While being future-focused and organised certainly has its advantages (helping us to survive the school term!), it can leave little time for us to slow down and focus on what really matters to us now, in the present.

The school holidays offer a unique time to slow down and reorient ourselves. Below are some strategies that you and your family may wish to try to enhance your wellbeing during the holiday period:

Foster relationships

Research highlights the importance of friendships for our children (and ourselves) across multiple wellbeing domains, including buffering against anxiety and stress, and enhancing mood. 

Try this! Plan with your child ways to connect with others during the holiday break, including face-to-face time where possible.

Practise gratitude

Gratitude refers to being thankful and showing deep appreciation for what you have. Research indicates that practising gratitude can help to enhance wellbeing, sleep and relationships; it can also positively change our brain, making us more sensitive to being thankful in the future.

Try this! Share with a family member something you are each grateful for; try to make this part of your daily routine.

Try savouring

When we savour something, we deliberately pay attention to pleasure. It is the act of fully experiencing, enjoying and extending our positive emotions and experiences. Savouring can be broken down into three parts – looking forward to something, being present and enjoying it when it occurs, and reflecting positively on it afterwards.

Try this! Spend a couple of minutes reflecting on a recent positive experience. Think about what you saw, who you were with, and any other sensations, and mentally ‘hold on’ to whatever feels good about this experience.

*The SOW team would like to acknowledge the contribution of Mr James Wightman, Macquarie University PACE student, in writing this article