News, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Mind Vacation

For those that live in the north, winter can be difficult. Not just in the sense of the snow and cold and all the responsibilities that come with the winter season, but in the sense of a lack of sunlight.

Many people thrive in the sunshine and warmth both physically and mentally. The cold weather keeps many indoors. Visions of sandy beaches, sun, the ocean, palm trees and drinks with umbrellas in them go through our minds.

For those not able to travel due to physical limitations, health reasons, financial reasons or a lack of vacation days available through work; the vacation must take place in your mind. I call this a ‘Mind Vacation.’

Browse online for touristy destinations, choose the activities you would participate in, the guided tours, perhaps the historical sites you would visit, the hotel or bed and breakfast that you would want to stay at. Imagine yourself being at this destination with all your senses. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, imagine you feet walking along the beach, feel the sand on your feet, the warm ocean on your skin. Smell the food cooking on an outdoor fire pit or grill.

Where have you visited in your mind, Florida, California, Mexico, Hawaii, Thailand? How do you feel? This exercise is similar to guided imagery where another verbally asks you to think of a place in your mind that makes you happy. You are asked to breathe deeply, to visualize this happy place whether it is in nature, a house, people from the past you spent time with….you are asked to hear the sounds around you, to smell the air, the food cooking and to touch something whether it is a tree, hugging a person or holding a book on the beach. You link your body with your mind by using all your senses. By breathing deeply and slowly, you relax both your body and your mind.

The end result is a ‘Mind Vacation.’ Enjoy your destination!

Written by Victoria Brewster, MSW

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