We all need a break now and then, whether it’s from our job, our family, or our recovery work. We deserve to nurture, pamper, and reward ourselves, not just once a year on a vacation but everyday.
People go on vacation to get away, but we don’t always have that luxury. And while going on vacation can be a lot of fun, it can also be a lot of work arranging flights and hotels, and just lugging the luggage everywhere. Sometimes a quiet day or just a few minutes of quiet will do wonders to restore our spirits and energy.
So take a mini-vacation. Perhaps you can’t sunbathe on a Caribbean Island, but you can spend fifteen minutes lying on your bed, imagining yourself on the beach. Try to smell the salty waves, listen for their roar. Feel the sun warming your skin. Breathe it all in, relax, and enjoy yourself.
If you’re not imaginative enough to picture yourself on that beach or anywhere else you want to be, find other ways to escape.
Put down your work and pick up a book—find something fun and exotic—a lot of mystery novels will fulfill that need for you. Spend fifteen minutes reading about being lost in a bazaar in Morocco, or on a Caribbean mystery, or wherever your favorite detective might travel to solve a crime.
If you’re not a reader, escape from the house or office into your own backyard—if not literally your backyard, then your neighborhood. Is there a restaurant you’ve never tried, a store you’ve never visited that might brighten up your day a bit. Visiting restaurants with foreign food—Chinese, Thai, Mexican, French—can give you that feeling of escape and the exotic, a little adventure to brighten your day.
Sometimes just a little thing can cheer us up—a piece of candy, a favorite TV show, a walk around the block looking for things we never noticed before. Let your mind escape by finding something new.
Here are a few more suggestions for your mini-escape:
Watch a sitcom in the middle of the day.
Go for a walk.
Go for a bike ride, but take a path you normally don’t take.
Visit a new restaurant.
Take a day trip.
Take off a day to lie on the beach.
Move your laptop to a different room—if you usually sit at your desk or table, sit on your bed today.
Find some exotic music to listen to while you work.
Spend fifteen minutes online learning about a place you want to visit.
Take short one chapter reading breaks every 2-3 hours.
Send a postcard to a friend—even if it’s a postcard of your town, it will feel like a vacation, and your friend will love to hear from you, so you’ll brighten two people’s days.
Just fifteen or twenty minutes away from our daily tasks can be a big boost to our energy and restore us. We will be more productive, more relaxed, and more in touch with enjoying life by just allowing ourselves to escape now and then.
Irene Watson, MA, is author of The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference, and co-editor of The Story that Must Be Told: True Tales of Transformation, and Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers. She is a workshop leader, managing editor of Reader Views, and president of a non-profit Higher Power Foundation. Irene lives next to Barton Creek in Austin, TX, with her husband Robert.