During all the warm weather and the freedom of the long days of summer, holidays are on everyone’s mind. Jane and I have just returned from Portugal and whilst over there we were discussing the problems faced by ladies like ourselves in organising a family holiday.
No Guilt: Just do it
Throughout the year, we end up juggling all the different responsibilities that fall into our lap and it can be easy to forget how to relax properly. Sometimes we may even feel guilty about booking a holiday out of fear of shirking our responsibilities. However, why should you have to justify an opportunity to relax? Setting time apart to spend together in a stress-free environment can be a great way of recharging everyone’s batteries.
With a relaxed mind and body on return from your holiday, you can forget all about the guilt. Now you are recharged, recuperated and ready to take on life again. Holidays are different for every family, but the key to keeping it enjoyable, is relaxation. Even if you love to go site seeing and want to visit as much of the country you’re in as possible, make sure there is time spent just doing nothing. Taking on too many trips and excursions can leave you feeling the same way as you did at home – exhausted!
Beach Body Beauty
One of the things Jane and I talked about a lot before and during our holiday was the “Beach Body” myth. There’s an idea propagated in most women’s media that we need to suddenly become Aphrodite in order to be seen in a bikini or swimsuit. In truth, your beach body should be whatever skin you’re comfortable in. If we think back to our discussions about Self-Esteem and Personal Style, the key to feeling fabulous on the beach starts by thinking about yourself, not what others think. What is the point in going on a holiday if it requires a 12-week crash diet to fit into this year’s latest swimsuit, where is the relaxation in that?
Instead of aiming for an ever-changing, impossible to maintain “perfect’ figure in the eyes of glam mags”, be yourself. Wear things that make you comfortable and help you to let go of the stresses at home. Strut up and down that beach and let everyone know that you’re beautiful and bold and ready to kick sand into the face of anyone who disagrees!
Spending time with your Partner
One of the benefits of a holiday abroad is that it gives you an opportunity to rediscover the bond you have with your partner. A foreign country (or even just being away from home) is a perfect place to explore new things together; to share those new discoveries with your significant other. Explore new places, drink in a new culture and sample the local cuisine together.
For once you are both free to relax without the worry of work the next day, doing things for the kids or running around after other family members. It’s a chance to lie in the sun, read and talk about what’s happening in your lives. Use your holidays to do things you’ve always wanted to, bungee jump or swim with dolphins. Doing something amazing and adventurous together will give your relationship new life and strengthen those bonds.
When the Kids Stop Coming
Eventually, children get to the age where a holiday with their parents doesn’t seem as exciting as it once did. This can be a great thing for you and your partner. Not only does it give you complete personal freedom for the duration of your break, it also means you no longer to have worry about running the family unit as you would at home.
Everybody has taken on their own independence and a holiday away from the kids gives you a good opportunity to test their capability to be independent and to get some valuable alone time. Relaxation is easy when the added responsibility of entertaining children is lifted from you.
Holiday Reading from Jane and Karen
We find that one of the best ways to relax around the pool or on the beach is to read. Reading gives us the opportunity to disconnect from the stress of the world and to engage in something outside our own lives. Jane and Karen are both avid readers but struggle to find the time to read at home. This is a problem faced by a lot of us, so use your holidays as an opportunity to rekindle your love of reading and to dive into that book that’s been “waiting” for you all year long.
“While in Portugal the book I enjoyed was ‘Love You Dead’ by Peter James, and I started reading ‘How to be a Woman’ by Caitlin Moran. I’m more often found with a Kate Atkinson book in hand (all of which I love!). I also very much enjoy reading my daily Bible passages with devotional by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel on the Youversion Bible App.” – Jane Boyd
“I’m reading a fiction series by Simon Scarrow, “Eagles of the Empire” which is based on the Roman invasion of Britain and also ‘The Adventure of English’ by Melvin Bragg, neither of which is particularly Summery, but I enjoy them nonetheless! One of my all-time favourites is “A Voice in the Wind’ by Francine Rivers, part of a series of Christian fiction books.” – Karen Mandy