Everyone I speak to at the moment is about to go away somewhere exotic. There are huge physical and psychological benefits to be had from going on holiday. It’s wonderful to be looked after; for someone else to cook and wash up for you, to make your bed and clean the floor. Holidays let us recharge and give us space and time to remember why we love to be alive. They’re a time to treat ourselves. We buy things we wouldn’t normally buy. We sleep in, stay up late and enjoy the luxury of doing what we want in between. Relaxation, walks, swimming, new people to meet and exciting places to go, quality time with loved ones – so far so good.
Food and drink is where it can all come unravelled. It’s so easy to go mad and stuff yourself silly, particularly on an ‘all-inclusive’ deal. In these credit-crunch days we want our money’s worth. The holiday word is ‘indulgence’. If you did a pre-holiday diet, the splurge can be partly fuelled by the deprivation you suffered beforehand. This ‘on or off’, ‘all or nothing’ mentality gives your body problems. Instead of just eating more, how about using mindfulness to get more pleasure from what you eat? You’ve more time than usual to notice how good your food looks and smells. Savour the tastes and textures. Eat more slowly and let your senses soak it all in. Fabulous!
If, like me, you’re spending the summer at home, you can take the same approach with home cooking, picnics, parties and BBQs. Even a simple salad for lunch can be an amazing experience when you give it your full attention.
Top tip: For maximum enjoyment of food – eat mindfully.