Bringing the Spirit of the “island” into Every Day

-Toni Sicola, Executive Editor, Health and Wellness Professional

Hi there! I’m back from my three week trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and I have to say that a vacation like this one was just what the doctor ordered. On my journey through the forests and elephant camps of Chiang Mai, the walls of Angkor Wat, and the jungles, beaches, and climbing crags of Krabi, I was reminded that being on my feet is my preferred way of being. We spent nearly all of our time outside, mostly in nature among the wildlife in the area, and operating at an entirely different speed than our usual lives in Oakland.

The last week of the trip was by far the most impactful for me, as we were in an area of Krabi called Railay, which is completely isolated from the rest of Thailand. They call it an island, but it’s in fact a peninsula that’s entirely walled off from the mainland by a towering mountain range, famous for some of the most beautiful rock climbing in the world.

Our trip consisted of a lot of quiet time, whether we were deeply concentrating on a climbing problem, reading a book in a hammock, or simply watching the waves come up on the shore.

My message in this post is a reiteration of what we’ve talked about in the Journey to Joy series that’s visited each of the ACMC campuses over the past two months. It’s something that I am going to dedicate my focus toward going forward as I readjust to working life, while still attempting to maintain the peaceful tranquility of “island” life:

taking time for yourself is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being.

While a three week vacation is a wonderful way to section out a large chunk of time for yourself, it’s not the only way — and definitely isn’t the most feasible way for everyone. All you need is a few minutes a day to prioritize relaxation — prioritize yourself. Maybe it’s a minute or two of silence and deep breathing before you eat lunch (which is a great digestive aid, by the way!). Maybe it’s a few minutes of silence before you start the engine of your car in the morning, or before you turn it off to start your shift at work. Maybe before you pull out of the parking lot this afternoon, you’ll turn down the radio and have a moment to yourself before you jump on the road.

Whatever you choose, find a way to take one small step this week — just a minute or two for yourself — and see how it affects your day. I promise, it can only get better from there!

And just one more picture for the road. 🙂 It’s good to be back – Toni

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