Thursday, October 22, 2009

Take a Vacation

There are many ways to take a vacation, and some of them to do not involve travel. My mother was too ill to travel, but she would visualize her perfect vacation, staying in a seaside home (she’d never seen the ocean), touring the Holy Land, or walking along a tropical isle. She returned from her visualized vacations refreshed and renewed.

Even in our everyday lives, we can vacation. We can notice new sights, take a new route to work or on errands, and celebrate the beauties of nature around us. If we pay close attention, we will see amazing sights in the sky, the trees, and the clouds. And it’s all free!

A ride on a bus through your town or city can be a real treat. Spend an hour or two on a week-end seeing the sites with tourist-inspired eyes. Visit a museum. Take a nature walk. Visit a historic area. See the beauty around you.

If you are on a trip, whether it is for work or pleasure, try to enjoy the moment. Take the time to observe varied foliage, the sights and sounds that may be unique to the area, and the people you meet. Ask someone for a recommendation of their favorite local sight. We’re in North Carolina on business right now, and our waitress suggested we visit the old historic main street in Concord. It wasn’t in any tourist guide, but that trip has been the highlight of our visit so far.

You may consider trying to occasionally schedule an afternoon for yourself. Take a long bath, read a good book, or get a massage. Many of us need to slow down and do something kind for ourselves occasionally. It is easy to burn out when we frantically serve others without taking time to nurture ourselves.

Meditating is an excellent way to take a refreshing break. Close your eyes. Break deeply and slowly for a few minutes. Picture a beautiful scene and then imagine yourself hearing the sounds, savoring the fragrances, and walking amid that soothing retreat. Focus your attention on your breathing and then return slowly to reality.

We all need to take an occasional break. For young mothers, that can be challenging, but when your children nap, give yourself permission to rest, relax, and rejuvenate as well. If your children don’t nap, insist on a quiet time each day when they read or play quietly in them rooms and you have a moment for yourself. In this fast-paced world, we all need to take time to enjoy everyday living. Sometimes we have to write ourselves into our busy schedules—even if it is just for a moment or two.

© Carol Brown

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