Ever since my late twenties, I’ve been taking weekday lunch breaks between 90 minutes and two hours long. Many times I do it solo, and it allows me to eat slowly and sit outside of a cafe and people watch. This un-rushed time to sit back and refuel actually makes my day more efficient.
2. Adventure Travel
Adventure travel allows me to see and do things that change the way I look at everything—zip-lining through the cloud forests of Ecuador; glacier hiking in Iceland; fly fishing among wild horses in Chilean Patagonia; and shark diving in the Galapagós. Someday, I won’t have the energy to do more of these things, so I’m making them a priority now while I’m still young[ish].
3. Keep a small circle.
My three childhood best friends from first grade through college are still my closest friends. And many who I first met when I moved to Atlanta 15 years ago are still part of my everyday life. I’m surrounded by people who inspire me, whom I respect and trust 100 percent, and we collectively cut negativity and competitiveness out of our world in all ways possible. No drama among my teensy-weensy circle, ever.
4. Rescue a pet.
As far back as I can remember, there’s been an animal in my life to love—whether it’s my rescued terrier, Gidget, or the dog and cat family members of my friends and relatives. Last year my husband, Hollis, and I rescued this little fluff ball we named Linus, who looked like a seal pup mixed with a Cocker Spaniel, and although we lost him to kidney failure after only six months with us, we absolutely gave him the best six months of his life.
5. Movies and Massages.
Something I do all the time to manage the tension I get from long days working on my feet and dealing with budget and construction issues is catch an early movie by myself. Also, I find that a massage—be it a simple 30-minute hand and foot massage at the airport when traveling or a full one-hour back, neck, and shoulder massage snuck in at the end of a long week—immediately gets rid of almost all of my pent-up stress. I look at it as a self-care investment more than a luxury service.