Sometimes I think the universe knows what we need, even before we do. Our family ended up taking an unexpected vacation this week. The time off has been great and it reminded me that I need to replenish my energy regularly, even if I can’t take time off to do it.
Since this is the last vacation I’ll have for several months, I thought I’d look back on what I enjoyed most this week. My goal was to find activities I could repeat without taking time off. I came up with a list of 10 things any of us can do with little time and no investment to cure what ails us.
- Dance Party – You heard that right. Put on some shake your rump music and dance across your living room. It gets the heart rate going and, if you have children, can give all of you a great reason to jump around and laugh out loud.
- Sing-a-Long – When I used to run with my father and get a stitch in my side, he’d have me sing cadences at the top of my lungs. He told me yelling gets the bad stuff out and he was right. So put on a song you love and sing loud and proud. If you have neighbors nearby, just be aware of the hour so you don’t end up serenading the local precinct.
- Pajama Day – There’s something to be said about getting up in the morning and putting on pajamas. No restrictive suits or shoes. Just comfy and cozy all day long. I would not leave the house in my bunny slippers, but for a day at home, they are all the fashion I need.
- Desert Island for One – If you were stranded on an island and could only have one type of food, what would it be? Indulging in your favorite food excites the senses of smell and taste, which can ignite memories associated with that particular food. For example, beignets might make you feel like you’re back in New Orleans without leaving your kitchen.
- Favorite Movie – A favorite movie is like an old friend. It is predictable and relaxing to watch a movie you already know. I have a rotation of movies that I put on while I’m reading, writing or studying (one of them is playing now). It’s visually and audibly pleasing without requiring dedicated attention to know what’s happening.
- Speed Freak – Whether it’s snowmobiling, skiing, 4-wheeling, road biking, riding a motorcycle or anything else that goes fast, sometimes you need speed. Not only will your heart rate get going, but you’ll have wind in your face and fresh air getting in your lungs.
- Tickle Fight – You are never too old for a tickle fight. I prefer doing the tickling and hearing my son squeal in delight, but being on the receiving end can do a world of good as well. It’s hard to stress about anything when you’re busy defending yourself from a tickle fight.
- Trash Fiction – There is nothing like a good book. Even if your preference is non-fiction, fiction can get the brain working in a different way. I really enjoy series novels with some sort of mystery that needs to be solved. I challenge myself to figure out “who done it” as early in the book as possible and then see if I’m right.
- Game Night – Growing up, games were serious business in our competitive clan. Not much has changed since then, but now there is a lot more laughter while I try to keep my son from rewriting the rules to suit him. Like life, games have achievements, setbacks, challenges and aspirations. They should also be a reminder not to take life too seriously.
- Nap City – Whether it’s sleeping in or taking a mid-afternoon snooze, extra rest may be just what the doctor ordered. I wouldn’t recommend nodding off at work, but taking some extra sleep time on the weekend can help replace the energy burned off during the work week.
If it’s been a while since your last break, and will be a while until your next one, it might be time to crank up the music or read a new book. What other activities do you recommend to feel like you’re taking a vacation…without taking time off?