Quality Down Time - It Makes a Difference


So, Yes, I’ve been celebrating my 50th birthday and further the wedding of a family friend. Just over two weeks away in southeast Asia with nothing to do but relax.

I switched off my email, refused to answer any phone calls and literally just chilled.

We left on a Monday night, arrived in Hong Kong on a Tuesday afternoon chilled in the hotel and the next day took a plane and a 4-hour drive to our resort on the Philippine Island of Cebu.

We stayed at a lovely 5-star resort, with white sand, a gorgeous pool and beautiful accommodation. We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon ready to chill and then chill some more.

It was glorious bliss, no kids, no work, no deadlines just pure unadulterated chill out time.

It was the first Friday afternoon at around 15:00 and I lolling around in the pool. I stood up and asked, “What time is it?” 

“Three O’clock” was the reply.

“Is that all?” I said

“We’ll have nothing to do” and I lay back in the pool and floated in its sun-warmed waters under the Philippian sky.

It was bliss.

At that stage, I knew I still had at least 10 more days of my holiday and I was living my life like it’s golden.

It was at that time when it hit me. When I truly understood, when it went beyond mere words to a heartfelt knowing…

Relaxation and downtime are crucial to our being, they are crucial to our state of mind and to our success.

This break gave my brain the time to really process what my success looks like. It could do this in the background whilst I chilled with no pressure of deadlines, no demanding requests for logical or strategic thinking, no processing of other people’s information or firefighting.

In effect, no stress.

The downtime and the setting gave me the opportunity to let go of things that I had been holding on tightly to. Stuff around my children and them stepping into adulthood, my business and finances and the stresses that come with those, even letting go of freaking out about flies landing in my food!

I let go…

really let go.  

One night I woke up feeling a bit stressed about a situation and I had to have a conversation with myself.

“Madeline,” I said, “You get what you focus on, so you can choose. You can choose to focus on lack, or you can choose to focus on abundance. Since you get what you focus on, why would you choose to focus on something you didn’t want in your life?”

And that was that. I changed my focus, said my positive mantras, went back to a great night’s sleep and moved on.

Dave and I went Kayaking (it’s exhausting but fun!)

I went jet skiing (This time I didn’t do a James Bond move over an outcrop of rocks.)

We took a tuck tuck into town and back (scary but exhilarating) and spent most of our time in our swimwear by the pool.

Every meal was relished not rushed.  

I lost weight, I chilled, I found answers, I was invigorated by possibilities. I shouted for joy whilst bounding around on the sea, I laughed, I loved, and I allowed myself to just be.  

This holiday took my love for holidays to another level. It showed me just how important switching off and letting go is to my long-term success in every aspect of my life.

Our current hustle porn push to go go go and never sleep is dangerous and whilst you may be able to achieve the finer things in life… at what price?

I know that for some people laying by the beach is hell, so if it’s a trek in a beautiful place then go for it, what’s important is that you completely switch off.

Enjoy yourself, enjoy the company of loved ones and choose to let go.

Quality downtime makes a difference, it provides the space to work things out without even working.

Make space for and enjoy your quality downtime.

Madeline McQueen