Dennis and I recently spent a weekend in the Bahamas, luckily before the hurricane hit. I really wanted a relaxing weekend away where we weren't running from place to place, trying to cram in as much of the local as possible and I really, really, really wanted a beach.
The Bahamas really surpassed my expectations. When you arrive at the Nassau airport there is a live band to greet you. Yeah! I mean top that. While on this glorious vacation I found many opportunities to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment I was in. Once I came back home I wanted to make sure I kept this up because I enjoyed the slow pace so much
Hello hammock. Oh how I love you. We spent one luxurious afternoon before dinner just laying in a hammock. Slowly swaying back and forth, left and right. The light breeze gently rocking us. It was towards the end of our resort's beach area and there weren't a lot of people, plus a lot of people I think were off in their rooms getting ready for dinner. I felt so comfortable there. Had there been somebody to bring me food and water, I could have easily spent the entire vacation in that hammock.
Bring it Home:
Find an area of quiet in your life. Leave your cell phone in your room, turn off your TV and other electronics, open a window if you're not outside, put your feet up and relax. Best case scenario you will end up falling asleep, completely giving in to the relaxation.
There is one part of a vacation I don't think people take enough advantage of and that is time in the airplane. Think about it, if you let it, this is a time to yourself, there are literally people waiting on you and you cannot escape to work, unless if you are on a work trip and brought your lap top. But lets assume a trip for pleasure, not business.
I took this time to meditate, collect my thoughts and relax before and after my trip. Everybody is watching a movie or listening to something on their phones, so you won't look weird if you are wearing over-ear headphones. Plug them in and either listen to relaxing music or turn on your favorite meditation app. Dennis and I personally like Headspace. Turn it on and let go. Get your breathing in tune and appreciate this meditation time built into your day. I recommend starting once the drink cart has already made its first round.
bring it home:
This is an easy one. Whatever you did on the plane, do it at home. Sit down on the floor, on a cushion, on a yoga mat, or even in bed. Depending on how noisy your living situation is, put on some over-ear headphones or just turn on your phone. Start pumping the tranquil tunes of your favorite meditation music and sounds or turn on your favorite meditation app and let go. Take this time to yourself to either reflect or unwind from your day or start your day off great.
I was unaware I was capable of floating until I got to the Bahamas. We have a pool at our apartments, but it's not a salt water pool and otherwise the only oceans I can remember being in were pretty choppy. The beach in the Bahamas however was so smooth. Dennis left for a couple minutes to get a drink and I literally just floated for over 20 minutes. I felt the sun on my face and the warm water surrounding me like a cocoon. Again, I could have done that all day.
Bring it Home:
Lay down on your back, directly on the floor, on a coach or bed or on a yoga mat. Lay in dead man's pose with your legs spread so your feet naturally fall to either side. Keep your arms away from your body with your hands facing up and also falling to the sides. Make sure your neck feels comfortable.
Before getting into this pose you might want to put on some ambient noise, make sure you are wearing something warm, and light a gently scented candle.
Lay there breathing at a natural pace and enjoy the peace that will flush over your body. Continue laying until you feel you are done. If you notice your mind wandering, gently guide it back to your breath.
4. Waking up Early
I would rather wake up early than stay up late. It's that simple. I love waking up before most people and enjoying the silence of the world. This doesn't happen totally naturally it is completely dependent on when I go to bed. Depending on what your plans are for vacay, sometimes what you can do in the morning is more spectacular than what you can do at night any way. For example, you can watch the sunrise over the beach. You can enjoy a long moment of silence laying on the beach. You can slowly feel the heat of the sun get strong and stronger as it rises above the horizon. What a magical moment.
bring it home:
I challenge you to figure out what time sunrise is where you are and get up 30 minutes before it. Go sit on your patio, porch, stoop, yard, or parking lot and get comfortable. Reminder: The sun is Earth's heat source, you will probably need a coat or blanket, especially this time of year. Grab a cup of coffee, pumpkin coffee anyone? Or grab a tea and cozy up in the direction of the sunrise. I guarantee you it will be the most breath taking moment of your day, maybe your week.
Is there anything you discovered on vacation that you have brought back home? I'd love to hear about it.
I am grateful for:
- New opportunities and the confidence to grab them
- How killer I look in this yellow sweater, I always thought I looked terrible in yellow
- A mellow yet fun weekend with my husband at home
- Pumpkin flavored coffee, it's a game changer
- All of my friends and family who always support me even through my neurosis.