Stopping work for a period, no matter what you do, breaking the routine and having different patterns of living is a great balm for the mind and spirit. For some, this can be very challenging. I hear some clients tell me that holiday time is one of their most stressful periods. Often this is because the time is unstructured, we find ourselves in unfamiliar places and situations (foreign countries!) and that can feel out of control and a bit scary.
Rhythms of work, structure of schedules and deadlines fall away during a holiday period. Some need to relearn how to relax and empty their minds of thoughts and concerns. For many people, work represents not only what they do but who they are. So, when the work is removed, it can open a void which, for some, can feel destabilising if their whole identity is built on their work. If you feel this way, then it is a valuable piece of information to have about yourself. You have a chance to be curious about how you got to that point and what impact it has on the rest of your life. Perhaps you choose to make no changes. Perhaps you choose to ignore it completely. Or perhaps, you choose to look inside of yourself a bit deeper to try and discover new ways of being that are not based upon what you do but more upon what you like to do and who you are as a person.
Time off gives us a chance to sit and reflect on not only what we do in our lives but whether what we do is what we want to keep on doing. It provides space and ample opportunity to re-evaluate our lives, check in with ourselves in terms of our levels of satisfaction and think about what is working and what is perhaps not working so well.
Often people put more time, effort and focus into planning a two-week holiday than they do into planning their lives. By this I mean taking time to really think about ourselves in a meaningful way in terms of our relationships, our work and our social lives and families. This doesn’t have to mean getting out a spreadsheet and plotting out the next 25 years but instead, quiet contemplation about the things we would like to do or achieve in our lives and how best to get there.
Since this is the month or rest and rejuvenation, I am keeping this entry short so I too can have time for reflection and recharging of my internal batteries. Wishing you peaceful contemplation!