by Kristin Kuiper, MSW, LMSW
My family and I are getting ready to pack up later this week and head out of Grand Rapids…we’re headed to Tennessee! It fit our list of Spring Break standards—at least 70 degrees average temp, drivable with our young children in tow, and a place where outdoor recreation is readily available. The little ones are excited too—my five year old is telling us that the first thing she’s going to do in Tennessee is “hop in a kayak.” I think that we all have our ideas about how we’ll take advantage of the time away. For me, a top priority is to relax my agenda. Most days for me, and I’m sure for most of you, are pretty packed with agenda—pick ups and drops offs, jobs with numerous tasks, household chores to check off the list, social activities to attend. These are all good things each and of themselves, but when combined, have the potential of feeling like craziness. So, to go “offline” and rest, taking each day for what it is, to be in the present moment, is something that I anticipate this next week.
Even if you aren’t planning to head out of town, rest from the routine is still important. Even as adults, we need this downtime—we’re not machines! What research tells us about mental health is that we need to be balanced in the ways that we care for ourselves, making sure to integrate “play” into our lives—not just on Spring Break—but in our daily lives as well—in order to be well rounded people who can function well in our relationships and other commitments.
What might rest look like for you? How might you seek moments to rejuvenate yourself? A first step in this is understanding what does refresh you. What is your way to “play?”