‘Happier’ With Dave Flynn


The 1 Hour Holiday

A dear friend of mine, Andrea has a knack for finding joy in the simplest moments, he always seems to have time to be present with people and is very rarely in a rush. He’s a special man. A few years ago, over a morning coffee, the sounds of our laughter and the clinking of coffee cups, he shared a concept that I adore: the ‘1 Hour Holiday.’ 

‘You see, Dave,’ he began in his melodious Italian accent, ‘why should we wait for a special occasion to feel free and joyful?’ His question struck a chord. Here was a man who is very skilled at the art of savouring life’s daily pleasures, no matter what the situation or weather. 

When I’m on holiday, I always notice a shift in my perspective. I feel lighter, my shoulders drop and the usual daily worries are left at home. Suddenly, the small concerns that can occupy my mind seem trivial. I find myself savouring the warmth of the sun against my skin, engaging in long, unhurried conversations with locals or fellow travellers, reconnecting, remembering the joy in simply being. 

Reflecting on this, it strikes me how starkly different the holiday perspective is from most of our day-to-day lives back home. My days are pretty packed – with a bustling family life having my three daughters including baby Fia, who is just 8 months old, and my responsibilities at The Happy Pear, it’s safe to say my days are full! My day to day life is led by my diary and my task list seems to grow and expand by the hour! Finding space to reflect can be a coveted commodity. Often, I feel like a piece of driftwood at sea, tossed around by the relentless waves of daily life!

Andrea’s ‘1 Hour Holiday’ concept deeply resonated with me, posing a compelling question: Why should we wait for a special occasion or a holiday to feel free and joyful? His idea is remarkably achievable and straightforward. Imagine integrating that holiday perspective – the lightness of spirit, the presence, the appreciation – into your everyday life, even if just for an hour. This hour doesn’t even need to be continuous; it can be divided into two thirty-minute segments or maybe you start with a daily 30 minute holiday.

The main point is how can we infuse our daily lives with the same attitude and spirit we embrace during holidays? Despite the undeniable increase in responsibilities, deadlines, and stress in our regular routines, opportunities still exist to infuse our days with a slice of that holiday spirit. How can we capture that sense of freedom and light-heartedness and weave it into the fabric of our everyday lives? Small acts, such as enjoying a quiet coffee, stepping outside to bask in the sunlight, or engaging more wholeheartedly in conversations without haste, can significantly help us embody that holiday spirit on a more consistent basis.

My personal ‘1 Hour Holiday’ typically unfolds between 5:30 and 7:00 AM. This early morning slot is when I’m truly a free agent, untouched by the day’s obligations. While it may be an ungodly hour for some, for me, it’s my soul time. It’s a period devoid of commitments, allowing me to indulge in activities that rejuvenate my spirit – be it running, swimming, enjoying coffee with friends, doing yoga, journaling, or even sneaking in a quick nap. Whatever I choose, this time is sacred to me, a true holiday from the daily grind. Just this morning, for instance, I started the day swimming at sunrise around 5:30 AM with Linda, Detty, Steve & Raj. This was followed by coffee and chats with Raj and Steve, and then a run with my brothers, Steve and Darragh, from 6:15 to 7:00 AM. It was sheer bliss, a slice of holiday magic in my everyday life. (You can read more about my morning routine here) 

Incorporating the ‘1 Hour Holiday’ into your daily routine isn’t just a pleasant idea – it’s a transformative practice that can significantly enhance the quality of your day to day life. I challenge you to identify a time slot, even if it’s not a full hour, to dedicate solely to activities that bring you joy and relaxation, just like on a holiday. It could be early in the morning, like my sacred 5:30 to 7 AM slot, or a quiet time in the evening. The key is consistency and intentionality. Whether it’s a brisk walk, reading a book, savouring your morning coffee, a lunchtime walk or simply sitting quietly with your thoughts, make this time a non-negotiable date with yourself. Over time, you may find these moments are not just breaks in your routine, but essential components that enrich your entire day.

I deeply appreciate your engagement and comments on these ‘Happier Articles’ that I am writing. I love writing them and I cherish your insights, feedback and comments. If you’ve enjoyed this concept of the ‘1 Hour Holiday’, consider reading some of the other 8 Happier articles I’ve written. 

Together, let’s continue to discover and implement small, practical ways to bring more joy and presence into our daily lives. What does your ‘1 Hour Holiday’ look like? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s inspire each other to live more fully, every single day.

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