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This past weekend, I went on a weekend getaway. I didn’t go far, just about an hour and a half down the road to St. Augustine, but it felt like I was a world away. As soon as I made it to town, I took a deep breath and felt all of the stresses of the day, the week, the month just seep right out. I felt light and hopeful and happy.

There’s something to be said about getting away. I planned for this little weekend out of time for over a month, and just having something to look forward to, something to work towards, really helped me to keep my focus and persevere when I was getting fed up with the daily grind. It kept me disciplined with my money since I was saving up to go out of town. It gave me a goal with a definite end time. I had a focal point.

It’s not good to being an escapist or not dealing with reality to need a bit of quiet time away from stressors to refocus. Mental health days can really help you come back with a renewed perspective and see different alternatives/solutions. For me, the panic and worry will overtake me if I don’t step back from time to time and get it into perspective.

While having a weekend getaway to look forward to helped me to focus financially and kept my spirits up, I realize that not everyone can pull it together to go even an hour and a half away for three days and two nights. The great thing about changing your perspective is it doesn’t have to take much. When I didn’t have any money to go away, I went to parks and took long walks.When I’m worried, I clean or organize because it gets my mind on to something else for a while. I listen to music and make playlists. I watch a movie. I study my Bible and pray. I get out of my head. That’s the only way to provide enough distance to come back with a fresh perspective.

This Monday, if you are stuck in worry or stress, try to find a way to bring yourself back to a calm place where you can focus in on things to start dealing with the situation. Perhaps having a reward goal will help motivate you to move forward from a place of opitmism. Whether it’s a long walk, a long bath, a weekend getaway, yoga or a sweaty gym session, find a way to sublimate stress. Channel all of that nervous, frustrated energy into something productive, then come back to the situation centered and fresh.

Often times when writing, before I edit, I put the piece away for a while to get some distance from it, to see it with fresh eyes. When I take it out again, the errors are often glaringly obvious. It isn’t because I wasn’t paying attention, but because I knew what I wanted to say and my autocorrect was working in my brain. Distance allows you to see what is there, not what we want or what we meant. So get away, even if it’s just mentally.

I’ll be posting TONS of pictures and a recap of my vacation on What I Wanted to Say. Stay tuned!