As the purple, pink and orange sky casts its vivid hues over the azure sea below, I stand on the balcony above in awe of the most impressive array of colors I’ve ever seen. The image before me, a watercolor daydream… serene, calm and spectacularly breathtaking. I stare in wonderment and say, “Now this is what I call paradise!”
Villa Paradiso on Lake Garda in Italy was the perfect spot for my health and wellness week; a place to truly get in touch with myself; to take a break, recharge, relax and rejuvenate. It’s been a whirlwind year for me so I needed to take a break before my new role as President of NAPW really begins to kick in full force.
Before leaving on my quest, my good friend, Randi Zuckerberg, a long-time NAPW supporter, newly nominated member of (NAPW merging partner) Professional Diversity Network’s board of directors and owner of Dot Complicated, reminded me to switch off my mobile devices for a few days. So, I took her advice; well at least for one day!
My health goal for the week consisted of no gluten, no pork, no fried foods, no eggs, no alcohol, and very limited non-cow based dairy. I was curious to see how my body would react. Let’s face it, I figured I’d go into southern girl shock without bacon! Could I really make it through the week this way? Would it really make a difference in my mind, body and spirit? Hmmm. Yes, I was skeptical. And, with my fitness routine comprising 30-minute structured individual cardio workouts, 45-minute group fitness classes and a 45-minute water aerobics class every… single… day, I really wasn’t sure if I’d make it without the bacon. But, you bet I did!
My trainers, Nicolas and Claudia
Working hard, feeling great!
Looks like a spacesuit, but it’s really a “thigh-slimming treatment.” Whatever… it felt good!
Each day, I experienced pampering beyond belief. From Swedish messages, hydrotherapy, body-slimming treatments (spacesuit included!), “platinum” and “golden” facials and over-the-top shower water treatments to drinking ginger infused water, herbal tea and following a strict 1000 calories a day diet – did I mention there was no bacon – (and, no, I didn’t cheat at all – just in case you were wondering) – I was really living healthy!
In addition, I slept between six and eight hours each night – really I did! Since I usually wake up in the middle of the night, this amazing sleep pattern was an incredible experience. I also lost five inches from my waist, five inches from my hips and… drumroll, please… I lost 9.24 pounds! Even better – now I know you’re asking what can possibly be better than all of this. I’ll tell you: My cholesterol levels are fantastic, my blood pressure normal and my heart strong. All very good news!
So, why am I sharing this with all of you? The answer is simple. I want you to do the same for yourself! Look, I know I’m fortunate and blessed to be able to go all out for myself this way. I came from very modest means and I spend wisely so I don’t break the bank. I planned accordingly, and used my amassed frequent flyer miles from traveling all over the country for the past year visiting all of you at your Local Chapters, and vacationed during a “promotion week” so I could get a good rate. You all know how I love promotions!
Regardless of how you do it, whatever your means, the point is that taking time for a concentrated dose of wellness is important for self-awareness. Whether you take an afternoon for a beauty treatment, go on a weeklong juice cleanse, get away for a few days or just get in a tub with some jazz playing – just do it! As businesswomen, it’s important to take a step back from our hectic lives. When we relax, recharge and rejuvenate, we’re able to get in touch with our inner being, to contemplate where we are and where we want to go. When we take a step outside of our usual surroundings, change our “visuals” and leave the stress behind, self-awareness takes center stage and enlightens us as we contemplate our future goals.
Now go live your own watercolor daydream!
How do you take time to relax, recharge and rejuvenate? Share your comments below.