I'm not a doctor but I recommend it
Every year I take a trip to the beach, sometimes I make multiple trips to the beach. It is less than six hours away from my house. I have gone so far to start out early in the morning to get to the beach and return home the same night. Other times I have gone one day and turned around and went home the next.
The length of time at the beach doesn't matter. The minute my feet hit the sand and my eyes hit the water I am at peace. The sound of the waves has a calming effect on me. I have never been able to explain it. It has been a refuge, a happy place. Some may say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, but for me, it's sitting on the beach.
The kicker to this is I don't like going in the water. I may get my toes wet a little bit but that is about it. I don't want to swim. I don't want to feel the waves rush over me or try my hand at a boogie board. I just want to sit and watch the waves. Even as I write about it now I feel a sense of peace. I can picture myself back on the beach and all the senses that come alive when I am there.
For each person their happy place is different. I remember growing up my dad always loved to get to the forest. He wanted to be out of city life and have wide open spaces. Camping was how we spent our vacations. The smell of the fire against the crisp cold night draws me back to those long-ago days. I took for granted what I now realize was an amazing opportunity to let go. As a kid, you don't realize these things. It is only as life starts to pile up that you realize how important those moments can be.
Life is busy, especially for me, working full time, going to school full time, and having a family. It is important to find a moment of peace. To find the one thing that you know brings you peace. It makes your soul sing. It doesn't have to be the ocean. It doesn't have to be something that takes you miles away from home. It only needs to be what you enjoy.
It doesn't take a doctor to know that relieving stress is good for your health. Finding a place you can be at peace can lower your blood pressure. It can take all the things in life that overwhelm you and give you perspective on them. The best things in life come when we let go of all the craziness around us. We put our feet in the sand and our eyes on the water. For now, I have had enough to last me a little while. I am sure that another trip to the beach won't be too far in my future.