6 Tips for a Perfect Summer Holiday

6 Tips for a Perfect Summer holidayThere’s a Billy Crystal film called City Slickers that was a firm favourite of mine back in the 90s. The basic plot was about three friends who take an annual trip together without their wives. Each year the trips get wackier. In City Slickers they travel to the Southwest to drive cattle on a supervised vacation. The legendary Jack Palance plays the tough cowboy, Curly Washburn and Billy Crystal plays Mitch, the man on the edge of a midlife crisis.

It’s a fun film to watch, but it also has a few valuable lessons mixed in amongst the humour. One of my favourite parts is when Curly explains ‘vacation’ to Mitch. ‘Y’all spend fifty weeks a year getting knots in your rope and then expect to come up here and unwind them in two weeks.’ This pretty much sums up the basic work/life balance of the twentieth century. We work long hours sometimes risking our family time and leisure activities and then expect to fully relax when herded onto bus, plane, and coach on an all-inclusive trip to Spain!

After many years working in holistic health, I’m fairly lucky that I’ve learned how to master the work/life balance reasonably well. Although, social media time can become incredibly overwhelming sometimes! My holidays tend to be a time for reconnecting with my three children who have a better social life than me and enjoying relaxing meals with my parents. I also love to visit historical sites, swim in the sea, and shop at quirky markets.

I’m slightly alarmed that this all sounds like a dating profile, so I’ll swiftly move on! Holidays are the ideal time to explore new and exciting places. I try to pick a new destination each year so that over time my children and I travel to as many places in the world as we can. Yes, I have my favourites (Barcelona!) but discovering new locations is half the fun of a holiday.

Being able to relax fully is something we all long to do when we step off a plane in a sunny climate, but quite often we end up doing too much, getting ill, or over indulging so that our well planned and eagerly anticipated holiday ends up as another stressor.

So, how can we embrace the holiday season and totally switch off? I’ve just returned from ten days in America where I was rushing here, there, and everywhere on site seeing tours, however, I was also able to commit fully to my time away and reap the benefits. Here’s what I did:

  1. Switch off your phone – I used my phone to take photos (hundreds of photos!) and face time my children a few times, but other than that I switched it to silent and kept it in my bag. Due to the time difference I was in bed when the UK was awake, so before I went to bed each night, I would do one Facebook update of the activities we’d done that day and add a few photos. One Facebook post a day to keep my family and friends in the loop. No twitter, no blog posts, no Instagram, no emails – no stress!
  2. Eat right – It’s tempting to over indulge on holiday, but if you aim to fill up on the incredible fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, and lean meats that are readily available then it will help maintain your weight. I thoroughly enjoyed the occasional milk shake and Krispy Kreme (well, I was in America!) but I also filled up on bowls of fruit and yogurt and tasty evening meals that weren’t deep fried.
  3. Water, water, everywhere – Drinking plenty of fluids when in a hot climate is important, and I don’t mean mojitos! Staying hydrated helps your skin, reduces headaches, and keeps you cool.
  4. Leave the sunbed behind – For loads of people, lying on a sunbed for a week is their idea of a relaxing holiday. There’s nothing wrong with this at all and I certainly engaged in a few hours of pool time while away, however, getting up and going for a walk, or site seeing can be just as relaxing as well as stimulating for the mind and soul. I visited some incredible museums, galleries, and forests in America and soaked up the magic of the new surroundings.
  5. Stock up on Vitamin C – It’s happened to us all. We arrive at the beach all excited for a week in the sun and the next day are struck down with a cold. Ensure you have all the necessary lotions and potions with you to help combat any bugs, bites, or indulgences.
  6. Meditation works – It can be hard to switch off from home life when away and as your holiday draws to a close you might find thoughts of work creeping in. Try a spot of meditation to bring your mind back to the present moment. If you’re in the swimming pool rest against the side, close your eyes and listen to the lap of the water against the pool edge. If there are kids laughing and splashing try tuning into these sounds as this is a typical holiday vibe. At dinner there are often candles on the table, gaze into the flame and concentrate on the shape and colours.

USA 2017 434The most important part of a holiday is to enjoy it. Throw yourself into a new culture, exotic places, and meeting lovely people. Sample foods that are unusual, and visit independent shops to help local communities. Do the tourist attractions but also look out for other, less obvious places to visit as there are gems dotted all over.

I’m sharing my American trip highlights over on my author blog, so please feel free to pop over and read about the incredible activities I enjoyed and the places I visited.

