Who here feels like they need a vacation?
We are a seriously crazy society of go go go.
The amount of stress we are under on a normal every day basis is something our biology has never seen before. Even if you don’t believe you have a particularly stressful job or don’t feel particularly overwhelmed there are a lot of stressors we are subjected to on a regular basis.h
Blue light from screens has been shown to be very stressful on our nervous systems. Activating them and not allowing our hormonal system to calm down at night. Making it hard to sleep and really get into a rest and relaxation state, in which our bodies does so much repairing and recuperating.
Toxic chemicals from cleaners, cars, make-up, shampoo, lotion, etc are constantly being added to our blood stream. Loud noises like airplanes, cars, ambulances, music has been shown to put our nervous systems on high alert. This creates difficulties producing sex hormones and getting into the rest and digest nervous system state. Driving in traffic. Driving at all. High intensity exercise and lots of sitting, a combination that can be very shocking to the body. Hyper connectivity and always being “plugged in” via the internet. Alcohol. Fast food. Lack of gentle, consistent movement to move our fluids and lymph throughout the body. The pressure to look good, have lots of energy, get shit done, crush it.. that never seems to subside. All these inputs in our society are definitely adding to our almost subconscious stress levels.
I could go on and on. But the point is that we are under extreme amounts of stress, some perceived, but a lot unperceived. Our human bodies, which have shallow adaptations to survive in this situation, but have not deeply evolved to be able to thrive in it, are struggling. The amount of “adrenal fatigue” or more accurately called ‘HPA axis dysregulation’ is alarming. Not to mention hormone imbalances, sleeping issues, depression, anxiety, and much more.
Most of us think that everyone but us is somehow making this situation of a high stress environment work for them, but the truth is.. most people actually are not living lives of full vitality. Most adults in the US are in adrenal fatigue at some level. It is rare to find an adult in the US that doesn't have an addiction to their smartphones, social media, and news. Most adults in the US are definitely struggling with the status quo of high stress and have issues relaxing and disconnecting.
A vacation would be great. A real, true getaway. Going to some far off beach somewhere with zero internet or phone access and totally and completely unplug. But..the truth is, most of us couldn’t afford it, or we couldn't get the time off work, or if we didn’t stay at least two weeks we wouldn’t actually be able to relax. We’d be thinking about work and all that would need to get done once we got back. Or we have the kids and it’s not a real hands-off vacation but a mess of dolphin swimming, packed recreation excursions all topped off with heavy drinking and gambling at night. You definitely don't feel rested and relaxed after a "vacation" like that.
We also need to disconnect from our day to day busy lives more often than once or twice a year. Relaxation is actually a practice, so we need to do it consistently or we forget how to do it. We NEED time away and unplugged if we have any hope of living a life that is fulfilled, vital, and intentional. We need to reconnect on a regular basis to ourselves and really relax and unhook.
That’s why I’m committed to taking a stay-cation at least once per month. The perks of a stay-cation are:
- less travel time
- less planning
- get to know your own backyard a little better
- a lot more I’m probably not thinking of right now..
My simple parameters for a stay-cation are:
- Spend at least 2 days and one night somewhere no farther than 50 miles from home. You can also just stay home.
- Turn your phone on airplane mode
- Turn your wireless router off or don’t bring your computer or do not connect it to the internet.
- Make plans that are all revolved around being present with the people you are with. Or do it alone and don’t talk to anyone.
- Do something that loves on your body (hot yoga, restorative yoga, massage, whatever!)
- Any other parameters you want to set for yourself.
This last weekend Sean (the hubs) and I stayed at The Sacajawea Hotel. “The Sac” as it’s known in these parts is in Three Forks, Montana, which is one of the most significant points on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Three Forks is the the headwaters of the Missouri River. And in Three Forks, Montana, Sacajawea was reunited with her brother and brokered safe passage for the explorers. The Sacajawea Hotel was constructed in 1910.
Pretty cool, right?
It was the perfect blend of ease and luxury as it’s just 20 miles from our house, but feels like a whole different world. If you’re in the area (or going to be in the area) I highly recommend looking into staying at “The Sac.”
That being said, a stay-cation doesn't have to be super swanky. It can be super basic. It can mean putting your phone on airplane mode, turn your wifi router off, and just reading for the weekend; totally disconnected.
No matter where you're at, you've got the means to disconnect and I guarantee you'll be so happy you did.