A Change of Scenery Is Good For Our Health
I recently got away to take some time off from work and my usual environment. I flew to Geneva to visit friends in France and the change of scenery and routine really helped to restore my body-mind and soul.
I found myself becoming joyous for the beauty of life around me, walking forest paths that triggered in me ancient memories of times much more simple and earth-bound – revitalizing my sense of wonder.
I felt my heart open to the magnificence of my life and the gratitude of time-out-of-time happiness that truly renewed and enriched my life-experience deeply, and created memories that I will cherish the rest of my life.
There are many who say that taking time off is one of the best things that anyone can do for themselves. For others, taking time off can be a source of anxiety and it can take days for them to unwind and relax into not having their usual routine. Once they have let down, the benefits that taking a vacation has on one’s mental health is profound.
Most people have a better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is only a few days of time-out.
Vacations allow us to replenish our personal energy, inspire inner-reflection, and are an opportunity to nurture our heart connections with family and friends. Vacation time can help us increase our overall wellness, to play and have fun!
Happiness is more a function of small, frequent pleasures and joys than big, infrequent pleasures.
Time-out-of-time doesn’t have to be a full-on vacation. We can take these moments whenever we step away from our work when we temporarily ditch our routines.
Giving ourselves permission to slow down and make time to “BE,” engage doing something out of the ordinary is vital to the mind, body and spirit. Our adventurous side is liberated to step out and explore, to be outside more and enjoy nature.
What we holistic coaches know, and what neuroscience is showing, is that we require downtime in order for our bodies to go through the process of restoration. It is only when we are free from the culmination of external stresses that our bodies can relax enough to activate deep renewal.
Vacations create memories that last for decades, are shared across generations and can bring a family closer together. We tend to want to recreate our own fond childhood vacation experiences. These memories are treasured and shared with younger generations, as parents tell stories about them to their children.
Most people will agree that planning their vacation is a source of happiness by anticipating a change of scenery, time spent with loved ones, or just relaxing with a good book. Often though, vacations don’t go as planned, which can lead to unanticipated stress which may have a greater effect on each person.
So whether planning a big vacation or just a mini weekend getaway, the following suggestions may help maximize your time-out-of-time happiness.
- Include your loved ones in the vacation planning process to accommodate desires and minimize any surprises with individual expectations. Making time for family and friends strengthens connections and helps to nourish our mental and emotional health.
- Give yourself ample time for flight connections if you are flying across time zones, in case of travel delays. As a matter of fact, cultivate the quality of “flexibility” when traveling. And don’t forget the appropriate plugs for your media devices!
- It is especially important to hydrate pre, during and post travel. Traveling is one of the most taxing activities on our bodies from altitude, stress and jet lag, to swollen muscles and joints and dehydration. Even though we are all at risk of dehydration, the people most vulnerable are infants and children, elderly adults, and athletes.
- Pack your own food when traveling. Keeping yourself nourished is essential and I have found that chicken or duck is a great nutrient dense protein to travel with along with raw carrot, radish and celery sticks.
- Be adaptable once you arrive at your destination, especially if there are small children in tow. Having a fast-paced schedule defeats the whole idea of a vacation and everyone deserves to flow with shifting needs.
- Connect with the local people and visit farmer’s markets to try new taste-scrumptious flavors that are reflective of the mineral-rich soils food in other regions are grown.
- Take lots of photos. Memory making is a fantastic way to revisit your experiences and it’s a wonderful way to remind someone you love of a special time you shared.
By honoring everyone’s self-needs and using time wisely, you’ll find pleasure in time-out-of-time moments so you don’t end up needing to recuperate from your vacation. It is being “off-time” that makes us aware of how life has not followed the script.
There are a lot of roads to happiness, and many of them don’t require much time to get there, just a willingness to step out of time. Wherever you live, there are no doubt plenty of amazing opportunities around.
What will you be exploring?