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Do You Need a Brain Scrubbing?

by | Jun 19, 2017 | 2017, Archived Posts

Scrubbing your brain with sand. That is how my husband described our recent vacation. This is a positive thing- let me explain.

Visualize the need to give your brain a good cleaning. Sand can be used to scrub away the cobwebs of lazy thinking and apathy. It is healthy to sort through the collection of old ideas and useless information and throw them out or refile them for future reference. Problems can become bigger than reality in our minds. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to let the sand sift through our problems and reorder them into positive action steps? Scrubbing our brains with sand is another way of hitting the refresh button. The result is a rested body, fresh perspective, and new energy for tackling our work and life.

It is easy for our lives to overwhelm us. We get up, go to work, come home, eat, sleep. Repeat. We become caught up in the tyranny of schedules and deadlines. We can get the sense that we are constantly reacting and never able to do what we really want to do. We might say we get in a rut. We don’t think creatively anymore.

This is where we tell each other, “you need to take a vacation!” Other words for vacation are break, time off, recess, leave. The dictionary defines vacation as an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling. 

I do understand that it takes some resources to get away. And perhaps your ideal break is not spending it with your in-laws, no matter how ideal their place is. But, spending your vacation staying at home (or stay-cation) painting the house leaves something to be desired. Is that truly a break? 

If you opt for a stay-cation, change things up. Hide the clocks, make a campfire in the backyard, play board games at night. Slow down the pace. Try disconnecting from your cyber world for a day. Do NOT check in with your work! Take a walk somewhere you have never walked. Get together with a friend you don’t see very often. Take day trips. Remember the key elements of a vacation: you are taking a break and time off from the normal every day.  It isn’t a vacation if everything is the same.

Recently we did a presentation at The River Center entitled “In Your Backyard”. One of our parent educators compiled a booklet listing trails for walking or hiking in our community, complete with maps. We would be happy to email this to you or have you drop by and pick one up. We have a region rich with outdoor opportunities accessible to everyone in the family.

I am a big fan of getting away whenever possible. Getting away, seeing a different part of the state, the country, the world, definitely constitutes taking a break. A hike in the White Mountains, a day at the beach, biking a rail trail all serve to clear away the brain clutter. Staying with friends, relatives, camping, or resorting, all are ways to set the refresh button.

This week we officially welcome summer. What kind of break are you planning? Long weekend or two week vacation, I hope you are getting a break. Shake up the routine. Scrub your brain with sand. Clean out the cobwebs. Allow yourself time and space to rest, relax, and recharge. You and your family will be better for it.

Happy summer!