I had to take a little time off from blogging the past few weeks to make extra time for life. We have to do that sometimes—take time off, from activities we’d like to be doing for those commitments we need to be doing (and those can be one and the same). But that’s not a bad thing. When we’re feeling wound up (or wound down), it’s an invitation. Not to live less, but more.
I’m writing this from the San Diego International Airport as I’m nearing the end of several strenuous weeks. High school graduation parties. Youth baseball games. College application work for our oldest son. My daughter’s dance recital. A full work schedule including a week of travel. Writing a book. And then some.
Life at digital speed. But the problem is we are not wired to run like computers. This past week in San Diego reminded me of that. It had nothing to do with the location, but it had everything to do with a break in my routine.
The following “Do”s are not just for when you go on a trip, but especially as part of your regular regimen, wherever you’re at. Consider the prescription that follows more like a multivitamin for your well-being, a way to avoid a crash (like a computer). Take each one daily, weekly, monthly. Whatever works for you, so long as you do it.
Do something you enjoy
I love coffee, and I love bookstores, especially the locally owned kind. I knew I’d have a full week at my work conference in San Diego, but I made sure not to forget to do something that is both familiar to me and enjoyable. So Google presented me with the Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffee House in San Diego’s Seaport Village, about a mile from my hotel.
The next thing I did is search for the nearest hiking trails around San Diego. Hiking is another passion of mine. I found a low lying mountain east of town and several scenic nature trails along the coast.
When I arrived at my hotel, I could’ve slept the day away before the conference started (I was tempted, believe me). But I decided against that option and instead went for a double shot Mexican Mocha at the quaint little bookstore and coffee house. The cool coastal breeze entered through open doors, blending with the aroma of coffee beans and bound paper. Forget the snooze at the hotel. Nap time could wait.
The next morning I enjoyed a few miles up a rocky trail topping at a meager 1,591-foot summit but a mountain nonetheless, followed by a few more miles winding along sandy paths overlooking the Pacific ocean. I was surrounded by California sage and Torrey pine teeming with lizards and other small critters. Refreshing.
You might be thinking, “Sure Brock, that all sounds great. But I don’t get to visit cool places like that.”
I don’t get to on a regular basis either, so hear me on this. We can’t wait until the day we can travel to exotic locations to find enjoyment. With where I’m at in life right now, this trip was very much an exception. Fortunately, if we look for it, we can find enjoyment right where we’re at.
There aren’t many locally owned coffeehouses or bookstores near my home (none that stay in business very long, anyway), nor do we have trails overlooking mountains or oceans. But we do have coffee shops. We do have bookstores. We do have some trails. And all within an hour of our home. So I make sure to include regular visits to these locales, even if only a few times a month to a few times a year. And for some of it, I don’t have to spend a penny.
No, it’s not California, but again, the location isn’t the point. The purpose is. It’s enjoyable. It’s beneficial. It’s intentional.
What can you do right where you’re at that you enjoy AND that benefits your well-being? Are you doing it? If not, why not?
Click here for Part 2 of this series, “Do Something New.” Better yet, subscribe via email and receive it automatically!