If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend taking a vacation by yourself. It doesn’t have to be long, just a weekend will do; so long as you have time set aside just for you to be alone with yourself, free of all distractions. Go ahead and turn those notifications off, don’t think about work, and forget social media. Sounds crazy right? Hear me out for a few minutes before you completely ditch this idea.
A couple weekends ago, after my birthday, I decided I would like to stay at the beach for a little bit. Every weekend in April and May was filled with something, except one weekend and I needed time away. Plus, I also had to use this thing called a “personal holiday” (perks of working for the state) before the end of June. So, I took off a few extra hours early on a Friday, used my “personal holiday” on that following Monday, and set off to the beach for the weekend. Originally when I came up with this idea, I decided for it to be a family thing. My sister would go as well as my parents, and we’d make it a family vacation. But, I had always wondered what it would be like to take a vacation by myself, kind of a “grown up” thing to do I thought. It was a step out of my comfort zone to stay at a condo alone, eat alone, lay out by the pool or on the beach alone, go walking on the beach alone, anyway you get my point. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted that weekend to be just me, I would regret it if I didn’t take this chance. Decision made, I arranged to stay at a smaller condo on the beach for three nights and let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I could not have asked for the weather to have been more beautiful for that weekend. I spent all day outside, whether that meant on the beach, walking around, or just sitting out on the balcony of the condo. It was just so peaceful and relaxing, it gave me time to think about life and things other than work or obligations. It also gave me time to talk with God and pray to Him. One particular walk I took that Sunday afternoon, I walked about an hour or so up and down the beach just silently talking and praying to God. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that close to Him as I did in those moments. It was a real talk about mistakes made, direction, guidance, but also praise and thanksgiving for how He’s led me and where He has me right now. I journaled that afternoon, splurged a little and ate from one of my favorite restaurants, and happened to catch the Blue Angels fly over the beach that evening. Side note: if you have never seen one of their shows I highly recommend you see one. It is absolutely amazing and fascinating to watch!
That weekend I came away more confident in myself in every way. Taking that step out of my comfort zone to take a solo vacation gave me a more confident body image, higher confidence in my work and abilities, in just life in general. I am really working on not letting fear of the unknown or fear of how other people may perceive me to dictate how I live my life. That first step came when I deleted my Facebook account a couple weeks before the vacation. I know, *gasp*, who does that anyway? It was officially deleted the weekend I was at the beach, very appropriate I thought. I also just learned how to take blood for iron level checks at work, something I thought I would never have to do, and it turns out it’s not so bad! Haha. These may be small examples, but I’m anxious and excited to see what’s next! I am learning to take life’s challenges and not get so stressed or overwhelmed, but look for the silver lining and grow from them instead. I promise, it makes the bumps a little easier to ride out.