I woke up late. Very late.
I was stressed. My cortisol level was high. I had work to do early morning.
I pulled out my journal. I quickly wrote about the things I was grateful for, my focus for the day and an affirmation.
I sat down to work. But something didn’t feel right.
I was feeling overwhelmed. I was exhausted due to work and some people in my life. I felt it was time to hit the pause button.
So, I did it. I dumped all the plans for the day. I postponed my to-dos to other days, and I plugged off from work.
I decided to take a super tiny vacation.
I call it as “Solitude Holiday”.
For the full day, I spent time by myself.
It was the day of rehabilitation and rejuvenation.
I got up and went outside. On a normal day, I would listen to a podcast or audio while walking. But this time, I engaged all my senses and went on a walk.
I noticed the small things I would take for granted. I noticed the trees shedding off its old leaves, the chirping of the birds, the carefree playfulness of a child, and the sunshine hitting my eyes and skin.
I came home and instead of weight training, I did a stretching session while listening to podcasts.
I made myself tea and paid attention to my thoughts.
I decided to think one thought at a time. It’s hard to do so in the world of internet and social media where we switch from thought to thought so easily. Every notification, social media page, headline, discount coupon and what not, make us quickly shift our attention.
I actively meditated and observed my thoughts without judgment. I noticed that most of my thoughts were useless. And that’s okay.
It becomes a problem when we give a useless thought the attention it does not deserve. Such thoughts try to fool our mind and pretend to be important but they’re not.
Then, I made myself a nutritious breakfast after fasting for twenty hours. After eating, I did some digital declutter, watched informative videos and read for a while.
In the evening, I watched some comedy videos and a nature documentary before going to the final part of my day.
While listening to relaxing music, I did a value and direction check in my journal. I checked if I was living a life true to myself. I checked if I was actively creating my future.
With that, I finished the day and went to bed under a warm and cozy blanket. I smiled, felt grateful and drifted off to sleep.
The next day, I was fully recharged. The cycle of creating, serving, learning, reflecting and recovering was back on.
So often we forget to hit the pause button. If you want to consciously design your life in the right direction, you have to listen to your mind and body.
For me, “Solitude holiday” works wonderfully. Every vacation does not have to be weeks or months long. Find out what works for you and make it happen when you need it.
When you feel out of focus or out of sync with life, hit the pause button. You’ll come back stronger and smarter.
“People seek retreats for themselves in the country, by the sea, or in the mountains. You are very much in the habit of yearning for those same things. But this is entirely the trait of a base person, when you can, at any moment, find such a retreat in yourself. For nowhere can you find a more peaceful and less busy retreat than in your own soul — especially if on close inspection it is filled with ease, which I say is nothing more than being well-ordered. Treat yourself often to this retreat and be renewed.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.