On holiday or stuck in rut with your daily routine? Read on for practical ways to find the joy in your life while on Gozo.
Enough uncertainty, it’s time to give yourself a proper break and live with a little more freedom because we have hardly experienced that lately. Whether it’s a long-awaited time-out or just a change of scenery, it’s well overdue, right? Those that live on Gozo know exactly what I’m talking about when I say ‘Go Slow’. The island demands it of us. We are reminded when ambling along the island’s roads and when the intense heat is weighing us down and the sun wakes us up earlier than usual in the mornings. The slower pace of life on Gozo is gratifying and imperative for mind, body, and soul balance.
As we know, slowing down has a multitude of benefits. You start to notice the little things and appreciate simplicity at its best. Practicing mindfulness is easy here and when temperatures reach the thirties you have no choice but to find a shady spot, take naps and swim in the sea. (What a shame!) It’s a process. Your heart and mind open wide for the delights of the island to flood your senses and fill your soul and this cultivates necessary joy. More to the point, it’s free for all who wish to find it.
Whether you are packing your bags or just arrived on your holiday, read on for some practical ways to reclaim your joy here on Gozo.
1. Find A Quiet Place By The Sea, Alone.
Gozo has so many places to explore and if you are needing a bit of quality solo space you only need to walk out to the nearest coastline to find the perfect rocky nook to sit quietly, swim, meditate or delve into the pages of your latest novel. This is the sort of thing many of us put off. Especially if we are travelling with others, or caught up with our daily lives. Just taking a little hour by yourself is guaranteed to turn the rest of your day around but remember to pack water as you will no doubt want to stay for longer than you originally planned.
2. Head Into The Victoria For The Afternoon
Although we of course urge you to do some local shopping while you are here, visiting the streets of Rabat during the week between 1 and 4pm is a must. Nowhere will you find a more tranquil, peaceful place and a much cooler place to hide out in the summer at the hottest time of day. Notice the doors and their knockers, the residents beautiful flowers and shrubbery adorning their window boxes, and the ornate historic statues found on the street corners. Take a moment to sit on the church steps in St George’s square. All you will hear is the hourly church bells. Bliss.
Virtually every part of our bodies slows down when we sleep. Thousands of neurons in the brain switch to a sleeping state sending signals throughout the body to reinforce the cardiovascular and immune systems which help to regulate our metabolism and hormone levels. We breathe differently, our muscles relax and our brain activity and heart rate become less active. Also we give ourselves the opportunity to dream. Freud calls dreaming, ‘The royal road to the unconscious mind.’ It guides us in our daily lives and gives us opportunities to find what we desire and of course, to heal. Philosopher Owen Flanagan writes in his book ‘Dreaming Souls’, ‘This process evolves our conscious mind.’
4. Take A Joyride.
Enough of the quiet time, it’s time to heighten your senses and experience some real thrills. Here are some suggestions for raising your vibes and moving your energy on Gozo;
- Head down to Marsalforn Bay and take out a Jet Ski
- Experience the sunset with a Segway along the cliffs of Sannat
- Pop along to Hondoq Beach, take a joyride or jump on a boat to Comino,
- Take a Kayak out to discover the hidden caves of Gozo.
- Hire a PT for the day and work out as the sun sets at Xlendi.
- Start your day with an early morning yoga session.
5. Be Thankful
Honouring your chosen path and consciously thanking yourself for giving yourself this time is an important part of the process of self-care. As Brene Brown has said countless times, gratitude is a spiritual practice, and committing to this practice will breed more of the same. I love how she asks every one of her family at the dinner table to state one thing they are grateful for before they eat, but you could merely say three things out loud or write them down in a journal each morning.
Go Slow. Thank you for reading. Now over to you!