June? Don’t forget to get in touch if you would like a 30 minute complimentary coaching consult to start planning out the rest of 2017.

 

April Recap and May Intentions

Ah April, such a nice month for me. In Australia we have a number of public holidays in April, which meant two four-day weekends and plenty of down time, as intended!

For those of you new to the blog - welcome!

Each month I set intentions (not goals - thanks for the word, Jess Lively!) and then recap how I went.

It keeps me accountable (thanks readers!) and upholds the goal of this blog - that perfection isn’t possible, but little improvements are.

To take a trip down memory lane, head here to read previous months’ recaps and intentions.

Now let’s review April and see what’s ahead for May.

April Recap

Smash time management

As I mentioned, time management was the topic for Brooke Castillo’s Self Coaching Scholars in April and the theme of her podcast too, if you’d like to get some of her amazing content at no cost.

I did pretty well with this goal in April - I made sure I prioritised the day to day things that make me happy (exercise, meditation, spending time with family and friends) but also made time for my big goal - relaunching my website today!

I wrote out all the tasks I needed to get the website completed, estimated how long each would take, calendarised them and it worked!

If you’ve got something huge on your to do list or something you’ve been putting it off - try the same method and let me know how you go.

Embrace down time after a busy 6 months

Long weekends = mission accomplished.

Easter saw me indulging in a rare weekend of lazy brunches and lots of Netflix, while the following long weekend saw me go off the grid to the country with (gasp) no internet or phone reception. So good!

I of course realised how much I depend on my phone (and found myself searching for it out of habit a number of times on the trip, even though there was nothing I could do with it once I found it).

I also discovered that there wasn’t that much waiting for me when I got back to civilisation and my phone - no urgent messages, no hugely important social media updates that I’d missed ... which leads me to my May intentions.

May Intentions

Have tech free time on the weekends

After my long weekend offline, I’m keen to try this every weekend… but not all weekend of course - that’s way too scary!

I’m going to experiment with taking either a day, or two mornings or afternoons off my phone each weekend.

Recognising the insidious addiction many of us have to our phones doesn’t particularly stress me out, but I think it’s good to be aware and, in particular, try living in my life, rather than in my phone or the lives of others.

Which leads me to thinking about what I’m going to do with that time…

Start weekend hikes

Those who know me well know that I love to walk as much as possible. It clears my head, allows for great, relaxed conversation when I have company and is obviously pretty good for me too.

I’ve always walked the trail behind my house but have also many times over the years bookmarked links to great walks or hikes around Melbourne.

Each weekend, when time allows, I want to spend at least half a day doing a walk in a new area - and if I’m alone, I’m allowing myself to listen to podcasts on my phone, but no scrolling through social media!

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What’s your plan for May? Do you have success with tech free time? Let me know below!

 

Why Some Days Are Better Than Others

As we make our way through January of a new year, it’s not unexpected that many people’s heads will be swimming with resolutions and ways to improve themselves in 2017.

Making promises to yourself to change for the better is often a plight to achieve our perfect lives – our perfect body, career, home, family and faultless days to boot.

But what is a perfect day? Is it a day full of productivity, errands and perfect health? Is it holiday cocktails on the beach with no work or responsibilities in sight?

And how impossible is it to achieve this flawless life?

One of my recent online discoveries is Amy Young, a life coach specialising in relationships. Her YouTube videos make me laugh and she’s super real about life and a big advocate for taking it easy on yourself.

One of her videos is about ‘better than’ days. Go watch it. Seriously. After suffering anxiety, she started to note down activities that made some days ‘better than’ others. Not perfect, just ‘better than’ the not so good days.

I’ve started doing this in the last month. Each night if I feel I’ve had a ‘good’ day, I’ll note down what made it a good day and, I’ve got to say, it really strips things back to the bare bones.

My ‘ingredient list’ for good days, as Amy calls it, is not outlandish or impossible to maintain – in fact most of the activities are things I can do pretty regularly.

Below is a sneak peek of my ingredient list for good days:

  • Doing a Yoga with Adriene video
  • Going for a walk in the sun
  • Eating pasta and drinking red wine
  • Writing a blog post :)
  • Calling a good friend
  • Dancing around the house to music

My challenge to you: when you find yourself heading to bed thinking ‘well, that was a good day’, note down in a log what made it ‘better than’ other days.

Let this serve as your roadmap to what you want to punctuate your days with and let me know what improvements you see when you work these activities into your life more regularly.

A flawless life is probably unrealistic, but good days are not. 

