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Embracing Self-Care: Lessons Learned from a Day at the Beach

Beach, clear blue sea, Gigha & Islay in the background

As a virtual assistant, I understand the necessity of carefully planning and managing time. Yet, life often throws unexpected challenges our way, reminding us of the importance of flexibility and self-care. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience this first hand during what was supposed to be a well-planned day out at the beach with friends. little did we know it would turn into an unexpected yet enlightening adventure.

Embracing Flexibility

Me attempting and failing to do the tree pose on very uneven pebbles

Our day at the beach started with the precision of a military operation (the birthday girl was late, and I thought I'd been left behind). Three cars and a trailer packed to the brim, we embarked on our journey with the excitement of kids on a school trip. Despite the anticipation, the day began with a tinge of sadness for me, as it marked the anniversary of losing my best friend of 32 years unexpectedly. However, amidst the waves of melancholy, there was a glimmer of solace in knowing that she would have loved this serene setting. As we parked practically on the beach, the view unfolded before us like a balm to the soul. Crystal clear waters stretched before us, with the Isles of Jura, Gigha, and Islay making a cameo in the distance. If I didn't know any better, I'd have sworn we teleported to some exotic location. And the weather? Picture perfect, as if the Scottish skies were showing off for us.

Taking the Plunge - the best self-care

Four of us venturing into the sea for a refreshing swim

With the sun blazing down, some of us decided it was time for a dip. Despite my trusty 3mm neoprene wetsuit, the water felt refreshingly brisk. We swam, dooked, laughed, and were reluctant to leave the embrace of the beautiful clear blue sea. But duty called, or rather, lunch and the promise of a warm fire beckoned.

Unexpected Cows and Traffic Woes

Herd of black cows

In a moment of spontaneity, I ventured off to commune with some curious cows in a nearby field. Let's just say their enthusiasm for greeting was... palpable (and a bit slimy). Little did I know, back at the beach, fate had other plans. A serious traffic accident turned our return home upside down, leaving us stranded until late into the evening. But hey, when life gives you road closures, you eat sausage roll!

Finding Silver Linings

Bonfire on the beach

Amidst the chaos, we found beauty in the unexpected. The prolonged stay gifted us with precious moments of laughter and camaraderie. As the sky dimmed and the bonfire crackled, I realised that sometimes the best memories are born from the most unexpected circumstances.

Cultivating Resilience (and a Healthy Appetite for Sausage Roll)

Homemade sausage rolls with onion chutney

Life's curveballs can leave us feeling like beached whales, but we refused to let this setback dampen our spirits. Instead, we embraced the opportunity to cultivate resilience and indulge in an unhealthy amount of sausage roll, feta tart, cakes, crisps and chocolate. Like the waves lapping gently against the shore, we learned to ride the highs and lows with grace and a healthy dose of humour.

The Power of Connection

Friends around a bonfire on the beach early evening

At the heart of it all, our extended beach day taught us the invaluable lesson of connection. In moments of uncertainty, the warmth of friendship can light up even the darkest of nights. As we swapped stories and ate sausage roll, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the bonds that held us together, stronger than any traffic jam of detour could break.

An image with the words "perspective, positive, play, unique, enjoy, life, fun, family, friends, create, love"

Life is a wild ride, full of unexpected twists and turns. But it's how we navigate these bumps in the road that truly defines us. Our day at the beach was a testament to the importance of flexibility, resilience, and the healing power of laughter. So here's to embracing the unexpected, finding joy in the journey, and always making time for a little self-care, even when life throws a traffic jam your way.

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