In two days, I’m leaving for a vacation in the Catskill Mountains, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Years ago, when I was mired in disordered eating and negative body image, there was a part of me that dreaded vacation. My inner critic told me I would be less in control of what I ate and how much I exercised. I wouldn’t be able to weigh myself every day. Counting calories would be more difficult. I would have to stay extra vigilant so I didn’t gain weight while away.
That was then. This is now. Now I eat more mindfully than I ever have. I’m more in tune with my body’s needs for exercise and nutrition. And I spend less time focused on physical health and more time nurturing all aspects of me, including emotional, mental, social, and spiritual health, too.
This summer I’ve been trying to increase my time spent practicing mindfulness. As I continue to incorporate mindfulness into my daily (okay, not always daily) routine, I’m wondering how best to stay mindful while on vacation. In some ways, staying mindfully aware of the present may be easier while I’m in a new place and don’t have my normal routine to follow. Each day will bring new experiences, new sights, and longtime friends to catch up with. The newness of this allows me to stay present to the situation at hand, experiencing things with all of my senses. It may also be helpful for me to continue my five minutes of mindful meditation first thing each morning. There may be new sounds to hear as I close my eyes and let the aural world wash over me. And maybe I can make an effort to attend more fully to everyday tasks like riding in the car instead of just thinking of the next step on our journey.
What are you doing to stay mindfully aware of this moment? Consider re-reading my series of posts on mindfulness to find out how to practice mindfulness and to learn of all of its benefits.
Peace, joy, and health,