Monday, 7 July 2014

Holiday Highs

I go on holiday this weekend. 2 weeks of bliss in the sunshine where, crucially, very little is required of me and I feel absolved of all my usual responsibilities and commitments. Nothing has to be done. There is no schedule. Love it. This year I’m actively looking forward to not drinking; not having a fuzzy head to hamper an early morning walk or being exacerbated by the sunshine. In the last 18 months, and 3 holidays I have changed from missing alcohol and wondering how I’ll cope without a drink, to being okay with being sober, and now to welcoming it. This is progress.

I used to get very stressed in the lead up to a holiday. Finishing off things at work, packing and personal grooming. Somewhere I had to find time to apply fake tan (preceded by exfoliation and moisturizing), have a pedicure, do my nails, pluck eyebrows etc.

Now I do it differently.

I view my 2 weeks away as a spa-type sanctuary break where I pamper myself, having lots of time to do so rather than a rushed effort before we leave home. I also have lots of time now I no longer ‘relax’ with afternoon cocktails, pre dinner gin and tonic and an evening’s worth of wine. So I pack fake tan, exfoliating mitt, manicure set and polish, eyebrow waxing kit (another first; slightly nervous about that) and throw in a few extras that I never get around to during normal ‘life’: a face mask and a deep conditioning treatment for my hair. 

I give my skin and hair a break by wearing no make up and not using straighteners, wax or hairspray for the 2 weeks. You may be horrified by this, I know many see holidays as the time to dress up and party in style but I have reached the comfortable phase of family holidaying in a villa with evening entertainment based around a stroll and an ice cream or a family movie with popcorn on the sofa.

This simple way of life is conducive to healthy eating and drinking copious amounts of sparkling water and I come home rested and truly refreshed as opposed to exhausted, dehydrated and several pounds heavier.

If you are trying your first break without alcohol this would be a good mindset to adopt: rather than missing out on the ‘fun’ you usually have drinking, plan a detox, nurturing, self indulgent break. Just do it once. This year. If it’s awful you can always return to your old ways next year, or you may surprise yourself by preferring this stable, lower key version of events and stick with it.

Whatever you decide: Happy Holidays!

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