“How many vacations do you take a year?” This is one of the questions I ask new patients. Why? Because time away from our routines is good for us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I am in Barbados practicing what I preach. The color of the sea changes from the color of aqua to emerald, then cobalt to navy with the pass of a cloud. The sand is pink white and finer than the texture of sugar. Waves crash, birds sing, people smile a lot, and I feast on fresh fish and brightly colored fruit.
This is a welcome break. I work hard like most New Yorkers. My job is rigorous both physically and intellectually. Each needle inserted requires focus and intention and each muscle stretched needs precision and awareness. I give an hour of my undivided attention to each person and will not work unless I am able to give the same attention to the first person of the day that I see as to the last one. Once I have seen everyone, I spend time researching the cases I have treated that day.
Rejuvenation is essential. I can do that when I am not away on vacation in many ways–dance class, yoga, lunch with friends, a movie, good food, enough rest and laughter. But four times a year I need to get away to cleanse, refresh, and restore for the next season. Most of my ‘vacations’ are not this dramatic. Sometimes a couple of days in the country can do the trick.
I am grateful to go away and even more so to get back to the work I love supporting my patients in reducing their stress levels and with any issue that presents itself. If you have not taken yourself away from your regular life, now is a great time to consider planning for a spring or summer getaway. Consider it medicine–that is how I think of Barbados–it is so easy to swallow!