The summer is slipping away and you need to grab hold of the few days off you have. So where do you spend that precious time? Too many of us are living on vacation autopilot, packing to do the same thing the same way over and over again. But we know that getaways can do more than give us a break from work. Travel allows our minds to regroup, refresh, recharge.
Can we nourish our brains without breaking the bank or travelling the world? You bet. Check out these nourishing ideas for getaways that give you the mental shift you need to return to life renewed.
5 GETAWAYS THAT WILL RECHARGE YOUR MIND
GO URBAN: The City Escape
Travel to your nearest big city or one you always wanted to see. Research mass transit, walking tours, museums, restaurants, shops, theatre, sporting events, concerts, pretty much anything you always imagined doing in that city. Love NYC? Miami? Nashville? We’ve got everything you need to know.
The fact is, just researching new places activates our imaginations and inspires creativity. Also, when in a big city,there is a lot of sensory stimulation. If you live in a calmer town, then hit the city for just a day or two and you’ll activate a different side of your brain.
GO RURAL: Hiking, Fishing & Camping
If you’re used to a daily commute and feel life is a constant routine with workplace and family demands and packed schedules that mean you do the same thing each day, you need to hit the mountains and get outside.
Getting connected with nature and listening to the sounds of fresh streams, birds, wind in the trees and walking along a trail can be meditative. Also, putting together a camp site, packing supplies and roughing it for a weekend will absolutely shift your perspective. You’ll appreciate a night sky full of stars and crisp mountainous air.
GO HEALTHY: The Wellness Retreat
Understand that if you aren’t at peace or aligned with yourself, everyone in your circle suffers. You’re not going to be sharp at work, your health may slip, you’ll find that you are curt and short-tempered with loved ones.
These days, a wellness retreat can be customized to suit anyone’s needs. Some include yoga and meditation, others feature organic cooking classes, wine country tours and massages. The key is to listen to yourself and pick the wellness retreat that will make you feel best.
GO LAZY: Life’s a Beach
Even a beach getaway can be action packed—with surfing lessons, snorkelling, or paddle boarding. You can also get a lounge chair and an umbrella and read that book you’ve been dying to get to but can’t because you’re too busy.
A beach vacation chills you out. You’re connected with the earth because your feet are in the sand. You taste the salt in the air, hear the sound of the ocean, see the blue sky and horizon line in the distance, smell the suntan lotion and fresh fruit, and feel the warm sun and wind on your skin.
Studies have shown that engaging all five senses enhances our mood and calms us down. The beach is another great getaway because it centres us and forces us to relax as we see, hear, taste, touch and smell our surroundings.
GO ON THE ROAD: The Classic Road Trip
Sometimes all it takes is a great music playlist
and full tank of gas to have a fun adventure. Pick a city within 100 miles and don’t think, just go! These days, you can rent cars affordably so if you fantasized about driving a convertible, a hot sports car, or a tough rugged Jeep, bring that fantasy to life.
Spontaneous getaways where you figure it out as you go really bonds people and calls upon the pleasure seeking side of our brains. Road trips also have a meditative quality to them in that we are looking at the road and listening to the engine. We can have fun playing games in the car, a well-needed break from technology.
Whatever you choose, be sure to approach it as an adventure with the desire to have fun, and make memories. Have a total go with the flow mindset and watch what fun you attract.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is an NYC based licensed neuropsychologist, a teaching faculty member at Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and clinical director of the Comprehend the Mind Institutes in Manhattan and Queens.