Category Archives: Encouragement

Nine Ways to Relax When You Can't Go On Vacation

9 Ways to Relax Without Going on Vacation

I recently had the pleasure of going on a vacation. Destination: Idaho. Far away from my Midwestern home.  It was a spectacular break.

The change of scenery was wonderful.  I loved the mountains and the fact that the temperature drops in the evening to a nice cool crisp number after a hot day.  The rural scenery and wild life were interesting.  Even when we didn’t see the elk, the moose, and the bears we were informed about, it was still interesting that we might.

We stayed with a family member who was the epitome of hospitality and we were treated incredibly well by even more family. We were well watered, fed, and loved. We discovered the beauty of daily ‘wine time’ and waking up when your body says it is time instead of the alarm clock.

It was relaxing.

It was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries and prepare for the stress and chaos of the daily life I was returning to.

Unfortunately, vacations are a matter of time and money.  Both these items are at a premium for me and heavily budgeted. It is hard for me to part with either.  So I started thinking about the ways to get that relaxing feeling and recharge when I can’t go on vacation.

These are some things that work for me.

Meditation

Meditation has been scientifically proven to aid us in many areas. It can help with stress reduction, concentration, and even easing anxiety.  All of which is helpful for the relaxing and recharging we’ve been discussing.

Start with a micro-meditation. Just 20 breaths. Click To Tweet

There are a lot of ways to meditate and you don’t have start whole hog.  You can start with a micro-meditation.  Take 20 deep breaths. In. Out. Count them.  Concentrate on only those 20 breaths. It will take less than 2 minutes.

It’s amazing what those 20 breaths can do.

I find this meditation particularly helpful when I find myself getting frazzled.  It helps bring me back to a calmer, easier state.

Lunch Breaks

This one was kind of life changing for me. I work from home and it was hard to separate myself from the work.  A lunch break made all the difference in how well my work was going.

Whether you work for someone else or yourself, get in the habit of taking a lunch break.  All work and no play makes Jane a very stressed woman.  The small habit of taking 30-60 minutes to yourself will not only help you dial down the stress but it will actually help you be more productive when you get back to work.

Funny how that works…take a break…be more efficient.  No one starts off their day and decides they are going to spin their wheels.  Yet it is exactly what we do when we don’t take that break.  Turns out that it is good for you and your employer.

Double points if you are self-employed!

Nap

Many of us can’t do this on a daily basis (good for you if you can!).  Maybe we can work it in every week or even every once in a while.  Maybe you can do the power nap thing where you just close your eyes for 20 minutes.  Or maybe you do better with a long nap.  Pick what is best for you and indulge when you can.

It is a nice treat to give yourself.  In some instances, you may need to recruit some help.  Maybe a spouse or a friend can remove distractions (usually kids) from your house in order to get a chance to relax.  Then one day you can return the favor.

A Cup of Tea

Maybe for you it is a cup of coffee.  Or a soda.  Or a piece of chocolate.  Whatever poison you choose.  Take the time to drink your beverage or eat your sweet. Do nothing but that.  Mindfully eat or drink for that few minutes and decompress.

A Relaxing Hobby

Whatever it is that relaxes you, do it.  Bird watching.  Reading. Playing Cards. Gardening.  Mine is coloring (I was doing it before it was cool, and still a little ticked at myself that I didn’t think of marketing adult coloring books).

Whatever you choose, make sure it gets you to your ‘zen place’.

Walks

Many people enjoy the rush of endorphins that they get from exercising.  Walking will get you a lower level dose but it is a safe form of exercise for most people.  You can even combine some of that walking with meditation and do double duty.  It is also good for your health. You need to get your steps in!

Many benefits have been found to spending time in nature.  The Japanese have a form of therapy known as forest bathing.  Funny name, funny concept but apparently very beneficial. Here again, is another good place to do double duty.

Laid Back time with friends

Being with friends in a laid back atmosphere can also reduce stress and recharge.  I would suggest that if you are trying to go with the vacation type vibe that you pick the right friends.  Invite the ones that make you laugh and have fun.  Avoid the ‘Debbie Downers’ and the ‘one-uppers’ (every group has them).

