It was going to be perfect. A two week family holiday to switch off and reconnect. Everything was planned down to the last meal, board game and walk.
Until the one thing I hadn't planned happened.
International travel is still tricky so August 2021 saw us taking another local holiday. But I can't really complain as we live on the tropical island of Mauritius and, even though this was the peak of winter, the weather was still preferable to a UK summer!
We booked the first week as a winter / mountain break in the hills of Chamarel. Our cottage was in the middle of nowhere, with a 360º view of nature and greenery all around.
The second week was a "summer" / beach break on the coast in Pointe aux Biches. Our apartment was right on the seafront and had the most stunning ocean views.
I had figured out meals, indoor games and outdoor games, places to visit, things to do.
I decided to do a complete digital detox for the full two weeks and warned friends, family and members of my Life Reboot Camp community that I would be uncontactable for the whole time as I recharged my batteries.
What could possibly go wrong?
My lists and plans had surely seen to that.
But alas, it was not to be...
On Day 1 I was mega stressed out as I attempted to pack all the aforementioned board games, outdoor games, meal ingredients and the necessary clothes for "cold" in the first week and warm in the second.
I seemed to have this belief that our car was the tardis from Doctor Who.
After several hours of packing, unpacking and repacking, the car was finally loaded (to the brim) and Ben, our daughters and I all crammed in.
Luckily we only had a 90 minute drive to get to our destination.
We arrived and it was as beautiful - if not more so - than the photos had led us to believe.
I smiled and mentally patted myself on the back for finding such a gem.
On Day 2 we put the girls' skateboard and scooter in the car and drove down to the nearby coast for lunch and skating / scooting along the waterfront, before heading to a family-friendly bar for a game of pool.
We grinned inanely about how wonderful and glorious it all was, how happy we were and how grateful.
On Day 3 Ben went off to play golf with some friends and the girls and I mooched around the cottage.
I was excited to have some quiet time to read (I am possibly the world's biggest bookworm) and snuggled on the sofa with one of the eleventy billion library books / books from the charity shop that I had somehow managed to cram into nooks and crannies in the car.
By 11am I was feeling incredibly sleepy, so gave in on the reading front and decided to have a nap on the sofa.
This is not something I EVER do. I am not a napper. Instead I prefer to go to bed at 8pm if I'm feeling tired.
But I listened to my body and gave in to its requests for sleep.
I woke up an hour later feeling groggy and not overly rested.
By dinnertime I was still tired, so I took myself off to bed shortly after eating, convinced that an early night would sort me out.
How wrong I was.
I woke up the next morning with that sickening feeling of dread that I was coming down with something.
I proceeded to spend the next 10 days of our holidays fighting off a stinking cold. The like of which I haven't had in nearly 4 years.
You see I am never ill.
So this was totally unexpected and the world's shittiest timing. (In case you're wondering it definitely wasn't Covid.)
Ben and the girls went off on adventures, out to dinner, played games and generally had great holiday fun, while I dragged myself around in a fog. Exhausted from broken sleep thanks to a severely blocked nose and sinusitis.
Occasionally I would attempt to join in and end up setting myself back in my healing.
I finally gave in to what my body needed and said no to everything.
I slept. I drank shit tons of water. I had inhalations. I drank hot lemon and honey. I rested as much as I could.
Fortunately my brain wasn't too foggy and I was able to devour the perfect holiday reads I had brought with me, and got through nearly 9 books during our 2 week break.
First of all I was seriously pissed off at my "ruined" holiday.
Then I stopped and went inwards and asked myself a few things.
What did I need from this holiday?
In the lead-up to our time away I had been busy and fairly stressed - a totally unexpected lockdown with its entailing lockdown schooling, followed by 6 weeks' school holidays alongside running my own business had exhausted me.
We had planned lots of fun stuff to do during our holidays, but that's the problem it was a lot of "doing" when I needed to just "be".
So I think my body took one look at what had been happening (go-go-go), and one look at what was planned (go-go-go albeit fun family stuff) and slammed on the brakes in the only way she knew how.
By knocking me onto my back. And making me incapable of all the "doing".
What did I learn from this setback?
To listen to my body. Which I already know, but sometimes I need a slap in the face reminder.
To not overload my schedule.
As a wife, mum and business owner with a busy social life I tend to forget about rest if I'm not careful. FOMO is real for me and I want to show up fully for everyone in my life. Which means I can often forget to show up for me.
So I'm reminding myself of Kate Northrup's mantra which I've tweaked for myself.
Kate says "Body first, business second".
I say "Body first, everything else second".
And in the run-up to the holidays I'd totally forgotten this mantra, until my body took it upon herself to remind me!
Maybe it's time to get it tattooed down my arm...
When I came back home I also revisited my free cheat sheet on overcoming overwhelm (sometimes I forget to practise what I preach), and made sure that moving forwards my body doesn't need to go to such extremes to remind me to slow down.
I am sure you are trying to do too much too, so let my story be a lesson for you, slow the F down, listen to your body and if you need it grab my 6 easy tips to overcome overwhelm.
I will be back again soon to share all about my 2 week digital detox so stay tuned for that one, as there are some powerful lessons in it. (To make sure you don't miss out on any of my news do sign up to my newsletter.)
Look after yourself lovely and listen to that fabulous, all-knowing, body of yours.
(The main pic is of our youngest in the first week of our holiday in the hills and nature of Chamarel.)