I am, and always have been, a big supporter of getaways. Up until recently, I was constantly taking day trips to small towns nearby, going on mini-hikes to nearby parks, or just getting in my car and driving the back roads until I knew at least 3 ways to get everywhere in a 20 mile radius.
Weekend getaways are good for the soul. As much as I am a homebody, getting out and exploring new places is one of my favorite things. I’m lucky enough to live in an area that I can pick a direction and drive for 2 hours and be in a completely different place. Most of the world is like that. There are lots of parks, tiny quaint towns (no joke, I live about half an hour away from a place called Frognot and about an hour and a half away from a town called Telephone. Tiny Texas town names are the best), historical markers, new cafes, museums, etc. that you can go explore. When you’re in a rut, my advice will always be this: a getaway.
Sadly, now that I am an Adult with a Job (that sucks all my energy and brain power until a tired, grumpy husk of a girl returns home everyday) I don’t have the energy to ‘getaway’.
John Mulaney’s ‘I did absolutely nothing this weekend’ bit is so spot on it hurts. (watch it here, but also, like, watch his entire special because that shiz is hilarious)
For about 2 months, my weekends generally consisted of me trying to sleep in (and failing – damn you, internal clock and waking up in a panic if I sleep in past 8am) and grumbling anytime my parents ask me to leave the house. I spend most of the week leaving the house. Why should I even get out of my PJs on the weekends? Who am I trying to impress? No one, is the answer. My weekend manta quickly became ‘i dun wanna’. Which isn’t great for my health/the grumps/the fact that I’m 25 and am acting like a whiny baby.
The last few weeks I’ve tried to get out more and have dragged my hot, sweaty butt to lots of cool new places that I would never have seen, had I just stayed in my PJs rewatching all of The West Wing on Netflix. **Not that staying in is a bad idea, but at my job I spend all day staring at a computer screen, so I try to give my eyes a rest on the weekends.** Even with the horrible, terrible, no-good summer heat – it has been fantastic. It keeps not only my body active, but my brain as well.
Another reason I love getaways so much is because I do some of my clearest thinking when driving on country roads. Getting out of your comfort zone can really help mentally – going somewhere fun and new can be like a fresh start to the week. I did it a lot when school was stressing me out in Oklahoma. I did it when I got homesick when I was living in New Zealand (I’m lucky that walking was an option and that I could always take a bus back if I got too tired). I did it a lot when I was looking for a job for 7 months. Now, I do it on the weekend.
Getting out of the house and picking a direction to go and spending an hour with no deadlines, no nagging self-doubt – you can just put on an audio book/podcast/awesome driving playlist and just zone out. Giving yourself time to actually sort through whatever is going on in your life.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick a direction and go. Pick a destination, or don’t. Bring a picnic, bring a friend, bring your camera, bring some sunscreen, bring your tunes – and just go. Unless you’re reading this at work. Then, you know, finish working and go on the weekend.
Side note: if you seriously need a break, take an afternoon off. Things can wait until tomorrow. Mental Health days are important. I repeat: mental health days are important. A good getaway, be it for an afternoon or a weekend can be all you need as a break from stress. You’ve been working hard. Give yourself time to be out in the sun and do nothing.