Holidays whether in good, old sunny Greece or anywhere else give us a tremendous opportunity to challenge our routine. That’s why they are called ‘διακοπές’ cause we break away from our usual habits. We often attach a great deal of importance to them by anticipating those few days per year that we can recharge, disconnect from work and reconnect with ourselves and nature.
But what if we could learn more through them and carry some meaningful changes with us, coming back to our routine? What if we could reassess our daily life and spread some of the lessons learned throughout the entire year? Afterall, we feel truly alive by making progress cause we are designed to do so!
Here is a simple list broken down into four major of areas we can all benefit from:
- Try meditating few minutes a day. There is solid research by now explaining the immense benefits in learning how to pause by using our most basic function – breathing! Start with baby steps by using any of these apps.
Worried where will you borrow those free minutes from? Social Media 😉
- Remove distracting apps from your phone. Social media sharing can wait until you come back to your room or even better after the holidays. We spend an average of 2 hours and 24′ per day on them. I removed FB 1st and recently Insta – my attention levels have increased and my mind is less loaded with unnecessary stimulus.
- Swimming ranks top here naturally during the summer. Approach it as a challenge and set small goals in terms of distance covered and frequency. Pinpoint two fixed points on the beach of about 100-150 meters length and aim for at least 1km in total. Buy a set of goggles to protect your eyes and of you go!
- Running – our primate function. Every inch of our body is designed for us to move. Deeply engraved in our DNA since we used to either run from danger or hunt to eat. Whether you are a morning person or enjoy the sun set time zone, running simply means putting on your shoes and gradually picking up speed. Aim for 20′ to begin with and build it up. Track your progress with any free app. Add magnesium in your diet to avoid inflammation and cramps. Stretch in the end and hydrate!
- Beach gear. Whether you are a frisbee or a racket person or you enjoyed volley in the past get your favourite ‘toy’ with you and motivate yourself and others for some fun, mobility action, while sharpening your reflexes. Coming back to the city, it may inspire you to sign up to a Tennis club or a Beach Volley club.
- Smoking. By far one of the hardest habits to break! We can all name a dozen serious benefits related to stopping or at least reducing smoking. Focus more on smaller benefits like ‘taste and smell better’ or ‘better cardio while exercising’ or ‘help my immune system’ than big ones like ‘reduce the risk of cancer’ and make baby steps. Skip one morning smoke with your coffee. Next day, skip morning and afternoon. Avoid discussing it with others and just experiment with your own willpower.
This is also one the toughest ones cause we all tend to be very particular with our food choices and usually let go of certain ‘barriers’ we usually have in place, during our holidays. But if we do experiment a bit with new ingredients and get inspired by asking fresh recipes, chances are we’ll come back to our routine with some fresh habits!
- Add more fruits and salads. Did you know that a large classic Greek Salad matches the nutrients and protein intake of a full meal?
- Focus more on sea food and fish. We usually eat a lot less back in the city.
- Cut down on coffee intake – aim to replace at least one cup with an energy boost smoothie, a cold cacao drink or discover the energy balls.
- Cut down on meat.
- Cut down on sugar.
If you discover any practical and meaningful nutritional ideas during your holidays, why not suggest them to your HR Department. I am sure they will consider it, especially these days where companies are looking for new ways to reinvent the office life. Plus, it will cost less since there are less people on-site.
The cornerstone of our society and a matter of deep social importance here in Greece. But we are mostly losing ground fast due to technology rise, social media and most recently the pandemic effects. The rise of remote work and the subsequent blurring of work life and personal/family life. How can we regain some of it back?
- Understand your kids. Children are growing in much different environment. Read about it, get help from an expert if possible and comprehend their world better.
- Play with your kids during holidays! Will surely reduce the time they spend in front of a screen.
- Lead by example – reduce the time you spent on your screen.
- Introduce family board games.
- Practise Couple’s Massage with your partner. Bring some much needed spice back.
The above will resonate most to some and less to others. All in all though, we can all benefit from them! And perhaps, when the summer holidays are over and we finally come back to our routine, we will have inspired ourselves to live a better life on a daily basis! And not rely on our holiday break to do so.
Have Fun, Experiment and Observe Your Feelings!