We all deal with the pressures that job, family and daily living put on us… and frequently…I hear people talking about being “stressed out” and not knowing what to do to get a handle on things.
People under stress can feel trapped or helpless… and have a pressing need to just run away.
Well, the truth is… if you’re suffering from stress… maybe you should!
Sometimes by just getting away and letting your brain recharge and reset allows you to see your problems from a different angle… and even better… once in a while it renews your vigor to attack those problems head on.
If you can afford it… make a date with your wife/husband and get away for a weekend of fun and sun ( or snow, if that’s more your style).
Just go somewhere that you can kick back and relax.
No discussing work, what the kids are doing, bills or anything else that might cause the thoughts of daily living to come flooding back in.
For me… it’s been a long, hot summer with too much overtime at work… which means there was a lot less sleep, a lot of missed healthy, home-cooked meals, and less time spent with the missus and the rest of the family (dogs included!).
Not only all of that… but my training regimen suffered greatly.
In a nutshell, my lifestyle was drastically interrupted… and I needed a recharge.
With that being said… I decided it was time for a weekend retreat to Key West.
The idea popped into my thoughts one evening while I was on patrol… so I called Rosemary and asked for her opinion… and she agreed.
And within a week we were on our way driving through the beautiful Florida Keys on our way to mile marker zero.
I always say the trip getting there is enjoyable and means as much to me as being there.
You’re driving south on US1 with the Atlantic Ocean on your left and the Gulf of Mexico on you’re right.
The water on both sides is calm and dotted with fishing boats, beautiful blue sky with just a hint of a few wispy clouds and pelicans and sea gulls flying overhead.
After a few hours… you pull into a restaurant in Islamorada and have lunch on a deck jutting out over the water… sitting with your loved one having a chilled seafood salad and enjoying nature at its best.
If that doesn’t relax you nothing can.
This trip, Rosemary and I tried something we’ve been talking about doing for years…swimming with dolphins. And let me tell you… it is an experience I will never forget; I simply don’t know how to explain it except that you become a part of nature… you realize that you’re really insignificant and at the same time you feel extremely important.
And by the time we reached our final destination…I swear… I was stress free.
The whole setting is great… without realizing it you forget all the things that have created all of your stress.
You live in the moment and its all stress free.
But relaxing isn’t the only way I distressed on our trip… whenever I travel… I still want (and need) to exercise. I do what I can in the room… like push-ups, stretches or sit-ups… but I also like to swim.
Whether it’s in the ocean or the pool… I always find a way to get a couple of laps in to get my heart rate moving and blood flowing.
But there’s more than one way to get exercise and enjoy your time away at the same time…
In my new book, Says Who?! Why You’re Never Too Old to Accomplish Everything You’ve Always Wanted To…, I mention how the best way to see a city is on foot… and I have listed a few of my favorite cities that have planned paths for sight-seers.
But one of our favorite walks in Key West is taking Duval Street down to Mallory Square… just be sure that if you take this little jaunt… you have the correct shoes for the situation.
I wouldn’t suggest sandals or dress shoes as the entire walk measures about a mile and half.
Both myself and Rosemary made sure we did a lot of walking and enjoyed the sights that Key West has to offer.
If you’re ever down in the area… I have to suggest the sunset view from Mallory Square… it’s breathtakingly beautiful.
Another way to leave the worries of the world behind… be a little lackadaisical in what you choose to eat.
For those of us that try to eat as healthy as possible… the stress of making sure you have the correct food and are able to eat it at the correct times can also add to the daily pressure we feel.
Once in a while… it’s quite alright to “pig out”.
I’m not talking eating everything in sight the entire weekend… but let down your guard a little.
For example… I had a large burger at the Hogs Breath Saloon.
You know the kind… big, juicy, and messy… the kind of burger you need a ton napkins before you finish.
And I’ll tell you the truth… I enjoyed every bite.
However… after that one heavenly burger… it was back to healthy meals and more walking.
Which brings us to the last way you can force that stress right out of your brain… do something fun!
On our trip… Rosemary and I did a lot of things to ease our brains and bodies: we swam with dolphins, we relaxed in the salty ocean waters, we got in plenty of walking and now it was time to do something fun… we rented jet skis.
And let me just tell you… when you’re out on the water, skimming over the waves, while the sun is shinning down… the last thing on your mind is paper work or bills.
We felt like teenagers again… and more importantly… there was no pressure and afterwards, I felt totally relaxed.
We enjoyed the moment…remember that quote I mentioned a few weeks ago by Martha Graham?
It goes, “ What’s important right now is the movement of the moment.”
Experience, enjoy and appreciate every moment … and you’ll get a lot more out life.
We went to Key West and had four days of swimming, walking, jet skiing, and seeing the sights from the water and the land.
We had a great time, de-stressed and returned home ready to resume everyday life.
Try it this weekend… let loose… your body and brain will thank you for it.
Never say “I’m too old” or “I can’t”… because you’re not and you can.
PS. It’s here, folks! The very first printing of my book, Says Who?! Why You’re Never Too Old to Accomplish Everything You’ve Always Wanted To… is now in stock! I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am for completing this endeavor… but I wouldn’t be who I am without you… and I want to show my appreciation. So, for the first 100 people that buy my new book… I want to send you a signed copy of Says Who?! with a personal message from me to you. To order your copy of Says Who?!… follow this link. Mizpah!