Summer is the season of awareness, and there is so much to be aware of in life that it’s easy to forget to be aware of self. This warm, sunny season is for focusing on self. What are your first thoughts about yourself when asked to stop and be aware? Given the pace at which most of us live our lives, I bet your words are action words — going, doing, working. This summer, take time to simply focus on being instead.
What It Means to Focus on Self
When we focus on self, it’s not just about our fast moving pace, but also about our slow growth and state of being. And in order to witness the slow growth and truly embrace this season of awareness, we have to slow down — both mentally and physically.
Taking a Physical Vacation
I’m sure you all know what I mean when I say take a physical vacation, a getaway or an escape from the day to day grind of our busy lives. Take time to lie on a beach unaware of what time it is for a week. Go camping and hiking and live by the rising and setting sun. Or even simply take a staycation where you only engage in activities that bring you joy for a few days.
Physical vacations replenish our souls and allow us to slow down and be aware of our feelings. We can get away from daily stressors and focus on joy. Find activities that fill you with happiness and relieve stress.
Taking a Mental Vacation
But there is a second kind of vacation that is harder for many people to achieve, and that’s a mental vacation. Your body may escape reality for a week, but have you really given your mind a break? Are you focused on everything you’ll have to do when you get back or what is happening in your absence? To take a truly beneficial vacation and provide your body and soul the greatest benefits, you must also take a mental vacation.
When you establish your vacation days, take care of everything you can before you leave. Wrap up loose ends at work, make sure the pets will be cared for while you’re gone and that someone is keeping an eye on your home. Take care of every detail so you are packing no worries with you when you go. As soon as you head off, you’ve got to promise yourself you’ll leave worries and stress behind. Vacation is time to be aware of self.
The Health Benefits of Vacation
When you can allow yourself the opportunity to take a mental AND physical vacation, you will reap the true benefits of these glorious breaks:
- Greatest reduction of stress
- Clearer mind to fully engage in mindful activities and focus on self-care and discovery
- The ability to escape from the constraints of time and appointments
- The joy in freedom, which contributes to whole heart wellness
- Lower blood pressure and slower heart rate
- Relaxed muscles and fewer body aches
Taking a true vacation can be like the magic reset button your body needs. Whether you’re vacationing in Greece or in your own sunroom, don’t think of these breaks as luxury or indulgences. Include them in your overall wellness plan, and commit to yourself that you will regularly make time to focus on you.
Contact me to develop your own personal path to whole heart wellness.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and board certified Focused Awareness Meditation Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.