I could actually feel the tense muscles in my shoulders relax with every mile the boat inched away from our host country. When we lived overseas, we needed to leave the country every three months to renew our passports. At first it was a complete pain, but eventually it became a blessing.
On this particular visa run, we were headed to a little island for the day, part of a neighboring country. We’d exit the boat an hour later, on a white-washed island that hoisted a different flag and spoke a different language. An afternoon of lying on the beach, eating the local food, and hitting up the market for goods unsold in our host country, we’d re-board the boat and head home.
I remember the fog lifting and my body relaxing just from this few hours of escape.
As a family, we’ve taken these life experiences to heart and still live them out here in the U.S. We love going on little day trips, taking weekend getaways, or even giving each other occasional days of alone time in order to stay strong and correct our focus.
Today on my blog, I’m sharing how I’m taking an online break for six weeks this summer. I do this every year, and it’s proven vital to my health and my family’s sanity. But even if I weren’t a full-time blogger, I’d still take an intentional break.
The summer is a great time to set aside our usual rushed routines and embrace a slower pace of life. The kids are probably out of school, and we can pare down their extracurricular activities.
But grown-ups sometimes need a “summer break,” too. I’m not talking a full three months of eating popsicles and watching The Facts of Life reruns (or maybe that was just me)… I mean a deliberate mental break from the craziness of life.
Here are a few ways you can join me in taking a “summer break” over the next few weeks:
• Get out the calendar with your spouse and schedule a few days for each of you to have some alone time. If you don’t plan it, it probably won’t happen.
• On those alone days, do the things that refuel you. For me, it’s usually a lot of hours reading and journal time at a coffee shop, then a little working out, and sometimes exploring a few thrift shops or bookstores. For Kyle, it’s going hiking out in the middle of nowhere.
• Read a novel, cover to cover, just for fun.
• Make working out a regular part of your routine. Rewire your brain to think of it as a treat for yourself, not a chore. (I’m preaching to myself here, see.)
• Call up a girlfriend and go see a movie. Or grab coffee. Or both.
• Go on family walks after dinner.
• Explore some craft ideas on Pinterest—and then close the laptop, get out your supplies, and actually make something.
• Bike anywhere less than two miles away. Invest in an inexpensive basket so you can go to the grocery store, too.
• Head to the library, and just explore.
• Institute a daily afternoon quiet time for everyone in the house—including you. Take a nap every now and then.
I know I’ve said it, but I’ll say it again—if Susanna Wesley, 17th century mother of 19 kids, managed to find some rest, we 21st century gals can, too. The story goes that when she’d pull her apron over her head, the kids knew to be quiet. She was getting some alone time to pray. We can, too.
How do you plan on finding some rest from the busyness this summer?
By Tsh of Simple Mom