By Christina VanGinkel
You finally have a weekend free. You could stay home and catch up on your honey do list. You know what I mean. Chores such as mowing the grass, weed whacking around the outbuildings, maybe painting the bedroom or even washing the walls. All those tasks that you know you should do, but that could essentially be put off for some other weekend when you have nothing better to do. If you live a life that is commonly filled with stress, where time is not something you truly have, but something that just seems to run through your fingers unnoticed until you try to remember where it went, that time you have suddenly found might be better spent doing something else, such as taking a mini getaway. Grab that time and put it to good use to refresh your emotional state. Grab a quickly packed bag and get in your car, SUV, truck, whatever it is you drive, and just go! Where to, you might ask, well try some of these favorites:
Go to the Zoo!
Zoos are a great place to unwind, and if they have a petting section, all the better. Plop down a few dollars to buy some feed while you are there, and hand feed whatever it is you are allowed to. If no petting section or feeding is allowed, then park yourself on a bench and just watch the animals, and the people, for a bit. You will literally be able to feel your stress level melt away as you sit and soak in the sun, warming the bench
Head to the Beach
Whether you live Oceanside or in the middle of the continental Untied States, chances are there is a beach within a few hours driving distance, be it at a small lakeside park, a man made entity, or a large Oceanside one. If they have a snacks stand or bar, all the better. Bring along a folding chair, sun block or tanning lotion depending on your personal preferences, a suit, a bag with a good book or a few magazines, and a few dollars for food, and you will be all set.
Check into a Local Spa or Resort
Friends of ours recently checked into a local resort for a quick recharge. They scheduled everything from massages, a few rounds of golf, and reservations in the classiest restaurant on the grounds for their evening meal. They were not interested in sight seeing, so after checking out spas and resorts some distance from their home, they decided why not just choose one locally, that way they could save on everything from travel time, to money spent reaching a far off destination. They managed to have a relaxing two-night stay at a popular spa / resort for half the cost of what it would have cost them to go to the exact same style of resort somewhere else. Because it was local, they were also able to pick up discount coupons via a local radio station’s regular shopping show.
Take a Hike
If you live anywhere close to a trail (Appalachian) that is long enough to take a hike at least as long as a couple of hours, fill your pack and go. Some of the best hikes I have taken have been those that were not long planned out. Do take the time to pack accordingly, but do not wait until you can take a huge stretch of time. A weekend hike is a great way to stay in shape for those times you might be able to fit in longer hikes. I once read of a guy who knew he would never have the time to take the hike of a lifetime, at least not the way he figured it should be, so instead of never going, he decided to take as many day and weekend hikes as he could. He kept a log of how many hours and miles he hiked, and when he added it all up after a couple of years, he himself was shocked at how many miles he had accumulated.
Go to the Theater
If you live outside of a metropolitan area, take a weekend and go into the city to see a show, go out to dinner, and spend the night in some ritzy hotel. Sightseeing in what is relatively your own backyard, can be one of the simplest forms of recharging your personal batteries.