20 Dec The ‘Go Slow: Holiday Guide’
Life feeling like a treadmill?
Penny Webb explains how to get your groove back these holidays.
Nicky Raymond’s world turned upside down when her husband was made redundant, resulting in several months of unemployment. Money became tight and suddenly holidays and costly family activities weren’t possible.
“We went camping and swapped cocktails for campfires,” says Nicky. “I taught the kids games my parents taught me, such as charades, card games and spotlight. We actually had more fun slowing our holidays down.”
Slow Holiday Focus
The idea of ‘slow’ living has made inroads as a salve for our fast-lane modern lives, from slow cooking to slow design and even slow parenting. Slow holidays focus on experiences and creating lasting memories as a family, rather than rushing from one place to another, standing in queues, scheduling activities and keeping a fretful eye on the time.
In a study conducted by TNS Research this year, parents cited not spending enough quality time with their children as a challenge, with over-scheduling and minimal down time as contributing causes. Nearly 70 per cent of mothers rated wanting to spend time together as a family as ‘extremely important’, while around 90 per cent of children ranked spending time together with the family of very high importance.
Developing Happiness and Wellbeing
Psychologist Jodie Benveniste says the positive emotional and psychological impact of slow holidays is vitally important to all family members. “We can often be with our children but not be truly present,” she says. “Slow holidays offer the opportunity for our kids to have our undivided attention. That helps them to develop self-worth, which is an integral part of happiness and wellbeing.”
Mother-of-two Bianca Wakelin started a business with her husband four years ago. The only time she spent with her children was during the routine of dinner, bath and bed, with minimal quality time together as a family.
“Both of us were stressed,” says Bianca. “We were just doing what we could to get through the day.” This year, Bianca decided to step away from the business and help the family spend more mindful time together. “I realised it’s about finding your slow spot,” she says. “Every couple of months we go to a cabin on the beach. We take the kids’ bikes, a cricket bat and ball and cook marshmallows.”
Slowing life down has not only impacted their holidays but their family’s way of life. “I use the memories we’ve created on holidays to take myself back to what it felt like to be present,” says Bianca. “We’ve ended up implementing a slower way of life in our day-to-day world.”