That spa retreat you really really wanted to go to over the holidays is booked out, you can’t get a reservation at any of your favourite restaurants and even the bach you normally go to at this time of the year is fully occupied...how on earth are you supposed to relax?!
Luckily we can help!
Here are 10 different things you can try to re-charge over the break.
1: Visit A Digital Detox Camp
With the underlying idea of “disconnect to reconnect”, tech-free wellness retreats are springing up everywhere. Participants trade in their smartphones or devices for an off-the-grid experience. The objective? To engage in offline activities, create meaningful and deeper connections with new people and even learn new (sometimes forgotten) skills.
Check out Digital Detox LLC for more inspiration.
2: Try Laughter Yoga
“In Laughter Yoga, we don’t laugh because we are happy; we are happy because we laugh.” – Dr Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga.
Laughter yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. Basically participants come together for “laughing sessions”. This not only generates plenty of positive vibes all round, but provides a great way to let go of inhibitions. Research suggests it may even have some medically beneficial effects, including benefits to cardiovascular health and mood.
There are several Laughter Yoga clubs around the world (check out New Zealand clubs here). Bonus: classes are generally free!
3: Indulge In Some Floatation Therapy
Claiming to be “the ultimate relaxation experience”, floatation therapy involves getting into ‘float pods’ (or sensory deprivation tanks) and lying for an hour or more in a solution of Epsom Salts and Dead Sea salts and pure water set at relaxed skin temperature. It is a method of deep relaxation, helping to relieve stress and improve wellbeing.
4: Volunteer for a Good Cause
Pets, the Environment, Education, Fitness - chances are, whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find a volunteering opportunity to fit. Nothing like the feel good feeling of doing good.
So how do you get started?
The easiest way to get started is to check out local opportunities – for example, listings in the paper, websites such as Neighbourly or community centre noticeboards at your local supermarket or gym. A lot of countries also have a dedicated website for Volunteer opportunities – such as Volunteering New Zealand or Volunteering Australia.
5: Complete A DIY project
Whether it’s a new deck you’ve been waiting to build or you want to up-cycle your existing furniture, DIY projects are a great way of taking ownership of your life and material possessions. Besides, completing a project is a really great and empowering feeling!
So how do you get started?
- First of all, think about the project you want to work on and the skills you’ll need. For example, with furniture up-cycling, could a woodworking class be beneficial? Or learning about sustainable materials or environmental best practice?
- Learn from other bloggers; The internet is a wonderful place – tap into insight from these top 20 DIY blogs.
- Find a DIY community in your area; Makerspaces offer an opportunity for DIYers to meet up and share ideas and inspiration around similar interests.
- Head over to your local hardware stores for more support; In New Zealand for example, home improvement retailer Mitre10 has a dedicated Guides and Advice section on their website, and Bunnings Warehouse offers weekly DIY workshops.
- Get inspired on Pinterest.
6: Make Time For Creativity
Ji Lee talks about the transformative power of side projects, so whatever you’ve been thinking about dabbling in on the side, holidays are a great time to pick it up! But any creative pursuit requires intention and purpose to progress beyond the initial stage. Here are some ways you can get your creative ideas off the ground:
- Set yourself a goal – for example “to complete 30 minutes of a creative endeavour every day”.
- Create an environment that is conducive to creativity. Plenty of natural light, a good pair of headphones and a clear, clutter-free desk work best for me.
- Set reminders in your calendar.
- Get someone to hold you accountable.
- Get inspired! If the idea of launching head first into a creative project is daunting, look at the work of others who inspire you.
7: Listen To Alternative Music
Listening to music that’s outside your comfort zone is a good way of sparking creativity. We’re not just talking about changing up your Spotify playlist. Physically heading to different gigs will expose you to new ideas, rhythms, and people. Check out local gig guides for ideas!
8: Take a Vipassana or ‘silent meditation’ course
Vipassana meditation is ‘noble silence’ meditation, described as a practical way to achieve peace of mind and live a happy, useful life. But it’s definitely not for the faint hearted. A lot of centres offer a 10 day residential course where the student can be free from distractions and engage in a more disciplined practice.
9: Do an improv class
Image from The Office
Learning the art of improv is another great way to loosen up and gain a newfound confidence in a fun environment. You’ll find a class or course you can join in most cities. Bonus: You’ll gain skills that are transferable to the workplace, such as being able to think on your feet, improved self-confidence, the ability to laugh at yourself and...the joy of play.
10: Pick Up A Book
You can’t be a great writer if you don’t read, so I try and have my nose buried in a book whenever I can (yes, the old-fashioned kind).
Go on, do something a little different this holiday!