The 3 Benefits Of A Great Holiday
Many moons ago, when Reilly worked in Dublin, he literally had one of the country’s finest minds and psychotherapists on tap.
They both shared a mutual grá for conversing ‘as gaeilge’ (in Irish) and on the first Wednesday of each month they would repair to Toner’s bar on Baggot Street where they would discuss the affairs of the world and the mind through the medium of Irish.
Reilly regrets greatly not having recorded the content of those sessions such as the wisdom and insight that would inevitably emerge.
One such evening that he can still recall quite vividly was the account the psychotherapist gave of his recent holiday to Italy. He had described in detail the living history of Rome ‘on almost every doorstep.’
He recounted the purity of the art that the De Medici family had bequeathed to the city of Florence. And he described in sensory detail the cuisine in the restaurants of Sorrento in which he’d put on an entire extra stone in just ten days.
‘That’s why experiencing and enjoying great holidays are such a powerful mental strategy Reilly. They combine three potent benefits all in one. It’s probably the advice I dispense more than any other in my practice as a psychotherapist.
‘What’s a great holiday got to do with mental stability,’ asked Reilly innocently
‘Well firstly, there’s the benefit of looking forward to it.
When you know that you will be enjoying a great holiday in a week or a month – or even a year – that sense of looking forward to an enjoyable event can help you greatly in coping with the mundane, day-to-day exigencies of everyday life.
‘Secondly, there’s the benefit of experiencing and enjoying the holiday itself.
It’s about being present and mindful of what’s going on. ‘You know Reilly, many people go to Rome and Florence and Sorrento. But not everyone experiences them.
There’s a massive difference between going to Rome and experiencing Rome. Think about that.’
‘And finally Reilly there are the happy, uplifting, and enriching memories.
The kind that you can deposit forever in the wonderful computer that is your mind. Those are memories that can trigger feelings of peace and joy and strength.
‘Do you ever get depressed or down yourself,’ asked Reilly changing the subject.
‘Absolutely Reilly. I can’t tell you how miserable I felt coming back to work on Monday after such a wonderful holiday.’
Reilly was intrigued that this paragon of mental virtue would concede to ever feeling despondent or down.
‘And what did you do about it?
‘Simple. I do what I always do when I experience post-holiday blues. I plan my next break away. I booked three nights away in Parknasilla. Let me tell you what I’m going to do when I get there!
• Your mental peace of mind is critically important. Planning your holiday well in advance has two distinct benefits.
One, it ensures you will probably have a better time when you get there.
Secondly, and more importantly, you can look forward to it now with relish. You begin experiencing the joy of a holiday the moment you book it.
• There’s a massive difference between going to Paris and experiencing Paris. One is passive. The other is proactive.
• Schedule and book a break now (it can be as little as a night away in a special place) and experience the immediate buzz of imagining that imminent break.
• Map out a series of mini-breaks and allow yourself the pleasure of luxuriating about them.
‘VACATIONS (HOLIDAYS IN IRELAND) MEAN A CHANGE OF PACE, A GENTLENESS WITH OURSELVES, A TIME OF REST AND RENEWAL, AND A TIME TO STRETCH OURSELVES AND ENCOUNTER NEW PEOPLE, NEW LANDS, NEW WAYS, AND NEW OPTIONS.’
ANNE WILSON SCHAEF
1. What are your favourite holiday memories? How do they make you feel?
2. When and where is your next break?
(Reilly is just now beginning his two-week holiday and is out the door now to start experiencing them.)