Making the most out of your time – skip ahead to: Week/Weekend

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Okay, so I took a little more time off from writing than I had expected. To be honest I think I was still on beach time! We had such a wonderful vacation the other week that I had to jump the series to talk about all the relaxing things that we did that I could share with you. We made the most out of our vacation and time off, which is really what it’s all about. It’s not a “vacation”, if you spend the majority of the time on your phone, checking emails, making work calls, etc. News flash — everyone needs a vacation! Your brain has to have the time to reset itself from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday life, which is what this series is all about: finding the time to reset, to get back to your best.

You know it’s time for a real vacation when you get lost in time, meaning you don’t know where family time starts, where work time starts and stops, or where time for you starts. If your brain is feeling like a jumbled mess and you’re finding it harder and harder to control the impulse to just shout at the next person who walks in your office, or, eek!, your bedroom – then let me be the first to tell you…

YOU NEED A VACATION!

Not sure what to do, or where to go, to get in that much needed R&R? We took our rest and relaxation to the beach, but really it’s all about soaking in what’s around you – being a tourist for a moment in your own city/or another city and taking in the sights, smells (the good ones, at least), and opportunities to have fun that the place you choose has to offer.

Here’s a list of 6 enjoyable activities we did while on our week getaway that may give you some ideas for your next planned escape.

  1. Walk everywhere. What I loved most about our beach vacation was that we hardly ever used our car! Now, for some of you who maybe live in New York or a big city where you basically walk everywhere, every day, anyway, this may not sound so fun. But it’s a different feel when you are “strolling” along the streets to go to dinner, grab some ice cream, visit the local stores, versus rushing to get to the subway, running across the street so you aren’t hit by cabs, etc. Living in a rural area outside a big city (which I do love by the way) makes for some long days in cars. So having the opportunity to get outside and not have to fight with the littles to get in their seat and “hurry, hurry” so we aren’t late for this appointment or that, was so freeing!
  2. Get ice cream. And I mean REAL ice cream, not fro-yo, fake, soft serve ice cream (no offense to those that enjoy that), but real ice cream – the kind that melts in the cone and leaves your hands sticky and smelling like candy for the rest of the day, kind of ice cream. Oh, it was SO good!
  3. Visit the local stores. Now, if you’re like my husband, you may only see “crap that we will throw away once we get home or will just clutter my house” (got to love that man!). But for me, it took me back to my childhood to see my oldest son, who’s only 4, looking at all the beach animal figurines, and the beach toys, in just awe. He thought they were the coolest things, and of course wanted everyone he saw, and it just reminded me of a more innocent time in my life before adulthood happened with all of its responsibilities that come with it. It reminded me to enjoy the little things, and don’t get so bogged down with having to rush through life’s moments.
  4. Get a pedicure/manicure. I know; you can do this any day. But something about getting the pedi/mani while at the beach made it that much more enjoyable. I think it was because I didn’t feel like I was having to squeeze it in between a lunch hour, or running between getting off work and going to the grocery store.
  5. Play. We played in the sand, in the water, in the house. We just took the time to be with the kids and enjoy the fact that we didn’t have to run around to this practice or school or work. We built sandcastles, mud drip castles, buried each other in the sand, looked for seashells, and went night searching for crabs with flashlights. We just played with no sense of time or worry about being late for something.
  6. Make a checklist of activities you want to do beforehand, and do them. You might not be a planner, and if you aren’t, don’t make this a stressful list. But if you’re trying to make the most out of your time, especially with kids, lists can be helpful and make the trip more enjoyable. About two months before we were heading out, I had made a list with my 4 year old little and told him to think of all the things he would want to do while we were at the beach. This was mostly so that I knew how to keep him busy so I didn’t have to listen to the “I’m bored” whine while we were there. He made a list of 35 different things he wanted to do! They included the things I listed above, along with others of course, and we took the time to make sure we did each and every one of them. The delight on his face that we had made this special for him was all it took to remind me of the things that are important.

I bet some of you have fantastic ideas that you could add to this list, and I’d love to hear from you! You can either comment below, or send your thoughts to me at jchristopher.healthymind@gmail.com.

Get out there and start planning your next R&R escape! Happy relaxing everyone!

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