Tag Archives: hike

Taking Time to Relax

Vantage Point: It’s Time to Relax

Relaxation is the state of being free from tension and anxiety. When I think of relaxation, I imagine myself having no to-do list, sitting back, and watching my son play. Now that I’m raising a family, I understand the importance of taking time to just relax.

On the weekends, I tend to clean my house top to bottom. I get so focused on these tasks that by the time I’m done with my chores, I realize it’s already 5 o’clock on Saturday evening. I get so upset with myself because I spent a whole day cleaning instead of taking a stroll in the park, going on a hike with my family, or just sitting in the backyard and enjoying the nice summer weather.

Then, I rush to get myself together to go do something “fun” before night falls. This defeats the whole purpose of relaxing because I’m so tired by the end of the day, I don’t even get to enjoy the activities with my family.

I now more than ever see why it’s so important to take time to relax. Time and time again, I hear about all of the benefits of relaxation, like lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow to major muscles, improving sleep quality, and much more. I need to be the best version of me so I can be around and have a good time with my family.

This summer, I am trying something new. I’m giving myself small tasks to do at home every day after work, so when the weekend comes around, my workload isn’t so big. I’m also giving myself a set time frame to clean each Saturday morning. When I’m all done, it’s usually time for my son to take a midday nap, which gives me some dedicated “me time.” When he wakes up, I’m relaxed and ready to have some family fun.

So far, I’m really enjoying my new approach to handling my time. Sometimes, relaxing is much harder than setting up a new plan. There are a lot of reasons you might need a new plan too, like a diagnosis that requires you to try a different approach.

When that happens, our case managers are here to help you make your new plan work in lots of way. They can provide motivation, tools, and lifestyle skills to help minimize your risk of complications and share resources that are available in your community.

So get started finding a plan that works for you, and don’t forget to take some time to relax this summer.

Jessica Arroyo, born and raised in Wenatchee Valley, is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband and infant son.
Spring at the Park

Long View: Savor Spring at a Public Park

Well, we survived another winter, and the weather is giving us a break now that spring is upon us. I don’t know if you felt cooped up, but I certainly did. I need to plan some outdoor recreation, but the question is what and where?

Last year, I was on the road and visited Marshall, IL. Jennifer Bishop is the director of the Marshall Chamber of Commerce, and I asked her if she had a recommendation for someplace peaceful to have a quick lunch. She said I should consider the dining room at Lincoln Trail State Park. It was nearby, so I checked it out.

The restaurant looked out over a 146-acre lake and a boat dock. There were hummingbird feeders hanging just outside the windows, and they were very active with birds. The food was simple and well prepared, and the staff could not have been nicer. They even deliver dinners to the campground for free, believe it or not.

Lincoln Trail State Park offers a number of activities, including camping, fishing, picnicking, and boating. After a very affordable lunch, I enjoyed a short hike along the side of the lake. It was beautiful.

The experience got me thinking about what a great asset we have in our state parks. They offer a wide range of outdoor activities; they are well maintained and always affordable. I did a search and found our state parks to be accessible and conveniently located, perfect for someone like me who could use some exercise and fresh air.

I told Jennifer at the Chamber how much I enjoyed my experience at the park and she told me, “It’s a hidden gem. I love telling visitors about hidden gems in our community. The locals forget about its simplistic beauty and number of activities. We are so lucky to have it in our backyard. My family loves to take advantage of it any chance we get.”

There you have it. We are all supporting our state parks with our tax dollars, and I for one will take better advantage of them this year. Some fresh air and a brisk walk are only a few of the possibilities. Lincoln Trail also offers winter sporting opportunities, like ice fishing and skating (weather permitting). But after last winter, I think I’ll pass on the cold activities.

You can check out other tips for getting healthy and moving more on the Health & Wellness section of our site.