Unwinding During the Busiest Times In Your Thirties

I’m just coming off of the busiest and most hectic time of year in my line of work. The auto show season has come to a close and many tradeshows I work with are popping up and winding down. Yet my mind still whirls. It’s hard to come down from both the highs and the lows of being extremely busy and mildly crazed.

I remember one tactic I used to have to handle work stress when I felt like I had no time to calm down was to try to find a small amount of time in the middle of the day- sometimes just 10 minutes- and let my mind go completely blank and peaceful. This wasn’t part of the standard meditations I do- it was a separate time or two during the day sometimes during a quick work break. I’d just take a “vacation” in the midst of the busyness. My mind would let go.

This practice has been too long forgotten from my days, but I thought of it again when I was having an anxious moment at the airport yesterday. I was thinking about all the tasks I had yet to do, even though there were less than usual. I hadn’t gotten enough sleep, and an annoying negative loop was playing in my head. And then I suddenly remembered my 10 minute “vacation” practice of thinking about nothing in the midst of stressful times. So I stared around the airport and said ‘screw all these tasks i’m thinking about. Screw them all.’ And I simply smiled and observed the terminal.

Nothing happened. The world didn’t end. I slept on the flight. The tasks happened later and it was no big deal. When you find yourself needing to feel tense and busy out of habit, try taking a ‘vacation’ from wherever you are. Say ‘screw it’ to all the tasks and worries in your mind for at least a few minutes and try to smile and simply go blank. Just observe.

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Don’t let the habit of feeling busy become a need. You never need to feel tense. Just let go.  It’ll get easier every time.

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How to Save Stupid Crazy Money on Travel in Your Thirties..or.. Oh the Places You’ll Go..While Barely Traveling!

I love travel, but I love New York more. If I had to pick whether to travel and never return to New York, or whether to stay in New York and never travel again…I must admit, I’ve just stumped myself with that one…

Anyway…I’m lucky and grateful that I never have to decide between those two options. And I’m also lucky that I get to travel all the time for work, but during the summer, the work travel slows almost to nothing. And it’s during this time that I travel the most of all! But I don’t have to go anywhere! And I don’t have to spend any money.

I will explain.

I used to have a travel blog where I’d talk about traveling all the time. Ironically, I didn’t actually ever travel for pleasure during this time – only for work- because pleasure trips cost too much money for me. Since I’m still paying off my student loan– which I’m gonna kill dammit…soon..I save a lot of money by not taking vacations.But I found a kind of travel that costs me almost no money, is just as pleasurable as pleasure trips, and never takes up a lot of time. I go on staycations! I travel completely within New York, and see lots of exciting places..even ones I’ve somehow managed to miss during my 30 years living here!

My friend Amy does this best. She’s an expert staycationer who both staycations and travels the globe. No matter whether she’s exploring Greenpoint, Brooklyn, or wandering around Tokyo, she always goes alone. It’s pretty amazing and inspiring. She always finds great places to see and new experiences to have.

Amy recently walked the the George Washington  Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge in one day!

Amy recently walked the the George Washington Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge in one day!

So here’s how to save stupid crazy money on travel in your thirties and go on summer staycations instead:

1. Look for free or cheap summer things to do in your hometown

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I happened upon yoga in Bryant Park one day..I’d forgotten that it was a summer thing in New York. Pretty neat.

2. Find somewhere you’ve never gone in your city or hometown and go there.

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My friend Zach and I recently went to Governor’s Island- a little island off the coast of Manhattan- home to a bunch of museums, and gorgeous views and great picnicking areas. It cost me a grand total of $2.00 for the ferry.

3. Go to an area in your hometown/city you’ve been to but find a street or ave you’ve never seen before.

Saw fireworks on the boardwalks of Long Island City, Queens. Somehow I'd never been there before.

Saw fireworks on the boardwalks of Long Island City, Queens. Somehow I’d never been there before.

4. Go somewhere you’ve already been, but never appreciated as a vacation spot..and call it your vacation day!

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I love Fire Island beaches- and with 32 miles of beaches, there’s always more to explore.

5. Go somewhere in your hometown/city that just opened!

I went to the new Whitney museum off the Highline recently ..it's brand new!

I went to the new Whitney museum off the Highline recently ..it’s brand new!

6. Go to a place you’ve been to before but pretend you’re in Europe. Or Canada. Or America if you live in Europe or Canada. You know what I mean.

Ferry off the coast of downtown Toronto

Ferry off the coast of downtown Manhattan.

Ferry off the coast of downtown Manhattan.

7. Go nowhere, stay at home, and say you’re on vacation. Turn off your phone. Disconnect wifi. Call it ‘mental spa week.’

Ahhh, I’m starting to feel better already just thinking about mental spa week.

Doesn’t a summer staycation sound good? Give it a try! It’ll seem even better after you take a look at your bank account and still have all of your hard earned money left 😉

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