Walking on sunshine – get the best out of your summer vacation

walking on sunshine
Walking on sunshine – get the best out of your summer vacation.
Every summer has a story, what is the typical story of your summer vacation time? The onset of sunshine (and the rains) often heralds a max exodus of expatriates from Hong Kong to get out of town for two to three weeks or even the whole summer. Is your summer holidaying an Olympic-visit-a-thon, a time when you shut down completely, a rush to reconnect as a family after months of living separate lives, an all-consuming adventure, or more of the same, working, but just remotely, daily checking emails and searching for the strongest WIFI connection?

The RED DOOR team have the following 5 suggestions to help you walk on sunshine this summer:

Reduce, reuse, rejoice: Often we simplify our lives when we travel, less things, we reuse and wear items again and again. This time is valuable to consider what is important and how we can create a life involving suffocation by stuff-o-cation. Enjoy having less, and ask yourself, does having things (as many as you have at home) really give you satisfaction, or are you satisfied with less than you expect. It’s a wonderful situation to reflect on. Sometimes in simplifying our stuff, we also find simplicity.

Do more of what makes you happy: Spend time thinking about the things that really make you happy in life. When was the last time you felt happy? Does it involve time with friends, accomplishing a project, sitting and reading a good book, conquering a mountain (or at least a sand dune). Now that you are out of the hustle and bustle of the city, and the associated frenetic desire to be constantly busy, take a moment to list the 5 things that have made you happy, and think about how you are going to increase those instances in your life when you return. Make a plan. Write it down on a postcard, and send it to yourself as a reminder when you get home.

Play, and all its benefits, await: There is something to be learnt from the animal kingdom. Even animals who live in demanding environments, where they compete for food and the opportunity to mate, still find time to play. As children, we inherently understand the need for play, in all its purposelessness. Neurological research indicates that play (in children) is associated with better sleep and brain development. As adults, we have may have rationalised away the need to play, potentially to our detriment. According to research, even for adults, play can boost creativity, improve relationships with people, foster trust, is associated with better mood, and serves as a relief against stress. Break out a colouring book, go outside and run around with your pet, or kid (or both), break out the clay, or set up some board games. See if you can build up yourself, and some positive memories as well.

Say sorry for the things you said in Winter: when the sun is shining and you are relaxed, take a moment to think about things you may regret to have done when you were stressed or feeling under the weather. Can you consider sending an apology to someone you have treated unfairly. Can you even consider forgiving someone who maybe even doesn’t deserve it, simply to move the weight of this situation from your psyche? Sometimes it seems impossible to apologize, or forgive, but ask yourself if holding on to this hurt is holding you up? If you can’t forgive the object of your hurt, then at least spend some time forgiving yourself for wanting a situation to be different that it was, or is. Then, let the sun rise on a new day when you potentially feel “over it”.

Have the greatest summer romance of all. Fall in love with yourself again. Write 5 affirmations a day about things you did WELL during the day, or positive feelings you had. Start a journal entry with “when I love myself, I will …”. Forgive yourself for being human if you made mistakes. Every day is a chance to start a new.

For those of you dashing out of town, have a great summer, be renewed, get replenished. Enjoy.

If you have feedback on this blog, or would like to learn more about establishing happiness habits, overcoming hurts and learning to care for yourself, please email Angela at angelaw@reddoor.hk