We all have days when the best solution would be just to go back to bed. Unfortunately we live in a time when this is no longer seen as an acceptable form of behaviour. Pity. Once upon a time when life was slower, we may have been able to get away with it.

But just imagine if we were all given 12 days a year when we could simply hand in a ‘I’m not doing today’ card and no one would raise an eyebrow. Come on. 12 days a year. Out of 365. One day a month. It’s not outrageous.

These are not sick day cards, per se, just mental health days.

As this seems an unlikely scenario, there are plenty of ways to switch off and take a mental holiday, even if it’s for just an hour.

Here are a few ideas, but it’s likely you have a few of your own. Drop us a line in the comments section and we will print your great ‘mini-mind-holidays’ here on My Grey Nomads.

Number one

Listen to an hour of classical music. This doesn’t mean you have become all artsy. You will not accidently turn yourself into a cognac quaffing lovvie. Classical music soothes the mind because, basically, it doesn’t have any words you need to deal with. Words require thought. Lack of words allows for headspace. Whatever makes you happy works. Mozart is nice, so is Bach. So are a dozen other artists who wrote music at a time that the sound of the notes expressed the landscape of humanity. Classical music is known to help develop babies brains, it calms patients in hospitals, it sooths the soul. Today, open up you tube and indulge in a bit of Rachmaninov. It’s just the holiday your busy mind needs.

Number two

Bake something. Even if it’s a packet cake that requires only adding water. Mix something by hand, see the texture of the food you are preparing. Pay attention to the shape and form it takes. Wait for it to become ready. Pay attention to the smell. Everything we do is fast and instant. This speed can be stressful. Baking is not very quick, even cookies take 15 minutes. That may not seem like a long time, but the anticipation of freshly baked cookies is as good as an afternoon on a sunbed.

Number three

Lay down on grass. In places like Hong Kong that may not be so easy, but oh!! Remember when you were a kid and you sat down on grass? Remember how it prickled? Remember how warm the earth can be? Remember how soft grass is? Or wet feeling, or spikey? Taking off our shoes and walking on grass is an amazing sensation for anyone always using their feet only for purpose. Laying down on grass has become an indulgent luxury. Why? The re-connection to the earth is vital. Close your eyes for a minute and perceive yourself flat on the ground. Your back to the earth. Touching nature with the length of your body. You are part of a huge living ball floating through space. Take a holiday there for an hour. You will feel totally recharged.

Number four

Empty your wallet. This sounds like a weird one, but how much crap have you got in there? Totally empty it out and only put back what you really need. Take your time. You have an hour. Maybe you don’t have much in there. Add a nice saying on a card that will make you feel good the next time you read it. Are you carrying receipts you don’t need, or phone numbers you don’t recognise? Dump them. Behavioural scientists know that hoarding is a sign of stress. De-clutter your wallet and de-stress your pocket [Symbol]

If life is overwhelming you and you really just need a break, take the hour you need. Take it anytime you can. Get up an hour early and do it, leave an hour early from work or stop midday and take a mini mental holiday. It could be just what you need to get things back in order.



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