When life gives you Pineapples

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When life gives you Pineapples and a Coconut…add Rum

If “vacation” is synonymous with “peace”, what you really need to do is change your lifestyle.

A vacation is on top of all of our wish lists. However, sometimes when we’re hopeless for a vacation, it is the last thing we need.  Constantly pressing the vacation button may be your body and mind’s way of communicating that the way you’re dictating your life is no longer suiting your needs.  A getaway appears like the natural response when we’re faced with life’s challenges. But if the motivation to hop on a plane and fly to a deserted island may actually be a signal to make significant adjustments in your life, otherwise you will only feel guilt and restlessness on your trip. You will not return as if you’ve really escaped. You will be preoccupied of the volcano ready to explode when you return, particularly on the final day of your trip. Coming back home should be inviting, if it isn’t, leaving won’t fix it.  Some issues need to be dealt with on the forefront before we design our itinerary.

Our Dreams

Career and Finances can consume a large bulk of our mental energy if we do not practice responsibility. First and foremost, our career plays a large role in dictating our peace of mind. (Now the word “career” is used loosely, define it as how you make a living. ) If we are not happy with the primary place we spend most of our time, our focus will be to flee, not excel. Now, that is not to say we all necessarily need to have a conventional job. However, your means of producing income should at the very least give you a sense of accomplishment and growth. If you are merely working to pay the bills, energy should be placed in changing this circumstance. Begin working on your resume, research graduate programs. If you prefer an unconventional, more risky route then do so. There is no limit and no step is too small. Read books related to the field you’re interested in, attend seminars, network with like-minded individuals.  You need to feel that you are moving forward. The pace is insignificant. So long as you’re not stagnant, your efforts will snowball in due time.

Guilt and Worry

Guilt is a lingering friend to many of us – it goes hand in hand with worry. Both are useless and loud. Thought the emotions in themselves are a nuisance, they do dictate what is important to us. They’re the memo pads of our subconscious. It is possible some of these memo notes are expired. It is critical to clear the clutter or take action to the voice inside pestering us. You may be neglecting a problem, or you may easily be giving too much significance to an issue that is no longer relevant. However, we cannot escape this voice. Pay attention to it, otherwise it will follow on every plane you board.

Dysfunctional Relationships

You may be involved in a difficult relationship and may be attempting to seek solace in the arms of a foreign environment as a distraction. Whether you’re avoiding a much needed conversation or no longer find the relationship fitting to your life, addressing it is the correct approach. This can vary from an overly critical mother-in-law to an abusive spouse. Although, in this case a break from the norm may do more good than harm. It varies upon circumstance. However,  a resolution still needs to occur sooner than later.

Lack of kindness (with ourselves and excessive kindness to others)

If you’re feeling tired no matter the hours of sleep you receive, lack motivation and ambition and generally feel lethargic, it may be an indication that you’re spending your energy incorrectly. It may be that you’re using your energy on the wrong areas in your life. For example, you may lack a work life balance.  We have a limited amount of energy and if we use it excessively in one aspect of our lives, we will have a shortage in another.  It is also possible we are spending our energy  on others and their needs rather than focusing on ourselves. The hours spent on self-improvement should be tenfold the hours spent on the well-being of others, otherwise we experience energy depletion and  begin to question the “purpose” of our lives.

Lack of Attention

Similar to kindness, we may also have a shortage of attention we dedicate to ourselves. Many of us experience a reoccurring “something is missing” phenomenon. There appears to be a void that returns after endless attempts of pouring cement in. Our first instinct is to seek love and attention from others. This is a result of poor relationship with one’s self that causes results in poor relationships with others. The discordance with ourselves, creates discomfort when we have a moment alone in silence. It is not to say that relationships with others isn’t fundamental to our happiness, however when desperation is added to the equation it can have adverse effects. This “attention” begins with the kindness we exhibit to ourselves. From an emotional standpoint, our internal dialogue is critical. How gentle we approach ourselves with our shortcomings and mistakes?  We often speak to friends as if we’re their therapist and speak to ourselves as if we’re a sergeant.

Basic Needs

How are you taking care of yourself? Pay close attention to your eating habits. Are you eating regularly? Are your portions healthy? Are you consuming too much processed food? Other habits to pay close attention to is our sleep. Are you usually tired? Is the actual area where you rest comfortable? Are you drinking enough water? Is your hygiene respectable? When our natural needs are in disarray, even mundane tasks become overbearing. Many people think they’re due for a vacation when in reality their day to day habits are destructing themselves. Focus on your physical habits. When you’re hydrated, have a good night’s rest, nutritious food, life automatically becomes dramatically easier.

 

It is not to be misunderstood, when we’ve pushed ourselves to our limits, a break is natural and necessary for rejuvenation to regain energy. Also, when we’re faced with adversities out of our control, our system calls for a break. Lastly, simply exploring and feeding our curiosity is a definite call for a vacation. Sipping a Piña colada while absorbing the sun’s rays is definitely inviting and will aid in our healing process. When the escape is to actually run away, it’s a waste of our resources. When the escape is a reward, it does us good. Nothing beats peace of mind, and unfortunately no matter where we physically are, we cannot run away from ourselves. Focus on yourself first and you’ll find enjoyment and appreciation in your everyday life. Ultimately, we need to work on making life easier. A vacation should only be a cherry on top or in this case, a Piña colada.