It's a great time of year to think about the pleasures and happiness of a vacation. They are real and can help us build the strength to overcome adversities the rest of the year. A good vacation can fill us with a sense that we are living a life worth living. Also, the pleasures of positive emotions and good feelings will come back to 'haunt' us in wonderful ways also, if we let them, once we are back in the routine of everyday life. So give yourself a chance at mental health by going on a vacation this summer. If you can't go far, at least take a few days off and change your habits and pace of life so that you can experience some fun and changes of scenery. And here is a great way to begin, by planning a vacation of the mind!
Recently, in a women's therapy group that I run, the desire for fun and a change of pace over took me. I suggested that we deviate from some of our typical work and instead go around the room imagining a vacation treat designed to suit each woman's desires.
It was fascinating to see how many marvelous vacation ideas quickly emerged. One woman wished to go to Mexico and South America to view the ruins and lie on the sun in beautiful beaches. Another woman wished to go to Greece and see the ancient ruins there and then slowly make her way through Europe. This could take a leisurely period of time, perhaps even a year. Another also wanted to go to Europe but to do other things, such as take gourmet cooking classes in the South of France and become somewhat fluent in several languages. Another woman opted for spas and other experiences to bring vitality to her body and ultimately her spirit. One person was in reality making plans to go to several meditative retreats over the next few months.
I was fascinated as each woman spoke and realized two things. First, I would have been a happy companion on any of the presented vacations. Each one sounded fulfilling, energizing and provided a change that would be good for me, as well as the person who thought of it.
Secondly, I realized how much each woman, no matter what her background or problems, yearned for change, adventure, getting to know strangers and other places, no matter how burdened by daily problems of relationships, children, money, etc.
How unique we all are -- that's for sure! Each vacation was strikingly different from the others, and yet how universal so many of our needs for replenishment are.
I hope you'll take a few minutes now that spring has arrived fantasize to day dream about a wonderful vacation that you can create, at least in your mind. Take the adventure.
Please pass along your wonderful vacation ideas to us. I know we'll all be stimulated and enjoy our magic carpets! Bon Voyage!
Take a moment and jot down three fantasy spring or summer vacations you would love to take, if money and time were no object! Where would you go? Who would go with you? What would you like to do? How long would you like to be away? What would you enjoy seeing ... experiencing ... discovering? What would be the highpoint of your trip?
Enjoy your fantasy vacations. If you wish, go further and get some information on these places. Would you like at least one to come true? What steps would be necessary?
I leave the rest up to you -- whether you simply daydream or bring about a new reality I wish you refreshing, fun thoughts.