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Last week I returned from a very special holiday with one of my best friends or a vacation as some of my new found friends would call it.

It was my first holiday for well over a year, so when my holiday finally arrived at the start of September I realised how much I was in need of the break. As soon as I boarded the plane at London Heathrow I forgot everything. I left it all behind.

When we arrived at our final destination, nothing had prepared us for the serenity and beauty of the place.  We were at Tsylos Lodge located on the Chilko Lake, surrounded by the BC Coastal Mountain Range. It was exactly what I needed. Peace, quiet, tranquillity in the heart of nature – all of my favourite things. Oh and horses, did I forget to mention it was a riding holiday? Another one of my favourite things.

Our days were spent mostly out in the saddle covering different terrain each day, some days riding in the forests, others alongside the beautiful Chilko Lake populated with sockeye salmon and bears waiting patiently to eat the dead salmon once they had spawned.

It is a beautiful and magical sight to see bears in their natural habitat with no fear of humans, being able to watch them swim and sit in the water eating their catch, cubs happily playing alongside their mothers, eagles soaring high above us. Absolute bliss. I was in my element, in the heart of nature, doing my favourite thing, horse riding.

An added bonus was there was no telephone signal or wi-fi which meant no sneaky moments of I’ll just check my e-mails or listening to other guests talking loudly on their phones.

As technology moves on it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find places that are completely free from telephone masts and wi-fi and I know some of my friends would find it difficult to be in such a remote place. However there is a saying at Tsylos Lodge that says “sometimes we have to disconnect to reconnect” and I am sure that the benefits of my week being disconnected from the hustle and bustle of city life will remain with me through to the depths of winter.

I regard myself as rather lucky because I have disconnecting myself down to a fine art.  To do this, I choose to get out in nature as much as possible, either walking my dog or riding my horses, this is where I’m happiest and if I don’t get my daily fresh air fix I can become quite cranky as any of my friends will testify.

On the flight home as I viewed the wonderful landscape of Canada from the aircraft window, I wondered how other people took time out and disconnected, if at all, and if they really even know how to.

I think it is really important for our health and well being to take time out, switch off and do things we enjoy and that make us happy. I know it’s not always possible to take a holiday on a whim and I am truly grateful that I am able to do so but there are still many ways we can relax and make time for ourselves.

Ways to relax and unwind come in a variety of ways and can include pursuing hobbies, walking, yoga, pilates, meeting up with friends, listening to music, getting out in nature (this one works every time for me), reading a book or just having “you time” or imagine this, just doing absolutely nothing.

It can be very therapeutic, if we allow ourselves to just “be” in the here and now, not looking forward or backward, just appreciating the now, the present time and all that we have. So this week, why not try to set aside some “you” time and really reap and feel the benefits, it might even be as good as taking a holiday.

As bears feature in this week’s Blog I thought I would include advice from Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne. “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering”.

Doing nothing once in a while can be a very healthy thing to do and I would love to hear from any of my readers on ways they choose to relax and unwind and if they ever do just nothing.

Wishing everyone a happy week filled with love and happiness and maybe even doing nothing or if you are in the process of planning a holiday and you get a chance you couldn’t go far wrong with a visit to the magical place of Tyslos Lodge (www.tsylos.com).

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