Ever feel like you just want to hit the refresh button on your life? I know sometimes things go awry and you just want a do-over. Mondays can be like that (especially coming off of spring break). Some weeks it can feel like you need a refresher every single day!
Retreating in recent years hasn’t always felt refreshing. It felt more like I was trying to escape my reality or find peace anywhere I could, since I could not find it here. I was feeling stressed all the time and needing a daily refresher that I thought I could only get from being away from home. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking things are better and more peaceful in a different place, in different shoes, and outside of our comfort zone. But the truth is the only place we can find peace is inside ourselves, no matter the location.
We all need to refresh sometimes and there’s nothing like getting away for a little bit and just decompressing. I don’t think anything can compare to a vacation away and out of your life’s little picture. It’s even better when it’s a getaway with no schedule, no specific plans, and no preconceived notions of what it will be like. We just came back from a week like that at the beach and I dare say it was practically perfect!
Most of us can likely get away for a day or two at least, even if it’s in our own backyard. But it’s not always affordable or practical for everyone. As moms, we are busy taking care of everyone else and rarely put ourselves first. We are in major need of regular breaks and we wait for the first opportunity we get as a family to escape instead of taking some time alone. But there are things we can do to retreat to refresh without breaking the bank or even leaving home. Here are 13 things that I enjoy when I need to take a break and get some me time:
1. Read a book. Escaping into a story can take your mind to a different place and away from whatever personal things might be weighing on it. Wild is the emotional journey of Cheryl Strayed, but also quite the adventure if you’re up for one.
2. Grab your favorite colored pencils, crayons or markers and draw or color. It’s very relaxing and really helps you focus on something else.
3. Light a candle and put on some jazz or classical music. Guaranteed to put you in a mellow mood. The Pure Candle is a staple at our house.
4. Run a diffuser with your favorite essential oils. Lavender and citrus are a couple of my favorite ones for relaxation and for a happy mood.
5. If you don’t already know how, learn to crochet or knit. It’s a very relaxing pastime. Don’t worry about how long it takes to complete the project. Just get to needles moving.
6. Draw a bath and soak in it. I love to use a great scrub to soften up my skin while I’m soaking. This sugar body scrub in Lemongrass from Beautycounter is by far my favorite. Plus it safe and free of any toxins and void of any of the 1500 plus ingredients, most of which have been banned in the US and EU. Make sure to have a glass of your favorite vino on hand. Peace of mind and wine…now that’s relaxing!
7. Make a photo book. If you’re into traditional scrapbooking, by all means, but you can get a lot of enjoyment from doing it digitally. Forever has a great software you can use to design beautiful books and store photos online. Going through the memories will take you to a place of peace and getting them off your phone or computer will be an extra relief.
8. Write a letter or journal. Snail mail and writing are not a lost art and getting your feelings down on paper is very liberating. Keeping a gratitude journal can also help to let go of stress and worries.
9. Give yourself a mini spa day. Do your nails, pamper your skin, and do a special treatment for your hair. Even doing a face mask a couple times a week and misting can relax and reinvigorate. Try this brightening mask, oil, and mist from Beautycounter, just in time for summer!
10. Practice mindfulness and meditation. It can really help you to detach from distractions and helps you to concentrate on being nothing more than still, you and your breathing. There are some great apps like Headspace that I love that will walk you through it. A positive mindset is always peaceful and the mind needs vacations too.
11. Get outdoors and take a walk in the park or take a hike to explore nature. Being outside in the fresh air can definitely give you peace and perspective.
12. Take at least 10 minutes a day to practice yoga. You don’t have to worry about doing all the harder poses that require a little more experience or signing up for Bikram. A few stretches and the basic poses are all you need to open up your breathing, elongate the body, and relax the tension. If you are a Peloton rider like me, try one of the Beyond the Ride Yoga Classes. They’re awesome and you don’t have to be a yogi to do them.
13. Get off of social media. Sure the whole world is on there these days, but disconnecting from the constant feeds and information overload can give you a much needed retreat from the busyness of the world. Even doing it for just a few days can help. You won’t miss anything. The only thing that you will be passing up is a little less chaos in your life.
There are a lot of ways to get yourself a little break without leaving town. Just make sure you take the time to be alone and feed your soul. Because we all need to hit that refresh button…and often.