Monday, April 19, 2010

Wishing I Was in Berlin

I was supposed to writing you from Berlin and Budapest. I was heading there to check out all the fabulous sites, art galleries and museums, cafes and restaurants for a travel story I was going to write. But some volcanic activity from Eyjafjallajokull left me grounded.

I drowned my sorrows with a bottle of wine and of course, french fries at The Harrison. Of course, I also ate a delicious dinner, but happiness for me is always found at the bottom of a basket. The fries at The Harrison are, by far, the best fries I've ever had. They are deep fried with duck fat. The only thing better would be a second order.

Today, I'm going to continue my non-European vacation with a mental health day. My mind, body and soul are simply someplace else and I want to get away. I may not be sipping a beer or enjoying a wiener schnitzel, but I can certainly enjoy an impromptu vacation New York City style where I don't have to spend a dime and still take a much needed mental vacation.

Soaking up the sun in Fiji 2009. Today, I can just look at this picture and be taken away for a moment.

I always believed in trying to find a few minutes a day by yourself to de-stress which is so important to your overall well-being. It's even better if you can play hookie for a day and do something you truly love. It's amazing how much better I feel after taking some luxurious moments to myself.

Here are some ways to escape:

Exercise. For me, there is no better escape than exercise. It makes me feel I'm in control of my life and I can accomplish anything. Even if you're working, taking a walk during lunchtime is crucial for your mental health. That pile of work will get done when you get back. If you're able to, take a walk along a wooden trail, along the beach or to any peaceful place like a park or garden for even more relaxation.

Make it an at-home spa day. No need to spend lots of money on a professional facial. You can still get all the relaxing benefits and refreshed skin with many of your favorite beauty products. My friend Kristin recently enjoyed a little pampering with a DIY spa and said her skin felt and looked refreshed.

Read a book in bed. Close your door to the world and escape under your covers with a good book. Nothing is cozier, more comfortable or more peaceful than your own bed. And a good book (like the one I'm reading now The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory) can take you away from your own world.

Try something you've never done before. Whether it's trying a new recipe or pick up a craft like knitting, learning something new always gives me a new lease on life.

Daydreaming and people watching. Focusing on something else other than yourself can take you away from your world. Grab a cup of coffee, sit at cafe with a glass of vino and just watch and listen to the world around you. You never know what can turn up.

Meet someone for lunch. Spending time with someone on a sunny day, remembering fun times and planning ahead , can lift your spirits and refocus your energies.

Well, bon voyage for now. I'll be back tomorrow. But, I'm just wondering, how do you escape from it all? What do you do to relax and give yourself a boost? Let me know in the comments.


  1. great suggestions! i completely agree with you about needing a mental day off sometimes...when i need to "get away" sometimes...i'll sneak into a matinee with a nice bag of popcorn...

  2. Great post, Jen. Sorry to hear you've been grounded. To unwind, I pop open a (cheap) bottle of bubbly and snuggle up with a good book -- or movie.

    Have fun on your vacation!

  3. Sorry, you were stuck in NYC. I am happy to see you made the best of it. Have fun on your NYC vacation and enjoy!

  4. love that pic of you! how happy and content you look :)
    i love the idea of exercising, reading a book, and going to lunch. great ideas to make you feel good.

  5. I'm sorry you got stuck! But I'm glad you got stuck here instead of in an airport there!

  6. Boo! I can't believe this happened when you were supposed to leave! I hope that you can reschedule!!!

  7. Shoot, so sorry you're not writing to us from those places. Bummer. But, I love that pic. of you in the pool -- you look sooo happy! I need to start reading in bed again, thanks for the reminder!