We get one shot at life. It is short. We need to bring our ‘A’ game. Travel gives us the opportunity to develop ourselves into our best selves. You can only give your best and you can only be your best. That is it. No one can ask more of you than being your best. Your best today is not the same as your best tomorrow. One week you will be kicking goals and then the following week the goals are kicking you. That’s okay, as that is your best at that point in time.
To be your best self, psychologists will give you many prescriptions for how. I am not a psychologist and I come from the school of ‘just-get-on-with-it’. I don’t suffer depression and I don’t understand a lot of people’s suffering. But I don’t need to understand but rather I need to be kind. Having no professional skills in this area other than I have absurdly high levels of self-esteem and I am often bursting with energy. Does qualifies me to help some people? What is it I do from day to day to be my best self?
I live honestly. I haven’t always but I do now. Life is full of muck and poop. Facing the poop rather than hiding it is far easier than hiding it or inventing stories around it. I have also learnt that it’s okay to state you don’t want to discuss something. Having integrity gives you a purpose in life and pride.
It doesn’t matter if your exercise is high intensity or low impact. You need to get your body moving for the brain to function accordingly. Blood needs to move and all your insides will function better with increased blood flow throughout your body.
If you work out in a gym consistently you may think that is all the exercise you need. You are wrong. You need to allow time to daydream. Time to appreciate the world around you. If you can walk near water, that is even better. Your mind can take on a meditative state when near water. Try not to listen to podcasts or music. Just appreciate the natural world around you. If you live in arid areas, try to be somewhere where there is some greenery. You will be amazed how much this can having a calming effect on you.
I compartmentalise my life. My boys have their birthdays in August and I don’t think about parties until July. I don’t think about Christmas until Halloween is over. I don’t think about back to school until we return from our summer break. Naturally, I could plan all of these things well in advance but that creates pressure of many things at once. I divide and concur and deal with only a small number of things at a time. I allow myself time to not think about lists and all that I need to do.
You may have read my book reviews. I read to transport myself to somewhere else. I don’t have a Tardis and until my son is at university I think there is little chance of time travel. My husband needs visual transportation and television. I prefer books and I can read several at a time. In an effort to expand my mind and try to read different genres. If it’s dull, I fall asleep. That’s a win win for me and my insomnia habits.
Get plenty of sleep. Or rather try getting enough sleep. A household with children, there is always something is there not? We lead busy and hectic lives. Remember that sleep deprivation has knock on effects to many other areas of your life. Don’t stress about only having 4 hours last night. You will last through the day. It may be tough but you will be okay. Try to measure your sleep issues over a week or fortnight rather than day by day, you will notice you may have lots, then less, than loads again.
Turn social media off. I put my phone down and only pick it up once the kids are in bed. Allow time to go to dinner with your lover. Make time to speak to each other with few distractions for at least half hour each day. Try to one on one time with each of your kids. I read one kid a story in the evening and play a game of chess with the other.
Now this is where we need to build on our relationships. It’s all very well putting the phone down but you need to make conversation and communicate to be able to connect. If making conversation is difficult perhaps look up some of those conversation games and use them to break the ice. Without a connection, we can’t expect to trust someone to have our backs. We as humans need to lean on people. It takes a village to raise a family. The modern-day village is a little different to what we have seen in the past, but we need to rely on friends and family to help us through busy times. Use them to help disconnect and reconnect.
Talk to strangers
Talk to people in shops and on your daily commute. Be aware when they don’t want to talk, but chat with people. You will be amazed at who you meet. I meet a lovely older gentleman on my ride to the city the other day. He was wearing fabulous mustard corduroy pants with red bracers. He went to school in Australia but his parents lived in Scotland. In the holidays, he used to board at the yacht club. Once he could drink and at university he said this was the most fabulous fun. Can you imagine only seeing your parents once or twice a year for a few weeks? Can you imagine being 8 and living at a yacht club in your school holidays? He was most interesting indeed.
Take care of what you put in your mouth. You need to fill your body with germ fighting and powerful foods. You can only be strong with providing your body with the fuel to build strength. Sharing food with those you love is a way to express love but also share laughter and stories. Make sure the meal is worthy of those that you share it with. Cheese sandwiches may be a cheese sandwich but when you present them with love and take the time to make them look wonderful, the result is always worth it.
I have a friend who I like to call a happiness doctor. (although she is far more than that) Dr. Rachel is a practising doctor and healthcare innovator, with a special interest in Happiness. Having recovered from an accident that broke her back and neck where she was lying in hospital for months on end, Rachel is focusing on increasing empowerment – in mental and physical health – through technology and education.
A quote from her. ‘Happiness can improve your health. It’s time for a new prescription’ – Dr. Rachel Thomas. In the search for improving myself, I look for happiness. Holidays make me damn happy. As a result, travel is a source of happiness and development for many of us. But it’s not only holidays that make me happy. It’s when my husband remembers to put his shoes in the basket rather than next to it like a well-trained dog. I joke.
Click here for a link through to Rachel’s homepage and follow her on Instagram. @doctor.rachel
Happiness needs to exist in your everyday. For many of us the planning of travel is a way to release ourselves form the everyday and have something to look forward to. For me it is about learning and developing an understanding of what to do and what to see all before I get there. I read that bucket-lists should be thrown out and we should explore rather than walk around and tick off a list what to see. Whilst I agree, I also disagree. I have been to Paris numerous time and I have not seen the Mona Lisa. The lines have always been too long for me to justify. In lieu of seeing old Mona, I have walked and seen buildings or exhibitions. I have managed to fit so much more into my time in Paris as a result of not seeing her.
Planning a holiday is understanding all that there is to see and ensuring that on each day we have educated choices of what to do and see. Rain happens and that beach day planned for Tuesday may need to be moved. The trips you have planned for Wednesday only happen on Wednesday. That is my point. You don’t have to see and do all that is on your list but you have plenty of options to see and explore as much as you are comfortable doing. We want to fill our trip with memories and bottle all that happiness to get us through to the next break. We take photos and load them onto social media. Are we creating memories of our happiness or trying to create the PR story that we are having the best time?
What do you want to from a holiday? Below is my checklist of what I want.
- Time to read
- Rest and plenty of it.
- Walks along the beach at sunset
- Meals with my kids and meals without my kids
- Early morning and late afternoon beach visits for a refreshing swim
- Laughter and sunshine. Or no sunshine and laughter.
- Growth through understanding something new. Some travel is to the same destination year on year. That does not mean there is nothing to learn or discover.
These are the reasons I travel. To my best me. I tell my son every day to be better today than you were yesterday. Not a huge amount, just better. Travel gives me the opportunity to build on everyday habits of being my best me. Travel to exotic locations gives you the additional bonus of adventure and learning. Essentially it is all about being the best you and trying your best to your absolute best.
Get out there, there are plenty of reasons to travel but for be it is to strive to be the best me.