5 Ways To Break Your Tech Addiction

Every person I speak to openly admits they are addicted to technology. Phone mostly, iPad often, Netflix more frequently.

We live in a world designed to keep us addicted - any question that pops into our mind can be immediately researched on the internet, notifications give us that little rush of dopamine we need and hours of binge watching TV series can keep us comfortably distanced from what we really want to do with our lives.

We know it ain’t good for us, so how can we begin to heal our technology addiction?

Keep a tech time log

Back in 2014 I kept a time log and discovered I was spending 2 ½ hours of my free time A DAY scrolling the internet. Terrifying right?

I’m much better now, but I’d encourage you to do the same - note down how often and for how long you’re reaching for your phone each day this week.

Don’t jump on first thing

If you start your day scrolling through feeds, checking emails and Googling, how do you think the rest of your day is going to go?

Will you feel centred, focused on your goals and productive? 

Or will you be distracted, a little scattered and focused on others’ needs all day?

I think we know the likely answer.

Try and start the day with something more useful to your development - read a book, do some meditation or light stretching, journal or go for a walk. Your phone will be there when you get back, I promise.

Schedule your scrolling

This is a tough one, I’ll admit. Our default mode when we have any spare moment (even when driving, as noted by Louis CK here) is to reach for our phones.

It’s hard to fill those in between moments with anything but our devices, but music, a useful podcast or some deep breathing will serve you better than constantly flicking through your social media apps.

After you’ve done your time log, try scheduling some time in the morning and evening for more focused use of your phone (and time).

Turn off notifications

My life would be so much worse if I hadn’t have done this years ago.

I’m still so astonished by how many people have every notification on in their phone and, more importantly, how often they look at those notifications while I’m talking to them.

Turn them off people, you can thank me later.

Use the red light at night

I’ve only started using this one in the last week or so and can’t wait to see the benefits to my sleep. Turning your phone to red light (the iPhone instructions are here) makes your brain think it’s night time and helps us fall asleep more quickly.

If you’re finding it hard to cut out bedtime phone usage all together, this could be the tip for you.

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Are you brave enough to keep a tech time log? What ideas will you implement in your life this week to break your tech addiction?

September Recap and October Intentions

Readers - I can’t thank you enough for your lovely words and messages after last month’s recap. August was a tough month and I wanted to preserve one of the purposes of this blog through that post - to show you that life isn’t perfect and that we’re all just doing our best. So thank you again for being here, I appreciate it so much.

September was an improvement and it’s a great time of year - the days are getting longer, the weather is warmer and the last quarter of the year is always full of fun activities.

I had a couple of weekends away too (see the amazing Wilson's Promontory above), which always makes for good memories and weekends that feel extra long.

Now let’s get into how I did with my September intentions:

Increase energy levels

September was a much more balanced month for me - it wasn’t perfect but I was focused on healthier foods, long walks by the river and choosing sleep over big nights out.

It’s good to regain focus after the bumpier seasons of life and taking time to plan and slow down was the way for me to facilitate that.

I also took up some good habits in September - dry body brushing (start doing this immediately, it’s so good!) and drinking apple cider vinegar and lemon water in the morning (I have no idea if this is benefiting me but stay tuned!)

Study comes first

I also did well catching up on my studies but realised I had in fact exaggerated the situation in my head. Like journaling my worries (and realising most were not true), I had blown up in my head that I was quite far behind on my course and then, paralysed by the overwhelm, was putting off delving back in.

When I finally sat down one evening to make my to do list and finalise some worksheets, I realised I was in fact not that far behind and was caught up on a few major things within the hour. I’d spent way more than an hour stressing about it and there I was - I had done it!

What are you procrastinating on or blowing up in your head at the moment? Let me know in the comments below.

October Intentions

Blog it up

In line with my theme of honesty, you may have noticed I haven’t been posting quite as regularly around here.

I’ve been busy and going through some issues yes, but I also haven’t been planning ahead with posts or spending the time I’d usually like to on the blog.

I’ve accepted that as part of this season of life, but still want to be here to serve you through my writing, and also serve myself by doing something I love to do. I have a whole list of posts I want to write so I’m going to prioritise them and carve out time each week to focus on writing.

Please let me know in the comments if there’s any topics you’d like me to specifically post on too!

Rekindle friendships

Along with you lovely blog readers, my friends have been super supportive of me over the last few months. I am trying to live by Brene Brown’s philosophy of vulnerability and it’s tough, but it makes for much stronger connections and conversations.

