• Emily McDonnell

#14: Adventure reboot

This is your reminder: go on an adventure. Back in business by breaking up “routine” with a staycation.

The last few months have been a little bizarre to say the least. And, like many of you I’m sure, I’ve found my mood and energy up and down, day in, day out.

Building a routine has been hard, especially as the office has made an appearance in our homes and has since refused to leave. As a result, I’ve been sat in front of my laptop (or phone) working at weird hours of the day, from the kitchen, the sofa, the bed. I’m trapped between two mindsets: feeling I have to be more productive and feeling I need to focus more on my wellbeing. And what’s actually happened is that I feel I’m not doing either very well, and have this niggling sense of guilt at the back on my head.

On one of my good-energy days, just after Germany announced domestic holidaying was back on the cards, I shook myself out of my funk: I needed to do the thing I love the most - adventuring!

Given that the entire country was suddenly leaving lockdown and looking to take a break from their own apartments, being picky with travel dates wasn’t an option. So when the holiday apartments I’d been dreaming of staying in got in touch to say they had free nights the following week, who was I to say no!?

It’s funny, how we’ve been socialised to do everything on the weekend. Despite being lucky enough to be working on my own things, I still felt bad about taking a mid-week mini-break. But my goodness, if you can do it, do it! Something about it feels so naughty and thus empowering.

Wednesday evening, Rupert and I found ourselves on the train to Waren (at the edge of the Müritz National Park, just over an hour from Berlin’s Gesundbrunnen), dinner picnic and beers in our bags, and bikes at the ready. I could feel energy pulsing through my body, butterflies of excitement in my stomach: this was long overdue.

The following 48 hours were magical: cycling through the forest, swimming in lakes and eating way too much cake. Both of us, with devices on flight mode and extra hours of nothingness under our belts, felt layers of stress begin to shift and slip from our bodies.

One of the best things? I didn’t feel guilty about not being “productive”. By boxing the time as “holiday”, my mind signed off on the break and took a little siesta - no more “but you should be…” or “why haven’t you…” questions flying around my cortex.

Despite being away for only 2 days, I felt entirely rejuvenated. My creativity returned, my ability to plan returned, and my feeling of contentment returned. No one was annoyed I hadn’t replied to emails. No one was frustrated I hadn’t added those extra three things to the website. And no one refused to work with me.

Taking time for yourself and the activities you love is the best thing you can gift yourself. So this is your reminder: go on an adventure.

ps. for those of you in search of Germany staycation inspiration, I've started a little project, The Staycation Collection. Check it out if you feel so inclined!

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