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There are times in which I just need a bit of a reset. Sometimes, when the world seems to be closing in, when I am feeling overwhelmed, it becomes evident that an escape is much needed.

Perhaps it’s a recharge. Others may refer to it as running away.

Either way, it’s for my sanity. And for my family. I think that sometimes we, as a family – a culture -, get so caught up in the chaos that is everyday life and we forget what WE need to be a successful, happy, and healthy person.

That old adage “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy” should be taken to heart. Though I would modify it to include daddy, sister, auntie, brother, grandma etc. We are all an important cog in the family wheel. One person can drag down the whole kit-and-kaboodle, and serious derailing will occur.

The whole family was feeling a bit disheveled. We had come across a sweet little campground up in the Plumas National Forest a few years back. It quickly had become a favorite for our kayaking day trips.

The lake is pristine and clear. The water is a gorgeous turquoise blue, and it is surrounded by tall pine trees. The elevation is high enough that the temperature in the air doesn’t weigh you down like the heat of the lower valley.

Best of all, it’s very quiet. It is relatively unknown, and the campground is quite small – perhaps only about 25-30 sites. The toilets are pit toilets, and there are no hookups. But the campsites are quite large and spacious as well as relatively flat. They are perfect for a tent, or as we used, our trailer. We got two spaces together, as we were running away from the world with good friends of ours, and consequently, the kids had a lot of space to run around.

This late in the season, the water is quite low, as the lake serves the water district up in that area. Additionally, the weather was cooler (and very windy!) so we didn’t swim. But we did take advantage of the kayaks as well as the campfire and quiet time together.

The girls ran around like the crazy little hooligans that they are (I say, tongue in cheek). They invented their own version of the popular Cornhole game, where they ran back and forth on the boards, throwing the beanbags at each other. I was able to catch up with my friend from college, and the husbands chatted about all things truck, RV, and camping related.

No cell service. No outside world.

And it was pretty amazing.

And it was just what I needed for that mental clarity.

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I think everyone needs a reset every once in a while. Sometimes it isn’t feasible to pick up and get away for a night or two. Instead, there are things you can do at home, in the workplace, or even in your hometown. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or just plain fried, try one of these tips below:


    1. Get outside. Walk, enjoy nature. Breathe in the fresh air.

      Enjoy the beauty around you. Ready to think I’m crazy? One of my favorite times to go outside is when it is raining. There is something so fresh and clean about the scent of the rain falling and the soothing sound of it repetitively hitting the ground. I do some of my best thinking while wandering through puddles

    2. Get that heart pumping. Exercise increases endorphins. This is not news. Sometimes when you’re feeling down though, the idea of starting can be so overwhelming. But just do it. Go for a run, a walk, or turn up the music and start a dance party! 

3. Read a book.

Wanderstead Husband and I were just talking about this last night. Reading for him is a way to challenge himself. His books of choice tend to be historical in nature or true stories. Some of his favorites have been 

and the opposing viewpoint:


  But also WWII books and history such as

When I read, I need to escape the real world. I choose to lose myself in much “lighter” reading, though you may find my choice in books odd for that. As he put it, he uses reading for a challenge, whereas I use it for relaxing. Here are a few that strike my fancy:


I love this whole series (the Alex Delaware series), and I confess that about 1/2 of the books I have listened to in my car on my way to and from work. It’s my go-to. 
4. Take a bath. Or some people prefer a shower. Your choice. A nice bubble bath (for me) is the ultimate at-home indulgence. I go as far as quiet music, candles, and a great book. For that 1/2 hour (or longer if I’m lucky!!), I can escape into my own world and come out feeling warm and relaxed. 


5. Spend some time with your kids or fur-babies. Sometimes the best reset for me is a simple game of Candyland with my daughter or drawing a picture with her.


It’s a Candy Land kinda day 🍬🍭🍫 #clararose #ilovewinterbreak #threeyearoldsrock

A post shared by Erin (@wandersteadwife) on

Hearing her tell me about her day and watching her explore and learn is so relaxing and brings me full circle. It helps me to stay centered. The same can also be said about spending time with my dog or cat. Honestly. I can sit on the couch petting the cat for 10 minutes, just talking to him about how my day was. My dog will look at me with interest and come over to investigate, nuzzling me and wagging his tail. I know without a doubt that no matter what I say, he’ll still love me. Dogs are great like that. 

Sometimes you don’t have the time for some of these tips. When all else fails, close your eyes and breathe. Corny as that sounds, it can really help. Just remember, it’s important to take care of YOU. 

Author: Erin

I'm doing what I can to provide the best life I can for my family. I love cooking & baking, homestead arts, DIY, and gardening {as well as coming up with projects for Mr. Wanderstead Husband!!}...but I love to explore the world around us too! We will figure out how to do it, and eat well while trying.

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5 thoughts on “The Importance of Mental Breaks – 5+ Tips on How to Get Them

  1. Ya know I just wrote a post on the importance of self care as a momma and another one on how it’s important to refocus or as you said, reset. What I love about your post is that you offered solutions. There are some really great ideas in here. I really love that you shared this too, it is extremely important!

    Posted on November 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm
    1. Self-care as a momma is HUGE. I had always heard people saying that in order to be a great momma, you need to cut yourself some slack – even if that means a break from your little one. I had trouble at first, but I’m learning it is necessary.

      Posted on November 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm
  2. What a great reminder to give ourselves a break once in a while!

    Posted on November 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm
  3. I absolutely loved this post! I think that too often, we forget that we are only human and we need to recharge. I found all of your suggestions helpful and you are really an inspiration for a beginning blogger like myself.

    Posted on November 5, 2017 at 6:26 pm
    1. Thank you!! I totally agree — we seem to make ourselves the last priority. It’s something I’m really working on.

      Posted on November 5, 2017 at 6:30 pm