Saturday, November 10, 2007

STOP THE WORLD I WANNA GET OFF!



Mini-vacations
The trend in today’s fast-paced world
By Katherine Van Liew

The word “vacation” can conjure up as many different mental pictures as there are people. More and more, however, the idea of a one- or two-week getaway that we might have taken as children with our families is increasingly hard to pull off in today’s fast-paced world.

With conflicting schedules between spouse’s jobs and deadlines, your daughter’s cheerleading camps and your son’s football practice, not even taking into account the planning and costs for a full-blown trip you just might not be able to accomplish it all that often.

Maybe you need to discover “mini-vacations.” Small, short, stolen moments or timeslots where you re-energize, relax and refresh yourself.

I discovered mini-vacations while my husband and I both worked full-time outside of the home, were incredibly involved at our church and had two very busy teenagers. My first mini-vacation came quite by accident. I was sitting out back at our home. No one else was there. I didn’t have to rush off to take someone somewhere or pick someone else up for a few minutes. I got up on our trampoline and just laid there. I took a big breath and just listened and watched. I saw a lizard hurry past on the fence, I looked at clouds and in them I imagined different shapes of animals and people, I listened to the chatter of a number of different birds going about their routine, and I smelled steaks being grilled by some neighbors. I’ll bet I didn’t spend more than 5 or 10 minutes and yet when I went back into the house, I felt revived. It was amazing!

Some other things that I like to do for these special times include:
1. Take a stroll in my neighborhood & note how many different varieties of flowers I can see
2. Sit outside in a comfortable chair and write a poem
3. Make a cup of tea (or coffee) and read the funnies from the newspaper
4. Write an encouraging note to a friend going through a hard time
5. Call your local radio station and request “your special song”
6. Read a chapter in a favorite book
7. Take a bath with scented candles lighting the room
8. Stop while driving to admire a pretty scene or some favorite animals (two of my favorites are: barns and watching some turtles who gather on a log in a nearby river)
9. Give yourself a facial
10. Simply practice some relaxation techniques


This is not self-indulgence. It is an important part of keeping yourself functioning effectively and avoiding the problems of burnout, anxiety and depression that so often comes with intense, sustained stress.

1 comment:

Sara said...

so true, my friend. glad you turned me on to this site! :) i'm looking forward to more!! i think today i'm going to get away from it all with my niece when we go out to a local dam and just take it all in. :)