Once you’ve picked the right friends then choose an activity that’s preferably casual.  Avoid the fancy dinner party and think take out instead.  Beer around the fire or wine on the patio works well too.  You are looking to create an environment where you can all be yourselves.

Do Nothing Day

I am a huge proponent of Do Nothing Day.  I have written about it not once, but twice.  It is a day where you get to disconnect from your daily grind and your overloaded schedule.  In fact, you put it on your schedule so that you don’t forget to do nothing.

It’s like a mini vacation without having to shower or get out of your pajamas.

Day Trip

No, not the illicit substance type trip.  Just a short vacation where you take a day out of your life to take a mini vacation.  No hotel reservations, not too far away, nothing elaborate.  Just a little exploring and dinner somewhere not in your home!

Let people wait on you.  It’s not hard to justify in the interest of self-care.

So now it is your turn to share:  How do you relax when you can’t go on vacation?

Photo Credit:  Jason Cartwright

 

Happiness, Joy, Contentment: Now, not later.

Stop Waiting for Joy and Happiness!

Stop waiting for Joy.  Stop waiting for Happiness.

Quit saying, “I’ll be happy when…” or “Things will be good if…”

Stop trying to choreograph it with grand gestures.

All of that just wastes so much of our natural happiness resources! Every time we do that kind of thing we are ignoring the very things, moments, events that we could be reveling in now. And that is sad.

Instead of Waiting…

Continue reading

Lessons from a near death experience

What I Learned From a Near Death Experience

Back in March, I had what I would call a near death experience.

I think I can call it a near death experience even though I didn’t hover over my own body, my heart didn’t stop, and there was no white light or anyone from the other side.

I actually remember almost none of it and am going on the stories that were relayed to me.  There was a life flight, a chest tube, and the card on the flowers that my daughter gave me that said, “Mom, thanks for not dying!” All this evidence points me to the conclusion that it was, indeed, a near death experience. Continue reading

Don't let them tell you can't do something

What To Do When Someone Says “You Can’t’

When someone says you can’t do something you should walk off and laugh.  And laugh some more and get determined.

When someone tells me that I can’t do something, that I will fail, I turn it into fuel.

Negative energy is a challenge to me. Continue reading

Five Things You Can Do When Change Snowballs

Five Things You Can Do When Change Snowballs

 

Have you ever decided to clean out a closet or a room and you start and all of a sudden it looks way worse than the mess you were trying to remedy?

It happens to me all the time.  Sometimes knowing this makes me even reluctant to start.  Once I do start it can even be a bit daunting.

Then I realized that this happens when I make changes, too. Continue reading

The Art of Noticing

Have you ever thought long and hard about Happiness, and Joy, and Contentment?  How to orchestrate more of it in your life?  How to create that big ***BANG*** of Jubilation right over your head?

There is information everywhere…Books, blogs, vlogs, pod casts, talk shows…on how to attempt this.  It was in a quiet conversation with a friend that I realized it didn’t come to me in that big way.  It came to me in little tiny bits. Sometimes so tiny they might go unnoticed if I wasn’t paying attention. Rarely do I get it from a grand event with lightning strikes or trumpets or fireworks. I am not the only one.  Have you ever observed that people who are happy in general delight in small and modest things? Continue reading

Celebrate Other’s Success and Defeat the Green Monster

Have you ever achieved something you worked incredibly hard for or had an incredible opportunity put in your path and you get all excited and you look around and no one else is getting excited with you?  Or worse yet the haters show up…or lurk behind your back? I think this happens to most people at least every once in a while.

It’s very deflating. It is important to cheer ourselves on (link) and try to find a better support system.  But it is a great opportunity to look at our own reactions.  How do WE react to someone else’s good fortune? Continue reading

Can Self-Acceptance Be an Excuse?

I am very happy to see more people talking about acceptance, of themselves and each other…  More people talking about being their authentic selves….  More people discussing the concept of not judging a book by its cover.  I think it is a wonderful thing to embrace our differences and to not force people into one little tiny mold.

However, I also believe there is sometimes a dangerous side effect to all that.  It offers up easy excuses. Continue reading