I’m ready for a vacation. You know those days, right, when you repeat that old commercial slogan “Calgon, take me away…” (If you don’t know what I mean, ask someone who is older).
That idea of going “away” is what makes vacation so appealing. If you check Webster’s dictionary, you’ll see the definition of vacation as “freedom or release from work or duty, usually for rest, recreation or travel.” A second definition is “to vacate,” which means to cause to be empty or unoccupied. And that’s what I want- I want my mind to be empty, unoccupied with the daily details that swirl around in there and keep me going. But if getting away from my daily life is a week at the beach each summer, how do I manage the other 51 weeks of the year? What about today, when I could be packed and out the door by dinner if it were possible. I mean, I’m ready for a vacation.
Well, here is one thing that I’ve done, and I can vouch for it- take a one minute vacation. If you’re sitting in a parked car waiting for soccer practice to finish you can take a one minute vacation. If you’re near a bathroom with a lock on the door, you can take a one minute vacation. If you’re in place where it would be normal to nod off, and you can pretend to be asleep, you can take a one minute vacation.
Here’s how it works: get comfortable in a secure and quiet place where you aren’t worried about being interrupted. Close your eyes. Take a slow breath. Take a second, deep breath, so that your belly expands as you inhale. Relax your shoulders. Visualize yourself in a favorite place. Maybe on a white, sandy beach, swinging in a hammock- do you hear the surf crashing in the background, the seagulls calling? Can you smell the saltwater, the Coppertone on your arms? Feel the sun on your face, the sand between your toes. Take another deep breath. Sink into that hammock. What day is it? Who knows. And who cares? Your mind will be happily emptying itself of the daily details.
This is just a one minute vacation, so take a final deep breath and open your eyes. Take the rejuvenated you into the rest of your day. You have an amazingly powerful imagination – use it!