Tag Archives: wellness

On Being Less “Numb”

The modern world is such a paradox. We are more prosperous, more secure and more comfortable than ever before. Yet, we also seem anxious, depressed and generally dissatisfied. What is going on? What are we missing?

There is something about the modern wold that, at times, can just feel lacking. Days without any meaning. Activities we don’t truly experience. Conversations where everyone’s not really interested and never lead to a true connections. Activities we barely even remember doing. On bad days, it can feel like we have all turned into robots just trying to achieve metrics, numb to all emotions.

Numbness has been attributed to lot of things. Drugs. Alcohol. Certain psychological disorders. Deciding to be constantly be busy. Engaging in only surface level interactions. And, finally, being in a constant state of distraction. The consequences are dire. When we chose to numb ourselves to avoid negative emotions, particularly discomfort, we also deny ourselves positive emotions. We lose the ability to enjoy life.

Over the past month, what I have experienced is most easily described as the opposite of numbness. First, right after Thanksgiving, I returned to the all inclusive resort in Cancun I visited six years earlier.

It was a similar experience. Warmth. Beautiful sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean.

Activities by the beach and pool. And, like last time, I made friends with both the other guests of the resort and the staff that coordinated the activities. It ended up being a very emotional experience. Every day I would go to Spanish lessons.

And, I would regularly try to conduct conversations with the staff in Spanish. After several days, those that I had spoken to most started telling me how much they appreciated our conversations. They said that only about 5% of the guests that come to this resort even try to speak to them in Spanish. One of the employees even wrote a heartfelt note.

It was quite emotional and made me sad to leave. I often don’t feel appreciated in normal day-to-day life. It often feels like people are trying to mold me to adapt a certain set of opinions or maximize my output. Here, I felt appreciated for being myself; goofy, curious and friendly. I felt like I was leaving part of my heart in Mexico.

Then, I spent a week with family, with Christmastime in full swing in the Chicago metropolitan area.

The setting couldn’t be more different. I went from vacation back to performing my remote job. I went from sunshine and 86°F (30°C) warmth to clouds and temperatures near 40°F (3°C).

The source of appreciation this time came from little children; my nephew and niece, ages 7 and 5. There were activities and just quality time spent with family. One of them, due to the lack of snow was baseball. My nephew drew me a picture commemorating a moment we had in a backyard baseball game when I hit a grand slam and we did a grand slam dance.

Leaving this place was emotional as well. It feels good to feel appreciated. I wonder why we are often so bad at showing appreciation. I wonder why I am so bad at it. I spent most of my travel time between all of these destinations wishing that showing appreciation was something that just came more naturally.

Also, neither of these experiences were completely free of all the mechanisms attributed to numbness. At an all inclusive resort, plenty of alcohol was consumed.

This did not stop me from truly experiencing both nature and human connection in Cancun.

Time spent with family raising children is always quite busy.

But that did not stop me from being truly immersed in the activities.

What was common to both weeks is that life felt “full”, like I was generally truly experiencing connections with other humans, activities and the world around me. Whatever numbness is common in standard day-to-day life in 2022 was just not there. If we all have a kind of metaphysical door that opens us up to emotion and experience, both good and bad, mine was clearly open and despite the heartache of leaving both places after the weeks were over, it felt so much better than having it closed.

So, how can we escape this numbness that leads to all this dissatisfaction with life? One commonality to these two weeks is that they both involved significantly less “screen time”. When factoring in computers, smart phones and television, the average American spends over 12 hours per day (84 hours per week) in front of screens. These two weeks my time in front of screens was 12 and 34 hours respectively. I was also generally free of anxiety, tight timelines and other forms of negative stress. Perhaps, it is these two factors, constantly being distracted by notifications from our smartphones and/or stressed out by drama and tight timelines that keeps us emotionally numb. Perhaps, as problematic as dugs, alcohol and being constantly busy can be, the stress and constant distraction that prevents us from being truly present is the bigger issue right now.

Weekend Trip Guide: Enjoy Yourself While Staying on Budget

This is a guest post written by Henry Moore. Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. 

Experts agree that a vacation can benefit your mental health. You may find that you experience less stress, increase your productivity and sleep better. You do not have to vacation for weeks or months, however. Sometimes, you need to find yourself somewhere to spend the weekend away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Looking for budget-friendly ideas can help you find a vacation spot you return to every year. The guide brought to you by The Action Story can help you find a place that’s fantastic and budget-friendly.

Ideas for Budget-Friendly Destinations Ideas

Think about destinations where you can spend little money. For example, bike rides through Utah’s most challenging roads may give you a sense of freedom without a high cost. There are various ways to relax and enjoy yourself without spending a lot of money.

Camping, for instance, doesn’t involve expensive hotel or restaurant costs. Some campsites are free, whereas others cost much less than other options. In addition, you bring your food to prepare for the trip. Other ideas include:

  • Visiting historic sites and museums
  • Attending festivals in your local area
  • Touring wineries or breweries

Outdoor excursions tend to cost less and can also be more healthy. If you need to destress on your vacation weekend, the outdoors may raise endorphins and leave you happier.

Ways To Break Away From Work

Before you leave, tie up any loose ends at work. For example, if you have a business, you may want to designate someone like a registered agent to help your business run smoothly. Outline major decision-making processes for your registered agent to ensure that you do not have to worry if anything serious like a tax notification or lawsuit pops up without you.

You should not have to worry about work while on your weekend getaway. This is your time to decompress, so have a game plan before the weekend. Try to anticipate any issues that may arise and create a strategy for others to handle them if necessary. If you have a boss or supervisors, allow them to know your plans. This keeps him or her from trying to contact you over the weekend.

When on vacation, you have an opportunity to reset your body and live in the present. Sometimes you’ll find that you return to work with less burnout and more creativity than before. Do not worry about your workload piling up in your absence; you deserve the break.

Deals To Keep You Under Budget

There are various ways to save money on any trip. If you plan to leave the country, go somewhere where you can stretch your dollar further. Additionally, look for cheap travel deals. Sometimes you may find flights to other states or cities to enjoy on short notice. Do not spend extra money on drinks or dessert if you want to eat out on your trip. Instead, seek grocery stores for more expensive items.

When it comes to packing, try to stay light. Some buses and airlines will charge you more for too much luggage. If you have heavy items, exchange them for lighter ones. For example, you may want to choose travel-sized items or find items that serve multiple purposes.

If you want to plan a weekend getaway, there are various ways that you can save money. You do not have to choose expensive hotel rooms or expensive entertainment. Planning a short vacation can significantly reduce your stress levels and benefit your health.

Finally, if you are looking to travel internationally on a budget with little hassle, consider the ivisa program for your global entry needs.