Let’s face it, with the level of stress most of us shoulder, who couldn’t use a good distraction? Though my main professional pursuit these days allows me to live in fictional worlds of my own creation, even I need a need a little escape now and then. So what drives me to distraction? Here are my five favorite ways to take a mental vacation:
5. Movies – Few things take me on a vicarious journey like a well-written, well-acted movie. If for only two hours, I can lose myself in the romance, adventure, drama, or thrilling action that someone else created. I love being totally absorbed into a movie, allowing myself to suspend my disbelief and, in the end, feeling like I’ve been taken on a journey.
4. Exercise – Okay, I hate schlepping to the gym as much as the next person, but I invariably, if I can make myself get in a good workout four or five times a week, I feel better. My spirits are lifted, my confidence is higher, and that little bit of breathing room in my ‘skinny jeans’ puts an extra pep in my step. I try to mix up my workout: walking, yoga, bicycling, but my favorite activity is belly dancing. Not only does it tone the entire body and give me on heck of a cardio workout, it also lets me pretend I’m seductive diva for an hour or so.
3. People watching – There’s no drama like the human drama that plays out around us everyday. The key is to stop and watch. When I find myself with the rare free moment, I like to walk up to the local café with my journal and just observe. I’ve seen new love blossom, relationships crumble, business deals go down, and watched the kids who frequent the Tae Kwon Do center next door progress to different color belts. I’m probably outing myself as a bit of a voyeur here, but I love watching other people going about the day to day business of living.
2. Music – My life has a constant soundtrack playing in the background. I use music to carry me through the day. Whether I’m cleaning the kitchen, working out, writing, or just relaxing, I always keep my mp3 player close at hand. And I’ve been known to spontaneously sing and dance around the house. My four-year-old son thinks this is great fun. I wonder how he’ll feel about it when he’s fifteen? Lol
1. Acting like a child – And speaking of my four-year-old, nothing in the world rejuvenates my spirit like putting away my responsible adult attitude and declaring a pillow fight with him. Breaking out the finger-paints works just as well. In fact, the messier the activity, the better. And once in a while, chocolate ice cream for breakfast is perfectly justifiable. I strive to teach my little guy the things he needs to learn as he grows up, but no one has taught me more about unadulterated joy than he has. Everyone needs to stop every now and then to blow bubbles around the living room.
And with that, I turn the floor over to all of you out there in cyberspace. Let’s hear ‘em. What are your favorite distractions?