I am sitting at the summit of a high peak in the remote White Mountains of New Hampshire or in the glory of the Adirondacks in the far reaches of northern New York State. It is a beautiful sunny day and I am tired from the long hard hike that brought me to my destination. I can now sit on my proudly worked-for perch and soak in why I worked so hard for it in the first place: No cliché, not because it is there, but just for the joy of it and the peace it brings me. Instantly. It fills my soul with overwhelming beauty and the incredible views that calm my very being to the core. Fills me with immediate emotion of the power and serenity of it all, and how it is all so much greater than me in my tiny little day to day world. I breathe deeply, take visual photographs to store for when I need them to carry me through my difficult days so I can return at will, and when it’s time, I begin my descent. I am restored until next time. There is always a next time.
Ok so I am actually typing in my office, buried in paperwork, lists and must-dos. The approach is – urgent, important, and what needs to happen next is what is both urgent and important. Prioritize, prioritize.
So there are no White Mountains or Adirondacks in my neighborhood, so what to do? We all need a safe haven so what is yours to refresh your mind and soul? Here are some ideas which include some of my tops on the list:
- A bike ride
- A walk in the woods or trail
- A night with friends
- A good book
- A nice escape to the movies
- Sitting outside on the deck or in the yard
- Gazing up at the stars
- A good hard work out
- Connecting with someone dear to you and sharing what’s on your mind
- Cuddling with a pet
- If you’re religious, going to church even if it’s not during a service – just being in a church is very peaceful
- Writing – a great soul cleanser for all, even if it isn’t to be saved or a masterpiece – write anything
- Listening to music – go to something live whenever possible, at least once a year
- Live sports – tv doesn’t count!
I thought of this because we had a talk on how one of the school districts embedded resilience in every school building – 12 of them – grades K-12 – no small feat – and now even the students are involved. One student’s action plan stated that she needed a safe haven where no one could tease her or call her names, etc. and the result was that a “safe room” was created for students to go to when they felt they needed their own haven to be emotionally safe. Brilliant girl but sad that there is such a need.
Sometimes those havens can be as simple as the feeling of putting on the headphones, turning on the relaxing music, and sinking into the delicious comfort of your own bed after a long day. For me until my next hike, bike ride, or gaze into the stars, it works just fine.