beach ballHolidays and weekends-away are great! You knew that of course. But have you thought about the impact of your wellness? All too often we abandon our exercise programmes, succumb to the buffet-table-blitz, indulge in a few more sunset-drinks than we should, etc. Does it have to be this way? Of course not! here are some thoughts on how you can use these times as opportunities to improve your wellness rather than having them become the “slack-off-get-round” disasters that so many of experience.

NOURISHMENT – You may not have your own kitchen and pantry but very often the hotel or guest house offers a great variety of healthy foods like fresh fruit, crisp vegetables, quality proteins, fish, etc. Quite often there is more health food on offer than is the case at home. It’s really a matter of spotting these options, choosing them, and declining the not-so-healthy choices like deep-fried anything, sauces and gravies, large desserts, and of course, excessive portions (eating your way through the entire buffet sometimes feels like “getting value” but it is really just a way to ensure you gain weight – think about making smarter choices).

ACTIVITY – Time-off nearly always means having more free-time and the chance to choose how you spend your time. Lack of time is one of the commonly-cited obstacles to exercise. So your holiday or weekend-away is a great chance to get active. Putting in a few minutes of activity every day is suddenly possible and may be just what you need to kick-start or re-start your exercise programme. The possibilities are almost endless: many venues have great gym & exercise facilities, you’re often close to nature, beach-walks are so great on so many levels, the kids love being active with you, etc.

ME-TIME – There can be no doubt that very few of us get enough of this precious commodity. We just do not get to our books, our favourite (good quality) TV, relaxing massages, long baths, etc. Time-off allows us to catch up a bit here. The trick is being “selfish” enough to actually do so (it is NOT really selfish of course) and in making sure we spend the time wisely doing things that we really want to do and that are good of us in some way (so hours spent simply vegetating in front of the telly do not count here). Try planning your holiday me-time and then stick to your plans!

BE REALISTIC – Too many of think that a holiday will fix our lives, put everything right, dissolve all our stress, help us find balance again, etc. This is not really true. A holiday (or a weekend away, or even a night out) is a break and as such can help us feel better for a while. But it is not a fix for an unhealthy out-of-balance over-stressed lifestyle. Don’t con yourself. If you need to change your lifestyle, you need to change your lifestyle – going away for a while will not do that. Think about it…

So there are just a few ideas and approaches to making your time-off healthier. It really comes down to a positive attitude, some planning, and a few good choices. You can do this.