Taking a mini-vacation… Stress relief without travel!

stop-reading-copyA few years ago, I wrote a piece for our Wellness Newsletter at work, which I wanted to share with you now. I was reminded of this earlier article after reading Heather Parish’s latest blog post on “Stress and Fangirling” here. While my mini-vacation specifics have changed a bit since I wrote the article, my methods have not, and unfortunately neither have the pace or stress at work.

TAKING A MINI-VACATION…STRESS RELIEF WITHOUT TRAVEL – MAY, 2014

How do I de-stress?  Always, it is with an escape into another world.  Reading, movies, ongoing TV series can all transport me into someone else’s life where the pressures of work fade far into the background.  I’m not fussy as to what sort of a story, so long as it’s engaging, with interesting characters and good dialogue.

My current escape is Netflix, where for $8 per month and an internet connection you can binge-watch a TV series that you missed the first time around.  I went through How I Met Your Mother, enjoying the jokes with my sons, and then through The Good Wife, where the main character “stands by her man” (but sort of not really) who is a straying husband/politician, sharing the experiences the next day with some of my female colleagues.  Right now, I’m into House MD, about a brilliant diagnositician who hates dealing with patients.  (They even have House MD episodes and other popular series at the public library to borrow for free with your library card.)

I also have favourite series that my husband and I watch on regular TV, where we can be in Newfoundland with the Doyles on Republic of Doyle or in Alberta riding horses in Heartland or solving crimes with Castle.  And I’m always up for a movie, either on TV through Pay-Per-View or on Netflix or at the movie theatre – love that movie theatre popcorn!

My first love, though, is reading, and generally I read around a novel a week.  I love biographies, mysteries, “chick lit”, and really any good story that will let me escape into that other world.  The type of book depends on the mood I’m in and how much I want to have to think – I think enough during the day at work and don’t really need to challenge my brain in my leisure!

I have lots of books at home that I can read again once they’re no longer fresh in my mind.  But for new books, I’ll often go to the remainder section of Chapters as I really like a bargain.  Or in fact, just up the street from the office, there’s bargain bin with used books for $2!  And while I prefer to own my books, there is the public library as well.

Did you know that our office has a book exchange in the lunch room?  Take a book, at your pleasure, from the shelves in the lunch room and bring the same one or another one in at your leisure!  I’ve found many good reads there, from Climbing Everest to Stephen King.

Last year, I also discovered the world of electronic books through my Kobo.  While I love the feel of a print book, the convenience of being able to read anywhere, with my Kobo or the app on my smart phone, is great.  And there are many free books available on the e-book websites.

So, in short, my mini-vacations on a daily basis make it possible for me to keep up the pace at work and at home and get me through to my annual beach vacation … where of course I sit on the beach and read!

Funny how I didn’t mention repeatedly watching North and South on Netflix or borrowing MI-5 (Spooks) and binge-watching that!  And I have to confess that lately I haven’t quite been reading a novel a week, as other interests have been taking up time. The most recent change is adding blogging to my escape techniques… writing has become energizing for me and I’m enjoying learning the ins and outs of a new platform.

2 thoughts on “Taking a mini-vacation… Stress relief without travel!

  1. I can’t say that I’m reading more than I used to, but I’m reading very different things than I used to. The concrete thing I’m doing as escapism since Jan. 20 seems to be sleeping more. Mixed bag. I’m more alert during the day but I get less done because I’m spending an extra 90 minutes or so in bed.

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    • I used sleep as escape when I was in university , as I had a difficult adjustment after working for a year. But nowadays, I’m such a night owl that I hate to give up on doing stuff just to sleep! I am more alert on the weekends when I sleep in, but I’m always really annoyed at the time I’ve lost! Definitely a trade-off.

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