I’m back!! I just got back from a 2-week vacation. And yes girl, I needed it.
It has been a long 2 ½ years. I can say I truly worked my butt off. I took a few
mini vacations here and there, but I was always on. I continued to answer my phone
and answer emails while on vacation. I never shut off. Well this time I totally turned off and it was fabulous. A dear colleague was able to cover my caseload for any urgent matters and I was off to Maui for a week! I really enjoyed my time on the island with my family. It was our first time in Hawaii and it was very relaxing. I learned a few new ways to love myself that I want
to share with you.
I really learned to slow down in Maui. I read that Hawaii had a slower pace of life, so I knew ahead of time I would not be able to rush around the island. The slow pace of life became obvious at the airport when I was waiting in line for the rental car. There were 10 people in line ahead of me and it took about 45 minutes to get my vehicle. Then it took about 30 minutes to leave the parking lot. I am not complaining. I was just not used to it. The slow pace continued with driving around the island, waiting in lines, waiting in restaurants and waiting for excursions. I chose not to care. Instead, I chose to be present. Coming from the mainland, and the San Francisco Bay Area, I was used to a fast paced life. This was so different and it felt good. I had time to check in with myself. It gave me time to calm nerves while being in a place I was not used to.
Self-admittedly I am an impatient person. I want everything NOW!! Being impatient causes me anxiety because I am in a rush and always thinking about the next thing. Thinking about the future produces a lot of anxiety for me. Maui taught me to practice being patient. Even when I wanted traffic to move faster, or the waitress to move quicker, it wasn’t happening. I had to be patient and it felt good.
Face Your Fears
I sure did!! Ziplining and snorkeling. They were not on my bucket list whatsoever. I was too scared to be floating in the air and too scared I would get attacked by a fish. Living through the pandemic has changed a lot of things for me. The pandemic has taught me to live for today. It has taught me to try new experiences because I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. My 12-year-old daughter really wanted to go ziplining. I could have watched her from the sidelines. I decided to reach deep down inside my soul for the courage to sail above the trees and look at the ocean. I’ve overcome so many challenges and struggles in my life. Why couldn’t I face my fear of heights? Why couldn’t I give myself the opportunity to see life from a different perspective? So, I did it! Same with snorkeling. My husband wanted to go. I was more inclined to swim with the fishes because I find them beautiful. I lived for the moment and snorkeled. That experience was also beautiful.
Just “being” on vacation instead of “doing” vacation brought me a greater sense of inner peace. I could hear and feel myself breathe. I took a lot more deep breaths. My mind was not racing. My mind was filled with “open space”. It felt like a white board. I started to think of ideas for my business. I did not think “I can’t”. I began to think “I will”. I watched my children play with other children they met while we were there. I watched couples walk along the beach. I talked to my husband for hours at a time. My mind didn’t wander to the list of things I had to do. I was just there. Feeling at peace.
Let’s face it. For most of us, vacation happens only once, maybe twice a year. I wish I could go to Maui all the time, but I’m not a millionaire. LOL! However, we can take everything I learned and use it here at home too. We get to drive slower in order to get to where we are going. We just need to leave earlier. We can be patient while we are in line at the grocery store. We can face any fears that are stopping us from living the life we want to live. We can feel at peace by just pausing, taking breaks or even setting up our home to feel more peaceful.
Are these tips helpful? Hopefully you can show yourself some love by using them on vacation or at home. Let me know how it goes!!
Uggh. What a day! Today I spent the day watching my daughters play soccer. I love watching them, but I was not feeling well. I took a nice thermos of coffee with me, but I forgot a bottle of water. Sometimes I forget how important it is to drink water. Today was one of those days. I had a headache, felt anxious, tired, moody and my mouth was really dry. I’m sure I was dehydrated. It was not pleasant at all.
So, let’s take a look at some of the physical benefits of drinking water, shall we?
That is a pretty good list if you ask me. Can I have a glass of water please?
As you can see from this list, water is great for your physical health. So what about your emotional health? I really wanted to get to the root of why I was feeling really anxious. I am off for a few days and I have nothing to be anxious about right now. I decided I wanted to do a little research on the benefits of drinking water for emotional health. I really wanted to see if there was a correlation between drinking water and mental health.
Well…there has not been much research on this topic. I found a few studies that tried to answer this question. Some studies had limitations and others did not seem to have enough participants. Some studies were inclusive. The best study I found was an Iranian study published in 2018 in the World Journal of Psychiatry; Drinking plain water is associated with decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults: Results from a large cross-sectional study. The study involved 3,327 Iranian adults. They were assessed for their daily water consumption. They were also assessed using a depression and anxiety questionnaire. The evaluators also examined the participants dietary intake, BMI, physical activity, substance use and digestive system. The study found that when water consumption increases, the risk of depression and anxiety decreases. One reason may be that people who consume more water, have healthy behaviors, are physically active and consume greater amounts of nutrients. Nutrients are essential to the synthesis and regulation of neurotransmitters, which send messages to your brain. Neurotransmitters, such as Norepinephrine, are linked to mood regulation. Drinking less water keeps Norepinephrine levels high, which may lead to depression. The evaluators of this study agreed that more studies are needed on this topic.
As you can see, water has many benefits.. It may even improve your mental health. As soon as I returned home, I drank 3 glasses of water, and felt so much. My anxiety and headache disappeared. I was in a better mood and was able to concentrate enough to write this blog.
So, if you are feeling down and want a pick-me-up, grab yourself a glass of water. If you are feeling anxious and want to calm down, grab a glass of water. Cheers!!
Fahimeh Haghighatdoost, Awat Feizi, Ahmad Esmaillzadeh, Nafiseh Rashidi-Pourfard, Ammar Hassanzadeh Keshteli, Hamid Roohafza, Payman Adibi (2018). Drinking plain water is associated with decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults: Results from a large cross-sectional study.
World Journal of Psychiatry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6147771/
I am a therapist who helps individuals who are motivated to transform their inner voice of self-doubt and self-criticism into a powerful voice of positive self-talk and self-trust. We help individuals recognize their inner worth, build their self-esteem and speak their truth.