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During This Recession/Depression: Take a Mini Vacation! I do

Sandra Polvinale

There is no doubt that we are in stressful times nowadays. With the stock market hitting record lows, food and gas through the roof, we need to find healthy ways to cope. We can put our minds permanently on vacation. Why not? When life's a beeech, you can pretend you're at the beach.

When I have had it, I know that it is time for Calgon to take me away! That is when I slide into a nice hot mineral bath. Now there's a visual. Ha! No, not at an expensive spa, but right in my own bathroom. Kick it up a notch by putting on ocean waves. Ahhhh a day at the beach right in the privacy of your own home.

The human body is composed mostly of water, and we are drawn naturally to water to soothe our own weary nerves. Placing Epsom Salts you can get right in the local Jubilee Store, in your nice hot bath, will soothe any body aches and pains and tired muscles of the day. Or try putting a little lavender oil or peppermint oil into the tub to naturally relax. Turn down the lights, light some tea candles and slink down in your mini spa tub. I receive some of the most creative ideas while I am in the tub. But don't let my secret out.

Another way to relax is to get out among God's creations. I tend to go for a stroll to my pond with my vocal cat that thinks she's a dog most of the time. Put your nature ears on (hands held behind the ears) and just listen. As I walked to my pond today, my friends, I experienced the spooky creaking crackling sounds of thawing ice moving on the pond as if I were on a ghost ship, groaning, slowly moving, out adrift at sea. Let your imagination go and get into a "vacation mode." Do you really need to be in Ocean City to feel you are on vacation? Heck no!

I remember last summer being a little stressed out and decided in my mind to be "on vacation." So, I put on a Hawaiian shirt with shorts and flip flops, placed a Hawaiian Lei around my neck, picked up my circa 1964 ukulele in the colorful stickered violin case and headed out to town for lunch. People asked what I was doing! Where was I going or at what luau was I performing a gig? And I just smiled, squinted my eyes, flicked my hair to the side and said "none of the above. I'm on vacation!" People may think you are a little Meshugga, but, hey, you made them smile, right? (Meshugga is Yiddish for crazy!) When my husband was ill, he would get all upset thinking he had to do this and that, and I'd just laugh and say you don't need to do any of that. Why? Cause you're on vacation. (As I handed him a cup of coffee and a muffin from the hospital snack bar.) Just place yourself in a vacation mode and your body will follow the mind, feeling quite relaxed. Humor is a good vacation stress reliever. I told my husband he was the most supportive, uplifting man I ever met. You know, kind of like the old Playtex bras! But times the way they are, a good man like a good supportive bra is hard to find. In fact I found they just don't make husbands like they used to. They all have quick expiration dates.

I found a new spot for a mini vacation. Of all places, a local dental office. Huh?! Yes. Here's my story and I am pretty much sticking to it. I call it one-stop shopping. You see what you call it. I went into this dental office on Rt. 34 in Gettysburg that looked like a Ski Chalet with an A frame building. Looked interesting enough to stop in. I'm always up for an adventure or two. Opening the door I felt a wave of relaxing music flow over me and shafts of sunlight bathing what looked like a hotel in Florida with plants and a Zen type of mini rock garden on the counter. Hmm. Nice, I thought. Maybe I'm in the wrong place. I'm not sure if I entered the twilight zone or not, but maybe I walked into a film set from Star Trek. Everyone in there had on head phones that were communicating all kinds of activities of employees coming and going in a ballet of sorts. As usual for my dental anxiety, I was a little apprehensive to say the least. I think the prerequisite must have been to be relatively mellow and very easy on the eyes. In other words the employees are gorgeous and so helpful! (as an artist, I notice these things) I really wanted to get to a day spa afterwards to chill out.

Sandi, will you follow me, please? Hmm... Sure. I was taken to a room that looked more like an ongoing movie on the Nature channel on TV. Birds feeding outside, critters going in and out of the bushes and even kitties and foxes peeking down at you from the light coverings over your head that you see when you are back in the chair. That was a laughable surprise. Super mellow music that I had on a CD at home was playing too. Hmm. he has good taste. ha!

As I did a little of my normal shaking in the dental chair like Citykitty when I take her to the vet's, I was daydreaming of getting a nice mocha coffee at the local coffee shop after I would leave. Well, just then the dental assistant asked me if she could make me a mocha coffee smoothie. I laughed and said, ssssure. ha! She was serious! I thought, wow, this is like a spa! I sipped on the perfectly made coffee smoothie for a while enjoying the nature movie when she asked if I wanted a massage. SUUURE! And pigs do fly. She asked me to follow her and my eyes became wide. Before I knew it, my shakes melted away. She guided me with a beaming smile to a peaceful little room with a Zen sand garden and candles and asked if I wanted a warm waxed dipped hand treatment! No kidding! What was next I thought? After the hands were warm in gloves she gently escorted me to the massage chair that gave shiatsu massages. Then turning down the lights, I drifted off into a sea of peaceful ocean waves as I had my hands being treated with warm wax and a massage! Oh yeah, did I mention I was in a dental office?! I thought, wow, I have just found my one stop shopping day spa dental office! Who would have ever thought of adding a spa treatment to a dental exam! I just hope they don't do any overkill by doing a face lift, for I have seen what my cat looks like when I hold her ears back tight! That is scary enough to keep me from craving any facial surgery forever!

On a spa vacation you would be given fresh carrot juice with fresh lemon and maybe fresh celery juiced into it with pineapple. This is a great springtime spa cleansing for anyone. And it tastes wonderfully fresh. And freshness counts. The local Emmitsburgians from old homesteads never called this healthy eating "spa food." They just called it good old fashioned healthy home meals. But juicing these veggies and fruits, actually pulls out the concentrated nutrients to infuse "live enzymes" to be easily digested by those of us that have had too much prepared processed foods that have the nutrients processed right out of them. The juice is pure concentrated form of live enzymes, which if taken in sufficient quantities, will continuously revitalize the body. Carrots are so full of beta carotene which is a safe form of vitamin A for the eyes, and especially the immune system! Get out there and start thinking what you are going to plant in your garden this spring. Try to plant a lot of yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. They have all the beta carotene we need. Think spring and think color, people! Don't forget your greens. The more colorful foods on your plate, the more nutrient rich the food with a higher amount of vitamins and minerals to naturally fight disease and reduce stress. God has given us so much to energize or relax. So, go take a mini vacation. You deserve it!


Read other articles by Sandra Polvinale