(Best of Celebrating Your Journey – October 1, 2007)
To all my readers: With 2019, the 14th year of my Celebrating Your Journey blog articles, “From the Heart” byline, I will be offering the “Best of the Best” articles you found helpful through the years. Many thanks to everyone who have given input and followed along w/ each month’s lifeskill—Relationships/Core Values, Time Mgt, Career/Money Mgt, Recordkeeping, Possessions, Housekeeping, Wellness, Meals, Childcare, Recreation/ Entertainment, Reflection, and Celebration. For my new readers, may these lifeskill articles offer you encouragement, insight, and commitment to seek, reach, and achieve your life dreams and goals in synergy.
What does recreation mean to you? Right now, before you read this article, get a pencil and paper out. Write down five ways you define recreation for yourself. Then number these five from the least (1) to the most expensive (5). Mark on the side of each how many times you do each recreation per year (or in units of years).
How does the list reflect the way you relax and wind down? Or is the list telling you that you are still on that fast train to a destination you are not quite sure of yet? And are you more exhausted and stressed when you get home than when you set off on that great vacation or night out on the town? This also goes for those who find themselves on the potato couch every night in front the TV or computer.
So, let’s look at some simpler recreation to help you slow the train down or actually get off the couch—doing some definite good for what ails you.
- “LAUGHTER is an instant vacation” and most of the time won’t cost you a cent! Try ways to laugh about life and yourself as you gain a calmer and clearer perspective about those opportunities and challenges facing you. You will help your body enhance blood flow, boost your immune response, rebalance your blood sugar levels and improve your relaxation and sleep. Find a place in time to share laughter together with those you love—at the dinner table, playing board games, a classic funny movie, just talking and passing the day together.
- WALKING—how easy can that be! With the appropriate mindset or attitude, walking can be a great stress reliever, quiet your thoughts, focus your energies, and boost your natural endorphins. Set a routine to walk alone as well as with a friend or spouse.
- DANCING to your favorite music can do more to soften a conflict, recharge your creativity, and clear your mind than any movement. Dancing also is definitely aerobic and heart healthy; and definitely just plain fun moving and grooving alone or with others. Take dancing lessons to learn the oldest and greatest moves and the latest new grooves. You won’t regret it!
- CREATIVE ARTS/CRAFTS—get connected! Not only routinely visit your local galleries, museum, plays, and concerts, take some classes. Whether you choose the performing arts of music, dance, drama or comedy, visual or literary arts, creative crafts, get connected. Learn how the arts can nurture your body and soul, and give you a profound appreciation for the unlimited imagination and creative genius of those artists & craftsmen in your neighborhood and around the nation.
- COOKING CUISINE—good for your appetite and health! One of the most wonderful and satisfying activities is the flooding fragrances of great food right in your own home. Not only good for your palette but also for your health—just as long as you choose those healthy ingredients and recipes! So, get connected with people, books, and classes. You will not only change the way you eat but also your life for the better.
- GARDENING—no matter the size of your patch of soil, dig into that earth and plant a garden to soothe your soul sores and put food on the table. As you bring in those flowers, herbs, and vegetables you lovingly tended, your home will shine with a sense of wholeness and hospitality every guest will cherish.
- OUTDOORS BEYOND YOUR DOORS—take day outings near home to places you have always wanted to see but never took the time. Check out historic markers along the road, historic museums, hike the hillsides and mountains, bike them. You will come home appreciating your own abode and community where you live and raise your children. You will then actually build stronger roots in your community and for your family.
Recreation can mean just about anything to a person, depending on what interest and forms of activity foster relaxation and enjoyment. Yet, are any of these recreational activities listed here on your list of five? If not, I encourage you to consider giving one or more a try.
Before you make world traveling plans, get in the groove with the simpler recreational pleasures of life. The every day stresses and concerns will become much lighter and easier to handle. You will then have the needed energy and motivation to plan your bigger recreational adventures.