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Tips for Making the Most of Your Time Off
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, August 2014

In August, many of us take time off from our normal routine. If you are lucky enough to have a few lazy-days-of-summer, here are some suggestions to make the most of them:

Take Time to Nurture Yourself. - Whether you are alone or with friends, new folks, or family, do something each day to nurture yourself -- something YOU love. A walk alone? Listening to music? Reading the morning paper? Soaking your feet? Sleeping late? Retiring early. Be sure to listen to your body and your inner voice to keep your personal reservoir full during this time. It does not make much sense to finish your "time off" feeling more tired than when you began.

Get to Know the People You are with from a Fresh Perspective. - Revisit some of the previous times you were together. Get to know their perspectives on those times as well as sharing your own. Time often changes the way we perceive choices we made and experiences we had. Talking about our "shared history" can be an eye opener. No need to focus on whose memory is "right" and whose is "wrong." Allow there to be space for different remembrances and perceptions of what you may have thought was the "same" experience.

Do Something Different from the Way You Usually Do Things. - Patterns and habits take time to change. Think if there are any habits or patterns you would like to alter in some way. Beginning new, healthy ways of living are often best begun when "out of our normal routine." Then, when we get back into the routine we have already begun those new patterns and habits which draw on different internal resources to keep ourselves healthy. Something as simple as quieting ourselves before bed, breathing deeply to focus our mind, noticing things we appreciate, attending to detail, or moving our body in a different way can have a subtle yet lasting impact.



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