Happy summer x

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Trek to the Top Challenge #Fitness

Trek to the TopAll of my friends appear to be taking part in a fitness regime these days.  The hugely popular 30 Day Abs Challenge, created by mum of eight, Robyn Mendenhall Gardner, has changed my sedentary pals into crunchers, plankers and leg lifters.  If I knew how to crunch I may have joined them.

Not to be outdone by my toned up, trimmed down friends, I decided that action was needed to be taken if I wanted to get that summer body I craved.

I may have hung up my running shoes after completing my half marathon back in 2012, but there is nothing stopping me from dusting them off and putting them to good use once more.  Running is out of the question as my knees creak louder than my floorboards these days, so I wanted to keep it simple-ish! Read more

Embracing Personal Development to Lead a Happier Life

‘When the student is ready the teacher appears.’ Buddha.

Embracing PDThat quotation became a guiding light through dark times for me. Instead of shaping my life as a victim of emotional and physical domestic abuse, I was guided down the pathway of a survivor by numerous mentors. It wasn’t on overnight revelation by any means. Before I tuned into the right vibrations, I lost my way, abusing my body and mind with alcohol and a poor diet. I developed hyperhidrosis and eczema brought on by the stress of divorce and coping as a single mum to three children under the age of six. I lost my job and my home, as well as an entire family unit in the way of mother and father-in-law, sister, brother, nieces, and nephew. I felt very alone.

When my Reiki Master Teacher appeared in my life following a series of events and meetings that I later learned to be synchronicity at work. I realised that ‘I’ the student, was ready. By studying the principles of Reiki, I was able to utilise these lessons and adopt the techniques for self-work. Understanding, finally, that it’s impossible to help others if you are broken. Working on my issues, became a priority and from a more grounded base, I was able to support my children and embrace a solid, happy, and healthy family life. Read more

How to Create a Visual Healthy Eating Plan

How to Create a Visual Healthy Eating PlanSummer is fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be in a blind panic that the only summer clothing that still fits you is your flip flops!

I have taken part in every possible healthy eating regime known to man, purely for blogging purposes of course! So, what have I discovered? Ultimately, I’ve realised that I have absolutely no willpower whatsoever – zilch, nada, nowt! I begin full of enthusiasm and dedication to the cause, but it rarely lasts. The problem here is not the regime; I know so many people who are at their ideal weight and loving a new found confidence after following a specific routine. I understand that my problem is inside my head, and unless I can ditch the self-loathing, I will never crack this. Read more

Are You Holding Yourself Back? #SelfCare

Are you holding backWhen we’re in our tweens, we long to reach our teens. When we finally arrive at that sweet sixteen landmark, we long for adulthood.

As adults, many of us aren’t prepared for the mess of responsibilities, or indeed, the real-life influences that can suck out our creative soul. Time goes by, and our lives can feel a little bit out of control. That electricity bill needs to be paid, the sales meeting must be attended, and the car has to be insured, but when do we make time for the dreams and aspirations we had growing up?

As an eight-year-old, I had clear ideas of becoming an author, but it wasn’t until I reached the ripe old age of forty-two that I got around to doing something about it. For thirty-four years I’d held myself back in a variety of ways. Throughout my twenties, and thirties I often woke in the middle of the night dreaming about characters, and plot twists, but I used the excuse of an unhappy marriage, subsequent divorce, and being a single mum as a way of telling myself I didn’t have time to write.

I allowed my limiting beliefs to control my actions. ‘I’m not good enough,’ and ‘people will think I’m stupid,’ were constant thought patterns. I’d built these walls around myself, and it took many years before I realised they were preventing me from achieving my writing dreams. Read more

Using Acupuncture to Release Negative Emotions #Wellbeing

Using Acupuncture to Release Negative EmotionsI’ve been a bit under the weather this week. I succumbed to a bug and have been coughing and spluttering all over the place. Shares in Kleenex must have gone through the roof! I went for my usual acupuncture session yesterday, and even my wonderful therapist had to double check my multiple pulses. ‘Hmm, it’s not looking good!’ was her diagnosis.

As I reclined on the couch, covered in fine needles, trying not to cough and impale myself on the one strategically located at my throat, it reminded me of a session earlier this year which totally blew me away. As this blog is now on a new blogging platform, I thought I’d re-share the experience as it had such a powerful impact on me.

Releasing Negative Emotions.

Since the middle of last year, I have had regular acupuncture sessions with a wonderful therapist called Jo; she is insightful, compassionate, and highly skilled. I know without any doubt that the sessions are making a difference, not just physically, but emotionally. Read more