How to extend your vacation feeling after coming home
Wanda Sevey, MDiv, LMFT, is a staff therapist and office director of our Lawrenceville and Voorhees, New Jersey offices. She is an ordained minister in the progressive United Church of Christ and is trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy and Relationship Enhancement Therapy.
Every summer I wish I could make it last just a little longer. During my recent week at the shore I even started to wonder if there are ways I could bring those feelings of well being and calm with me as I returned to home and work. While it’s not the same as walking on the beach searching for shells and bits of colorful sea glass I’ve found that there are some things I can do to experience more peace and contentment. It feels remarkably similar to a moment of vacation when you take time for these activities.
Notice your breath.
Bring your attention to the sensation of your chest rising and falling as air enters and leaves your body. When you exhale intentionally relax the muscles in your chest and stomach. You’ll immediately feel more relaxed.
Stay in the moment.
Whatever it is you are doing at the moment keep bringing your wandering attention and thoughts back to the present. Even as I am writing this I notice that my mind wanders to what is next on my schedule, what I’ll have for lunch and what’s going to happen at home at the end of the day. When I notice these thoughts, I gently bring my attention back to my fingers on the keyboard and to the sensation of sitting in my chair sharing these thoughts with you and I feel content and focused.
Relax your body.
Scan your body from head to toe. Wherever you experience a tightness or tension in your muscles relax and let that tension drain. Notice that as the tension drains away, feelings of calm increase.
Build pleasure into every day.
When we’re stressed it’s easy to go looking for relief in all the wrong places. Replace mindless eating, drinking or TV watching with activities that actually bring you pleasure. Engaging in one of your hobbies, walking the dog or even intentionally letting yourself day dream just as long as it brings you pleasure and isn’t simply filling time.
Stay connected with yourself and others.
When a friend calls for a chat, make sure you return the call. When a family member says “hey look at this!” turn your full attention to them. Take time to check in with yourself and your deeper thoughts and feelings. Adding meaning to your life by adding connection is step toward well being.
Wanda Sevey, MDiv, LMFT, is a staff therapist and office director of our Lawrenceville and Voorhees, New Jersey offices. She is an ordained minister in the progressive United Church of Christ and is trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy and Relationship Enhancement Therapy. Interested in therapy with Wanda? Request an appointment today.