Washington, DC has been my home for more than five wonderful years. But between plodding through graduate school, climbing the career ladder, and bopping around gyms and parks to teach fitness classes, my surroundings have been little more than a blur. So this summer I’ve taken time away from the life whirlwind to play tourist in my town and slow down a bit. And here’s what I’ve learned along the way.
Ultimate Indulgence. We could all use a little time-out. I’m talking about time-outs from the daily grind and the routine. A hiking trip, massage, or latte splurge from the local coffeehouse can be relaxing and reenergizing. I’ve taken up a weekly habit to quickly scan deal sites like Travelzoo, Groupon, LivingSocial, and Goldstar for experiences or activities that are inexpensive, new, and fun. My favorite experience thus far? A couples’ massage with my significant other, which served triple-duty: loosening tight muscles, relaxing my nerves, and deepening our relationship. No matter what your activity budget, why not make a little indulgence a regular thing? Treat yo' self.
On the Water. Born and raised a Cali girl, I love being by the water. It is such a calming feeling. Enjoying strolls or drinks, and even a booze cruise (see deal sites above) along nearby waterfronts have brought me to a happy place. On one gorgeous summer evening, I toted my journal to the a quiet waterfront area to reflect on anything that came to mind. It worked wonders for a clear head and sound sleep that night. I highly recommend some solo waterfront time, whether it be by a small lake or the vast ocean.
It’s All About Relationships. I have a confession to make. The G that always did her own thing - rising before dawn seven days a week, churning through long days of work and socializing, packing weekends with fitness and side projects - has been replaced by a G that is more mindful of the time she devotes to her circle of loved ones. It has been a fulfilling exercise to invest time and energy into relationships. Time with my loved ones has also reminded me that I am much more than what I produce or achieve. My work or my instructor personas, while such a huge part of who I am, don’t complete the picture. No matter what’s going on around you, it’s so important to stay close to your inner circle. So take a few minutes today to schedule time - dinner plans, a weekend date, even an overdue phone chat - with your loved ones.
Take Inventory. I did something that made me proud. I reused stuff I already had instead of going out and buying something new. In preparation for a fitness conference, a few formal events, and a work trip, I looked through my closet and realized that indeed, I had more than enough suitable attire. And in the search process, I gathered a whole bag full of goodies to donate to Goodwill. I asked myself, why don’t I take a closer look at my stuff more often? From clothes to accessories to books, what can I rediscover my need and love for, and what can I provide to those who might make better use of it? Spring cleaning has never been a regular thing for me, but after feeling lightened and resourceful, a summer cleaning may just be added to the books.
I really do love simplicity, and not just in my workouts. While I didn’t make heavy-duty lifestyle changes or travel somewhere exotic, a lightened schedule and some fun (and inexpensive!) local outings made for a pretty memorable summer. I feel recharged and ready to finish off this final stretch of 2017 with all the strength and positive energy of an early-morning bootcamp class.