As we get into the busiest time of year, I want to make sure I have plenty of catch ups planned with my closest friends, not only to benefit me through fun and connection, but also to make sure I’m being there for them now that I’m starting to feel better.

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What have you got planned for October readers?

Let me know your intentions for the month in the comments below and feel free to share this post on social media if you think it will help others.

Where I'm At: Interview Series - Erika Swafford of Nature Photo Artist

 

Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.

Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.

This month we have the lovely Erika Swafford from Nature Photo Artist.

Erika is a nature photographer, artist and photography mentor on a mission to help aspiring photographers get off the auto settings on their camera and start making art in manual mode.

She lives in Tennessee in the US and shares some great tips below.

What is your usual wake up time?

During the weekdays, I wake up at 5:30 AM.  I try to get right up so I don’t get behind.  On the weekends, I get up later and don’t usually set an alarm unless I need to be up by a certain time.

Do you have a morning routine or ritual?

I start my day by letting out our dog, Snoopy, who sleeps indoors at night. Then I head to the bathroom to put in my contacts, put on my make-up and style my hair.  Our two cats, Tiger and Mia, usually try to join in.  

Cat-Vanity-by-Erika-Swafford.jpg

While I’m working on my make-up and hair my husband is up and getting ready for the day, too.  It’s nice to start out the morning together like that.  He leaves before I’m finished so I have breakfast with a favourite TV show.  I like to start with something funny so it puts me into a happy frame of mind before I head into my day at work.

Tell us about your commute.

I have a 45–50 minute commute to work in the morning and evening.  That’s a lot of alone time in the car but I like it most of the time.  Sometimes I get to see amazing things like vibrant rainbows in weird places in the sky (as in the photo below).

I’ve learned to make my commute more entertaining than just staring at the road.  Here are a couple things I do on my commute:

Listen to audio books – this is by far my favourite thing to do while driving to and from work.  Both fiction and non-fiction books are great to listen to in the car.  Some of my current favourites are:

The Bartimaeus Series by Jonathan Stroud

The Tiffany Aching series by Terry Prachett

Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

World Wide Rave by David Meerman Scott

Record your thoughts – I do this usually in the morning on my way to work.  This is a variation of Morning Pages, where you would normally write for 3 pages non-stop.  Instead of writing my pages, I talk my Morning Pages into my phone using an app.  It records what I say as long as I want to talk.  This is surprisingly therapeutic and even fun.  There are many apps you can get for your phone that record voice.  Then just talk away!  

Do you like to plan your day ahead or allow for some spontaneity?

I do like to plan ahead but it doesn’t always happen.  Normally, I only plan ahead if I have a deadline for something.  Otherwise, I just do what comes my way or whatever strikes my fancy. 

I’ve noticed that when I do plan, I usually put too much to do in a day.  Because of that, I try to limit myself to committing to one thing at a time when I can.  I still have the list of things I want to do but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get them all done. 

How do you spend your ideal lunch break to recharge for the afternoon?

I love going to the River Park at lunch.  It’s a good way to get my head out of the things at the office.  There’s a paved walking trail that follows the bank of the Tennessee River.  

At one end of the River Park is a dam.  That whole area is home to many Blue Herons who watch the waters for fish.  The fresh air is rejuvenating and watching the river go by is relaxing.  That’s a good combination to refresh from a morning of office work.  By the time I head back to the office, I’m ready to take on the afternoon.

What kind of workout schedule do you (try to!) adhere to?

Right now, my workout consists of doing squats while I put on my make-up in the morning.  I try to get in some walking at lunch, too. 

How do you like to end your day?

I like to end my day with a really hot shower, especially when it is cold outside.  The hot water is relaxing and warms me up so I can go to bed and fall asleep more quickly.

What time do you doze off?

I try to be in bed by 10:00 PM.  Being more of a night owl, I don’t always make it by 10:00 PM...  But I do function better when I’ve had at least 7 hours of sleep.

What do you aspire to every day but never / rarely actually do? (you can tell me, we all have them!)

Organising my physical space!  I have a tendency to just pile things up with the intention of organising it into a perfect dream of organised bliss ... My pantry, my closet, my desk, my purse, my mail.  It seems so easy and yet I rarely do it.  But I’m so glad when it is done because I feel like I’ve mastered my universe!

Any advice for women trying to find ease in their every day?

I’ve learned that I need to do one thing at a time.  In a world where multi-tasking is sometimes a necessity, doing things one at a time will help you do it better, faster and with less stress.  I have to repeat to myself many times a day, “one thing at a time, just one thing at a time”. This helps when I’m tempted to distract myself with other tasks I need to get done. 

