Recently I returned from ten glorious days on holidays at a beautiful farmhouse in the luscious Byron Hinterland. It was an opportunity to rest, relax and solely focus on recharging the batteries after what had been a fairly frantic year professionally so far. For me the opportunity to take an extended break couldn’t come quickly enough as I was feeling lower in energy and in need of some time out to refocus and reinvest in my wellness. Over a decade assisting people who are experiencing relationship breakdown I have learnt that taking the time out you need is essential to not merely surviving but thriving in life and in work.
Being on holiday and in such an idyllic, peaceful and relaxing location allowed me the time and space to refocus on very precious uninterrupted time with my loved ones. It is so precious because, after all, with the busyness of life and work it is easy to gradually let time pass without taking time out and letting our good habits slip when feeling tired, overwhelmed or when other things must take priority.
When planning the holiday – which is now my husband Mark’s forte – given he has his finger on the pulse of great travel experiences as he has meticulously researched and planned many wonderful adventures for us to enjoy in years past – we both identified that travelling far and away was not what we needed at that moment in time.
Whilst we have enjoyed many overseas jaunts immersing ourselves in the food and culture of faraway places in recent years, having ‘tuned in’ to how I was feeling in the planning phase of our holiday and mindful of what my body needed, I ‘briefed’ Mark (who now cannot escape organising all of our holidays such has been his past success) on a holiday where airports and planes were not required. More simply, us having the opportunity to take some time out, get back to nature, relax, recharge and enjoy our shared love of food and wine together was in order.
Well, as always, Mark delivered in the holiday planning department. He found a gorgeous farmhouse on a remote area of Rosebank, near the small town of Clunes in the hinterland of Byron Bay known as The Cooks Cottage. And it was just what we needed.
In a simply stunning setting, I was able to truly unwind, rest and recharge which included daily yoga, walks in the lush green nature along the ridge overlooking the surrounding farms, listening meditation to the sounds of nature and indulging my passion for cooking in the fully equipped cooks kitchen. It was the kitchen that was an absolute highlight of the home and which I am dearly missing having returned to my more compact home kitchen. Mark was also able to enjoy his passion for running and cycling in the lush green surrounds of the hinterland.
We were also able to enjoy time with family – my sister, her husband and my adorable nephew, William, aged almost two, who came to visit us over one of the weekends. Our time together without interruption was so precious and what I most enjoyed about our time away.
Having an opportunity to reinvest in my wellness by resting, relaxing and recharging was essential. So during your next holiday (or even over a weekend) I encourage you to reinvest in your wellness by adopting my three tips.
- Refocus on your wellness goals and ideal routine
A holiday is an opportunity to get back into your ‘ideal’ routine free from the pressures of life and work. Often good habits slip over time despite the best of intentions. For me, getting back into my ‘ideal’ routine involved rising early, practicing yoga, eating well – having had the time to mindfully prepare food I enjoy (much of which was sourced from local farmers markets and the many health food stores the area is known for) and getting to bed early. This is easier to do without other commitments intervening. Refocusing on my wellness goals and ideal routine during this holiday has made me feel so much more energised. And now I am back at home, I have been able to reinvigorate my usual enthusiasm and commitment to my ideal daily routine, more than I was able to pre-holiday (when I was feeling a little more depleted).
- Nurture your relationships
Holidays are the perfect opportunity to have very precious one on one time with your loved ones. For me it was an opportunity to refocus on the opportunities for connection and conversations with Mark, my sister and brother in law and my gorgeous nephew. These opportunities are maximised when in a relaxed environment, free from the stresses of life and work. Savour these opportunities and be conscious of the need to do so post your holidays. Make a commitment to carving out time for this to happen post holiday. If you need to schedule it to make it happen then do it. Our relationships are the most important to our health, wellness and our happiness.
- Invest in self care
When taking time out, doing what you enjoy to invest in your self- care (that is whatever it is that truly allows you to relax and recharge) is absolutely essential. For me it was cooking in that amazing kitchen and creating delicious meals, meditating to the glorious sounds of nature, getting a massage and going to a wonderful osteopath in Mullumbimby who had been recommended to me. Identify what you love, what works for you, and do it!
We enjoyed our time at this idyllic little hideaway in the Byron Hinterland so much that we have already resolved to return again. It is such a beautiful and relaxing place, and is the perfect environment to reinvest in our wellness. I having been back at work only a few days now and I am already seeing the return on my reinvestment.
As holidays are an essential part of reinvesting in your wellness for us all once a holiday has ended planning the next holiday must start. Taking the time out you need is essential to not merely surviving but thriving in life and in work.
So if you don’t have a holiday planned – then start planning one now. Whether it is taking some time out away from the big smoke or indulging in a faster paced sightseeing extravaganza – tune in to what you need at that moment. You and those around you will be better for it. After all we must heed the warning to always fit our own oxygen masks first to be of help to others.
I would love to hear from you about what you plan to do to recharge your batteries and to prioritise your wellness so you can thrive rather than merely survive your life and your work.
P.S Just prior to going on holidays I was so thrilled to be invited to speak in a panel discussion for early career lawyers on self-care and surviving and thriving in legal practice – a topic I am so passionate about. It is part of a Legalwise Conference to be held on 17 November this year. Speaking to early career lawyers about the importance of self-care for the legal profession – given its important not only for lawyers but also for those they offer care, advice and guidance – is a wonderful opportunity to spread the word. After all we must heed the warning to always fit our own oxygen masks first to be of help to others.