By Martha D'Adamo
Anyone who has never experienced any stress in their lives can stop reading right now... Did I lose anyone? I didn't think so. Stress, occasional stress, and pressure are all part of our current lifestyles. We do a lot, we are bombarded by a lot more, and we take less time to recover than at any other time in modern history. We are a performance driven society, and we are always aware of everything that is going on in the world through the modern invention of 24/7 news, social networking and the internet.
It's become a little too much for me, and I have had to make some changes and pull back so that I can enjoy pockets of time with no stress, pressure or demand on me for work or the family. I, like many others, can easily be seduced by being needed and valued, or by thinking that I am the only one capable of doing what is being asked of me. I have found myself drawn to articles about minimalism or doing more with less, and I am committing to the month of June and July as a return to the idealism of what summer used to mean.
During my school years, I would run out of school on the last day, take off my uniform, shoes and socks, and head for the woods. Walking, exploring, taking my cousins down to the creek for an adventure. Hopscotch boards drawn in the cul-de-sac, we challenged ourselves by making the boards bigger and bigger. One was 18 feet long, and we had to take running jumps to hit the squares. And baseball... neighborhood games, casually put together, who's in and out, playing until dark, when the fireflies came out along with our parents to call us home.
What is the modern adult version of this? We all wear our "uniforms" of who we are in the world... business people, doctors, nurses, retail associates, waitresses, teachers, plumbers, electricians, computer coders, minister. There are lots of uniforms to wear, and doing our jobs with integrity, commitment, and focus is a noble endeavor. How do we take those uniforms off and disengage so we can regenerate? It's difficult. I don't know anyone who gets two month's vacation time from their jobs (except teachers), so the idyllic summer days also have a certain pressure... we've got to hurry up to go on vacation, we have to make it the best vacation, sometimes we are even intruded upon by our work so that we don't fully leave our jobs while on vacation.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word vacation originates from the Latin word, vacatio, which means freedom. The definition is "a respite or a time of respite from something." It means taking a break, and it doesn't say exactly from what... it's not just our jobs that we need to take a break from; sometimes it is the incessant demands of our lives that we need to step away from, even for a brief time - an intermission, so to speak - and then return.
There's so much we can do that is easy to implement to help relieve occasional stress. Eating well and proper supplement support (Cortiguard and Catechol are awesome, and we always have them at home!) can provide a solid base from which to manage the effects of stress. And there is a third element of this, which is time. Who doesn't have 15 minutes at some point during the day to tune out the world, deep breathe, and visualize a beautiful scene like the beach or the mountains, where you see yourself stress free, full of life, vital and relaxed? A very dear friend of mine was a minister, and I remember him telling me that the power of visualization was so strong, that you could experience positive results in 28 days by visualizing yourself exercising every day. Now personally, I need to do my physical exercise, but I think there is great value in this concept which can relieve stress and the sense of overwhelm and pressure that comes from our everyday modern lives.
Think about what that place is for you, and imagine it in great detail. Luxuriate in it, revel in it, and breathe into it. Make it so real, that you want to go there every day, and then do so... for 28 days. So by the time the July newsletter comes out, we've had a month of these daily "mini-vacatios." (It sounds cool in Latin ☺) And without even leaving our homes, our jobs, our lives, we've had a chance to regenerate and restore.
Wishing you a wonderful June.