How to get back on track after a break?

One of my favorite ways to treat myself is to take a vacation.

After weeks of working hard, nothing feels more refreshing that a trip away from home to a place that offers new sights, sounds and energy.

I’m not one for big crowds, so I try to visit my favorite spots in June and September. Yes, I go on vacation twice a year.

Usually, we visit southern France. It’s one of my favorite places to unwind and realign my energy.

Time seems to slow down there, and the slower pace seeps into my bones. Every year I tell myself I will carve out a little time to get some work done, but who am I kidding? That never happens.

A typical day unfurls slowly, peacefully, like a fern’s frond opening to the morning sun. After breakfast, I walk down to the village bar for a coffee and delicious, flaky pastries. I enjoy every bite. Indulging in treats like this is a gift to myself that I reserve for special occasions.

The truth is, I live for good food. During my vacations, I don’t deny myself anything. If I want to have ice cream topped with a big dollop of whipped cream, I get it without a smidgen of guilt.

The same goes for other food choices or choices on how to spend my day. I enjoy a mix of hiking, swimming, lazy reading, and most importantly for me, delicious food.

Yes, taking a break and giving myself permission to experience life is a necessity for me, But, by the time my trip comes to an end, I’m ready to return to my routine. I’ve had my fill of indulgences and am saturated with goodness.

I’m relaxed, centered and ready for more action.

And without fail, after I allow myself to eat, drink, and do whatever I want, my body always comes back to center. It “tells” me: I want clean food.

No croissant, no ice cream, no meat, no fish.

So I listen to my inner wisdom and allow it to guide me. I don’t try to be perfect. That’s too impossible to live up to. I ease in by starting with a lot of freshly squeezed juices and green smoothies; I also eat vegetarian.

The transition is slow and steady, but as I consume healthy, nutritious foods, my body wakes up in no time. That’s when I am reminded how much I’m influenced by the food I eat.

During my vacation time, I take a hiatus on my daily soul practice, too. For instance, I don’t write; I don’t meditate; I don’t dance for my soul.

I rest.

After I get home and reestablish my exercises, I feel my center shifting. My grounding becomes solid again, my head clears and my heart is welcoming and open.

No force. No rules. No perfection. I simply ease into it.

My vacations teach me how to get back on track after a short break. This is something my clients struggle with. They want to know how to start over after they’ve let their eating and exercise practices fall away. I tell them let it be easy; imperfection and small steps are what they need.

When I think about, the same ease and unfurling can be used when you change your diet, or start an exercise regimen or a spiritual practice.

The secret is to let it grow over time. Try something new; see how it fits and do it again and again.

Getting back on track or re-establishing a habit after a break is a fluid process.

The key is to “row gently down the stream” with the current, rather than rowing upstream, trying to fight the flow.

How do you re-enter your routines after a break? Share you success stories in the comments below.

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