By Sarah Clavin, Miller Swim School

There are some things in life that are just good for the soul; a warm cup of coffee, an intimate evening with friends, and a good vacation.

How incredibly refreshing it is to sit and sip and reflect on the day to come. Igniting your senses with the poignant scent of freshly brewed coffee, awakening your heart and preparing your mind for the day ahead.

Or at the tail end of the day, sitting with close friends or family, breaking bread and enjoying intimate conversation about life and love and all things near and dear to our hearts. Waking up refreshed the morning after a fulfilling evening full of laughter and sharing of hopes and dreams.

Even more rare and invigorating for the soul is time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There is something special about a vacation, whether alone or with loved ones that is unbelievably satisfying.

Whether your travels take you to the mountaintop full of snow, or the breezy beach with sand between your toes, it is a welcome opportunity to rest and recharge.

This past week we spent a few days away with our family and close friends at the beach in Watercolor. Between the two families we had 7 kids, with every age from 7 years to 6 weeks old.

This trip in particular was a huge surprise for our kids. We planned in whispers, packed in secret, and woke the kids up at 4am on Saturday morning to take them to a destination unknown. Before we boarded the plane, we let the kids take a few guesses about where we were headed. Our 7 year old guessed it was Election Day and we were fleeing the country, our 5 year old suggested we were heading to the airport (smart kid!), and our 3 year old was confused as to why he was taken out of his cozy bed in the middle of the night. We finally relented and revealed that we were headed to the beach which was received by cheers heard throughout terminal 5.

Upon arrival we headed straight for the sand. The kids (and grown ups) were elated. The laughter that filled the air as the kids splashed around in the ocean made up for all the stress of traveling with small children. Throughout the next few days, we enjoyed life at a slower pace. No schedules, no plans, no rush. The hustle and bustle of life with 4 kids was replaced with slow mornings, conversations over coffee and cinnamon rolls, beach time, nap time, pool time, and family dinners. Instead of rushing to 3 after school pick-ups, afternoons were spent rocking the newborn on the porch, chatting with our decade old friends about how good this was for our families.

They say going to the beach has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and stress levels. I would add that as such, it is also incredibly refreshing for the soul. Revitalizing for both adults and children alike. Ending this crazy year with a vacation has been one of the best things we could’ve done for ourselves and our family.

So, I would encourage you, as the temperatures drop and the holidays creep around the corner, consider how you are feeding your soul. Are you taking time away for yourself? Pour that cup of coffee, take a deep breath and relax those shoulders. Call up your best friends and plan a dinner out if they are local, or a zoom chat if they are far. Chat and reminisce and talk about your dreams. Finally, I would encourage you to take yourself, your spouse, or your family away. For the day, the weekend, the week or the month. Stay in a hotel, or at the lake. Rent an RV or fly to the beach. Whatever a vacation looks like for you at this point and time, plan it. Take the time to execute it. Your soul needs it. Your family needs it. YOU need it.

They say you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, whether yours is half full, or dry to the bone, take a second to fill it up and feed your soul.


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