Have you ever had the situation when something was missing, but you didn’t actually notice that it was missing. It was just gone. Not a trace of it. I had exactly this situation recently.

On a recent Monday morning, I awoke at 3:15 am. Suddenly my mind was a buzz. Thoughts coming and going, the to-do list started. I lay there in bed for a long time – my mind racing. Around 4:30 am I actually considered getting up and writing down the to-do list. You might be thinking, “So what’s the big deal? This happens to me all the time!” Well, it often happens to me as well. What was unusual about this was that this was the first time in 10 days that this had happened. I had suddenly noticed that I had been experiencing a ‘quiet mind’. The constant chatter was gone – completely quiet!

The previous 10 days I had been on vacation. I was traveling with family members, sightseeing, visiting long lost friends, having a great time. I also had time to meditate, exercise and be in nature – all things that replenish my soul. Throughout my vacation, I was present in the moment. Present to just what was going on. There was no to-do list, no racing mind, no work deadlines, no responsibilities.

Meditation Spot

It was not until I awoke at 3:30 am that Monday and realized – ‘Hey, my mind has been quiet for 10 days’. What a tremendous experience. How calming, relaxing.

If you haven’t been on a vacation in a while, you too, may forget what it feels like to have a quiet mind. It also occurred to me how relaxed I felt when I returned to work. I was ready to take on any new challenges that were presented. Fully refreshed. My energy level fully replenished. Just how you’re supposed to feel after a vacation.

Vacation can provide a number of improvements in well-being in the short term and can improve your overall productivity at work. [i]

If you haven’t taken a vacation in awhile, time to make some plans. Try a ‘quiet mind’ for a few days and see how relaxed you can get. It works for me!

Mari Ryan

[i] Strauss-Blasche G, Ekmekcioglu C, Marktl W. Does vacation enable recuperation? Changes in well-being associated with time away from work. Occupational Medicine, April 2000.