Summer school holidays often seem endless – especially years after they have passed. Nostalgia encourages us to romanticise unlimited hours of doing what we want, never-ending days of sunshine, eternal nights of staying up late. But those long holiday periods sometimes feel endless for less endearing reasons. When the boredom sets in, and kids are longing to reconnect with classmates, parents who are juggling work and holiday activities soon find themselves longing for quiet days and early nights again.
If you're feeling harried by the school holidays, indulge in a little nourishment before the final stretch. Here's how ...
Engage your senses
Smell | Let fragrance bring calm to your day. Find a hideaway and scent it with your favourite essential oil (one that is ethically sourced, of course). If life is too frantic to sit down for long, try a scent diffuser locket from Mudita Essentials. As it says on their website, it's perfect for infusing your favorite perfume or essential oil into the air and enjoy the delightful scent all day long.
Sight | Look at something beautiful. The night sky (for those lucky enough to live in the bush), a flower, a gum tree, a child on a trampoline. The possibilities are endless so why not take a trip to Coonabarabran and spend a few (starlit) hours with Donna the Astronomer. Take your time; linger, and appreciate what is in front of you.
Sound | Instead of listening to the kids, seek out grown up stories and let people read to you. Ask your local library if it offers a Borrow Box subscription which allows you to download free audio books, or buy your own from Bolinda. Drift off into a world of romance, history, philosophy – whatever takes your fancy – knowing that you've chosen a sustainable option as well as a pleasurable one.
Taste | While there might not be time for a G+T right at this moment, watch this video from Banks & Solander and dream on. This boutique distillery in Botany has a special selection of hand-crafted artisanal gin and liqueurs based on traditional and native Australian botanicals. Something to consider when the little angels are back to early nights again.
Alternatively, ask the kids to help with your daily caffeine fix. Not suggesting they should be using the espresso machine just yet, but they're sure to enjoy repodding. Along the way, explain that the clever RePodder was invented by an Australian woman so that we can all enjoy a sustainable future. It's never too soon to start.
Touch | Build a habit. Give yourself fifteen minutes to appreciate the touch of paper by writing three pages – about anything, about nothing, about yourself. Do it every day; the practice of sitting down and letting your thoughts wander helps calm the mind. Write in pencil, in a book. If free writing is not appealing, consider a structured approach. Have a look at the fabulous range of journals at Orange and Fig that are sure to foster this daily habit.
If writing is too much effort, indulgence your sense of touch with a refreshing skin care routine courtesy of Merindah Botanicals. Enjoy the free advice and browse the natural skin care range made with simple, local Australian ingredients that promote healthy, happy skin that glows naturally. Find a few favourites and and start dropping Valentine's Day hints.
Keep it going
Try not to stop with small indulgences. Embrace the new year by finding a creative activity to do after the school term begins. Make yourself a priority for a change. If you need convincing, listen to Robyn talking about her experience of learning to paint with Belinda from the Outback Art Academy. Book a course and enjoy the anticipation that comes with preparing for change.
Prevent your post-holiday plans from becoming derailed by finding a buddy or professional helper. An experienced coach will encourage you to stay focussed throughout the year. With the help of a good woman, who knows what you can achieve before the next endless summer holiday begins!
You can enjoy those long summer days by always being conscious to set aside time for yourself. And you can help others enjoy the summer as well by supporting ethical and sustainable Australian businesses run by women.
Calming Toner from Merindah Botanicals
Banks and Solander Signature Gin
Happy Thoughts Journal from Orange and Fig
Top image: In my Own Lane (detail) by Gill Cameron available as a fine art print at O Gosh Shop.
Product images courtesy of respective suppliers.
If you're intrigued by the benefits of writing three pages a day, see Julia Cameron's website.