staycationOver the past few weeks several clients have brought up a similar issue. It begins with a conversation about someone else’s vacation or weekend away. When I ask my client when they are going to take some time, the answer has been similar.

“Well I can’t really afford to do that.”

“I’d like to, but I just can’t.”

“I have too much to do.” Or “I’m really tied up.”

When I press my clients about how someone else’s vacation/trip/getaway sounds so enticing, I begin to hear sounds of “I’m not…..

-worth it-

-entitled to it

-allowed to

Those are tough beliefs, and maybe even harsh realities… We can’t always have the getaway we want, or need.

So I am recommending relaxing in place. Taking a break, even if you can’t get physical distance.

We know that relaxation, and mental/emotional letting go is good for us.

What most of us require is the intention – and follow- through – to value our health and well-being enough to make a break in the regular rush and push of our schedule.

Here are some ideas my clients and I brainstormed.

  1. Rest! You may not be sleeping as well as you would like – so allow yourself to nap, to lie down for 20 minutes, to put your feet up, to do whatever feels good and allows your body to take its ease. We are so often pushing ourselves to do more, not give in, take care of business. Ignore the inner trainer who fears you will not be productive. Let yourself be.
  2.  Find what makes you laugh. It’s been a long rough summer on many fronts. You haven’t had much of a break from dealing with your health issues, and the news from the world has not been good. We all need a laugh – and you especially need one. What tickles our funny bone? Seek it out, wallow in the silly, the funny, the absurd. If you can’t laugh, at least smile your way to your next appointment. Smiling – even when it’s a choice, makes us feel better. Try it!
  3. Remember an activity you adored as a child that “wasted time” (or so the adults said..) It will be particular to you – cloud watching, puddle jumping, blowing bubbles through a straw, comic books, listening to music – the list goes on and on. Some research suggests that when we do something we loved as a child, our bodies and minds relax. You may not feel like climbing a tree or building a fort, but you can imagine the first cousin of that activity (lying under a tree? Finding an accessible tree house?) and doing it!
  4. The old standard, a gratitude list can be a short term gift that lets your spirit relax into the grace of the present moment. What specific things make your eyes soften with thanks? Who are the people, what are the moments that you call to mind and can write in your journal? Over time, this journal becomes its’ own “get away” trip to remind you of people and places and moments which kept you going.

Those are just four ideas – you will have your own. Anything we practice with the intention of unplugging from the sad or frenetic or painful – even for a short time, will reap benefits for your body and mind. Let me know what your practices are!