Although summer heat is nothing to mess with (especially in Tucson—whew!), there still seems to be a lazy, hazy quality to the time between the holidays of Memorial Day and Labor Day. So how can you make the most of them?
The Joy of Exploration
We all feel it sometimes: the grind of daily living. Holding up our responsibilities—even the ones we choose, such as raising a family or pursuing a specific career—can sometimes make us feel a little one-dimensional. While certain routines and rituals support managing mental and emotional health effectively, each day doesn’t need to be a carbon copy of the first.
So time off, whether it’s a couple of days spent puttering around the house or taking a dream vacation, makes a difference in how we deliberately build our lives to suit our interests. It’s more than just using up all our vacation days—although we must do that! It’s crafting an identity that goes beyond what our job is or what condition we have. Just as healing works best with the whole self in mind, so does living with joy, intent, and purpose.
Travel, in particular, provides numerous benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. An article in Experience Transat lists a few:
- It boosts our self-confidence, especially when we venture abroad, as “it offers many opportunities to excel without external pressures and at your own pace.”
- Visiting someplace new puts us more in touch with our inner selves and reveals our limits, without the normal influences of the day-to-day.
- We develop a better sense of open-mindedness, even if “engaging with other mind-sets, values and ideas can be unsettling at first, but it ultimately makes us stronger and more open over time.”
- Stepping away from the norm also provides literal and figurative space to see a problem more clearly, especially when we set an intention to resolve something while we’re away.
- Some studies indicate that women who travel at least twice a year for pleasure are less likely to have heart problems and excessive stress.
- Speaking of stress, additional studies indicate that nearly 90 percent of people have reduced stress after only two days of vacation.
So let’s go!
Summer Fun in Arizona
Whether it’s happening where you live or a short drive away, there’s bound to be an event or activity that helps you free your mind to new experiences.
Roam Around Your Town
Because of our usual daily commitments, it’s rare to have the spare time to enjoy a picnic lunch in a park we never visit, or spend an afternoon reading in a local library. There might also be unusual museums, bizarre shops, and peculiar eateries that provide additional delight. The point is, you rarely have to go too far to create an interesting adventure.
Hit Up a Festival
Because of the heat, most of the festivals in Arizona are in the fall and early winter, but a few intrepid funseekers don’t mind tapping into these offerings June through September:
- Strawberry Festival in, you guessed it, the towns of Strawberry and Pine
- HOCO Music Festival in Tucson
- Lavender Festival in Concho
- Flagstaff Folk Festival
- Payson Book Festival
- Jerome Indie Film and Music Festival
- Peach Mania and the Sweet Corn Extravaganza in Willcox
- High Mountain Musicfest and Medieval Mayhem in Pinetop/Lakeside
- Hell City Tattoo Festival
- Phoenix Psychic Fair
Take in a Retreat
If you’re more in the mood for a cool respite and a rejuvenating atmosphere, few places have such amazing options as the Grand Canyon State! Consider:
- L’Auberge de Sedona, featuring healing crystal seminars, moon meditations, weeklong retreats with stargazing, spa treatments, and other holistic explorations.
- Also in Sedona is the Enchantment Resort, which features hiking, biking, children’s nature programming, immersive arts and culture workshops, prayer arrow creation, and more.
- Sanctuary Camelback Mountain outside of Phoenix specializes in luxurious spa treatments, extensive wellness classes, and fine dining.
Explore the Amazing Scenery
With each landscape like a postcard coming to life, the must-visit natural wonders of Arizona provide a destination full of diversity any time of year. Plan to catch a sunrise and sunset at every location, snapping a few photos along the way or just logging off and tuning into your surroundings.
Traveling Elsewhere for Healthy Summer Fun
If it’s time for a location change, here are some other options to consider that help you bring mind, body, and spirit together.
Plan a Volunteer Vacation
Although it might seem counterintuitive to spend time and money on this type of venture, it’s a great way to live out your purpose and create more meaningful connections. Frommer’s provides resources to help clarify key points of this excursion.
Try Something Completely Different
To completely broaden your horizons, some travel companies specialize in helping you design more immersive experiences. For example, would you like to learn the art of the ninja, practice Cuban salsa dancing, or sleep in an igloo? Celebrate your healthy life without boundaries!
Cottonwood de Tucson Helps You Discover Life Your Way
When the whole self is satisfied, it’s easy to stay the course of healthy living. At Cottonwood, our dedicated team of board- certified professionals provide individualized behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment in Arizona. This focus on who you truly are not only benefits your healing journey but also your voyage through life. Learn how we can help.