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People that know me are aware I am a busy person… because I am so very important. Not. But whether it be the hours spent on the road for business or the day and day out tasks that life demands, I’m often in a perpetual state of doing. I know I’m not alone in this, especially as the digital age continues to expand and people are expected to be available at all times.

The busyness epidemic is one that has even crept into our 21st-century view of downtime. Most travel blogs are about crossing a skydiving trip off of the bucket list or hiking a mountain halfway across the world. But it’s important we remember to take time, breathe, and learn to embrace being instead of doing all of the time.

The Ocean is More Than Waves

A recent study found that people who live by the ocean report lower levels of stress and anxiety. But what about the rest of us who don’t have that oceanfront home? Well, the truth is it’s not about living by the ocean but about making the most of it when you do plan that trip down to the beach. Much like life, the ocean is beautiful and chaotic all at once, and spending time in the great wide open of the ocean can help remind us that life isn’t dependent on our busy schedules and boardroom meetings but, it exists apart from our busy schedules. There’s something rather comforting about that idea, too.

The comfort of the ocean isn’t merely anecdotal, staring at the ocean actually changes our brain wave’s frequency and helps us enter a state of relaxation and meditation. Also, the color blue has been found to have relaxing properties on the human mind, which may explain how people who struggle to focus can stare at the ebb and flow of ocean waves for hours.

Making the Most of It

As I said before, you don’t have to live by the ocean, nor do you have to be caught up in any sort of trendy, transcendental meditation practices. The importance is in realizing that taking time away from work is a much needed important part of living a healthy, functional life. Relaxation is as important as hard work when it comes to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Also, taking some time off is actually proven to be good for your work life, as exercise, rest, and relaxation have been shown to help with cognitive abilities.

As Summer approaches and the vacation schedule begins, I encourage you to focus on making the most of your rest days this year. Just as weightlifters who overload their muscles must take rest days in order to grow better and stronger, so does the mind need time to decompress in order to maintain peak, mental performance.