Finally, can you give us your quick go-to recipe after a busy day?

I love a quick homemade-fast-food meal.  This one fills you up and is super-easy to make.  Instead of stopping by Taco Bell (ed: my equivalent of Mad Mex in Australia!) to pick up this delicious delight, I’ll make my copycat version.

Homemade Nacho Bell Grande

  • Tortilla chips
  • Refried beans and taco seasoning to taste, heated
  • Olives, sliced
  • Tomato, chopped
  • Taco sauce
  • Sour cream, optional

Layer on a plate: tortilla chips, refried beans, olives, tomato, taco sauce and sour cream.  Enjoy!

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Thanks Erika! I'm definitely trying your nacho recipe soon and I love your mantra about one thing at a time. Very wise. 

You can find Erika at:

http://www.naturephotoartist.com/

www.facebook.com/ErikaSwaffordPhotography

http://instagram.com/naturephotoartist

If you're looking to improve your photography skills (who isn't?!), get her free digital guide 3 Easy Tricks to Improve Your Nature Photos at  http://www.naturephotoartist.com/get-free-stuff.html

9 Things I'm Doing To Make Every Day Feel Like A Holiday

 
seth godin

I spent a week on holiday in far north Queensland (FNQ) recently. Queensland is Australia’s favourite state for sunny beach holidays. I hadn’t been up there in a number of years and my focus was to wholly relax and check out some local attractions (while avoiding crocodiles and jellyfish – yes, really, see below). 

jellyfish

 

It was such a rejuvenating week and I got to thinking – what about it was so great? And how can I bring those aspects into my everyday life so I don’t have to travel to find that holiday feeling? Here’s what works for me and what I’m making time for in my weekly schedule.

Cycling

My husband is really into cycling and often asks me to go riding with him. Although I enjoy it once I get going, I tend to be lazy as it’s not as natural and as relaxing an activity as it is for him. On this trip though, we made the effort to get beach cruisers and check out the coast and surrounding areas. I really loved it, felt relaxed doing it and know it’s a great way to get around our local area in Melbourne.

cycling

 

Yoga

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not a total yoga convert. I do a little each day but rarely commit to an hour long class. They offer yoga on the beach in Port Douglas and I felt so brilliant after taking classes while we were away that I’ve been going to at least one class a week at home.

Walks

Just like I’ve refused some cycling proposals in the past, my husband (and a few of my friends – looking at you Jules!) don’t love to 'go for walks' as they see little point... I understand that view but I love getting out in the fresh air and a FNQ beach doesn’t go astray on the stroll either. I think it’s a great time to chat and relax, so now we're home, as I compromise on the cycling, the husband compromises on the walks for me.

Going out after dinner…for ice cream

Now life’s all about balance, so I certainly didn’t spend the whole holiday on a bike or in a warrior pose. I have very fond memories of family holidays, grabbing an ice cream after dinner and wandering home along the beach. It’s a great mid-week treat after dinner, and makes a regular weeknight seem more special.

Board games

Yup, I love board games. We spent a couple of nights ensconced in Cluedo – one of my favourites as a child. My major tip is: do not try and solve the case after more than 3 glasses of champagne. My confidence levels did not match my actual abilities or memory. After requesting a board game for my birthday, I’m bringing them back at home and it’s a great alternative to electronic devices every night.

Reading

I read a lot in my job and that often leaves me ignoring the stacks of books I want to get onto at home. And leads me back to those devices I mentioned. I read three books while I was away – a real jump for me in recent months. It felt great to escape into some fiction and productive to read non-fiction longer than a blog post.

Minimal social media

You’re getting the picture yeah?! I’d check it for ten minutes in the morning, then maybe another ten minutes before we went out for dinner. And you know what, I didn’t miss that much. It felt great to leave it behind and I’m still working on that now we’re back home.

fruit salad

 

Fruit salad

FNQ has some amazing tropical fruits. Taking the time to make a big batch to last us a couple of days was so worth it, and something I want to do for breakfasts at home now we’re in spring and summer.

9 hours sleep

No alarms on holiday meant I could see how much sleep my body wants. And that greedy thing wants 9 HOURS! Aaaah. Ok, I’m putting some of it down to taking a break after working hard but yup, it pretty much wants up to 9 hours sleep. Considering that would mean a 9.30pm-ish trip to bed and reduced time apres work, I’m not sure I’ll get this many hours all the time, but on weekends and breaks, I’m going to give it a go.

What do you like best about holidays? And how can you bring those behaviours into everyday life?