The Up Beat
By Amy Wong

Positive Thinking Tip: Take a Minute Vacation

It’s an exciting time here at the Guideposts editorial office. Not only are we putting out our mainstays, Guideposts and Angels on Earth, but we’re also putting together two other publications: this year’s special keepsake holiday edition, The Joys of Christmas 2012, plus (drum roll, please) the first-ever issue of Mysterious Ways magazine.

It’s also a very busy time, since the same staff is working on all four publications. Hard to take a day, let alone a whole week, off with so much going on. But I know taking the occasional break is key to staying positive. So what have I been doing?

When I feel my positive attitude drooping, I take a minute vacation. I’m not certain of the origin of the phrase, but I think it comes from a prayer by Wilferd Arlan Peterson, who wrote inspirational essays for the Sunday newspaper supplement This Week: “Slow me down, Lord... Teach me the art of taking minute vacations, of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with an old friend or make a new one, to pat a stray dog...”

Anything that takes your mind to an unhurried place (or time or both) will work. Need some inspiration for your minute vacation?

Look at photos from your favorite actual vacation. Or be like me and take a vicarious vacay—check out Kevin Russ’s photostream of his road trip out west (the guy took all of those stunning shots with his iPhone!).

Watch a video meditation, like our video on the beauty of flowers.

Eat some juicy, just-ripe fruit (berries are great right now). Or a piece of really good chocolate.

Read a poem or prayer that transports you. Read it out loud even, so you can hear the rise and fall and rhythm—the music—of the words. One I came across recently is “Our Valley” by poet laureate Philip Levine. I saw just the one line “wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life” on a poster and felt compelled to look up the rest.

Speaking of music, sit back and listen to a song with a mellow vacation vibe.

Enough from me. Enjoy your minute vacation!

Amy Wong is the executive editor of Guideposts and was a founding editor of Positive Thinking. She lives in New York City with her adopted dog, Winky, a natural-born positive thinker who believes that everyone has a treat for her and every day is the best day of her life. Amy hopes to be that optimistic someday (she’s working on it!).