Mental Vacations: Nourishing The Relationship With Your Self!

Rahim Kanji_portrait 112112Vacations are important. Living in a big city, I find myself constantly mentally stimulated – at work, walking down the street, and even with my friends (in a good way of course!) The truth is we all need some down time from this stimulation, and I find that a great way to do this is to consciously take time out for myself.

I don’t mean vegging out and watching TV, or going out with friends, or hanging with family. TV is white noise, and friends/family are important, but spending time with them is nourishing your relationships with others – not yourself. Time out for yourself is real serious rebooting where you’re connecting back with yourself and CONSCIOUSLY putting yourself back on the top of the priority list. For me, it’s meditation, going for walks, or being more conscious and aware of my own state of mind while I take a break from work. Often we take breaks and substitute work stress for gossip, or coffee or food. While that’s okay, it doesn’t allow us to check in with our internal state.

As I’ve started incorporating 10 minute meditations, self-awareness, and walks into my life, I’ve realized that it’s important to get to know yourself. Sometimes we get so busy in the world of work/play and in maintaining relationships with others that we forget about the relationship with our self. And the truth is, just like how you have to work to keep the relationship alive with friends, you also have to work to keep the relationship alive with yourself.

One thing that I really enjoy is the 30 Day Happiness Challenge. Every day, you have to do one thing that makes you happy. Whether that means buying yourself a gift, taking a bath, enjoying the view from your window for 30 seconds….whatever it is that makes you happy! This forces you to do something for yourself, and believe me, it is powerful. When you put yourself high on your priority list, you feel more energized, relaxed, and able to give more to your friends and family. =)

What are your ways of connecting with yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


Dr. Rahim Kanji


Dr. Rahim Kanji is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Toronto, Canada. He has a passion for evidence-based natural medicine, specifically empowering his patients to make nutritional changes which create dramatic impacts to their health. For more information, visit his website at

  • I love this and couldn’t agree more!  I’ve made a conscious effort to do nice things for myself on a regular basis.  And when I “forget” to, and put others first for an extended period of time without any “me time,” I definitely feel it.  I start to get angry, stressed, and upset.  I know it’s time for a breather.  That’s why I agree how important it is to do little things for ourselves on a daily basis – to hopefully avoid the big melt-downs after days and weeks of ignoring yourself! 

    For me, walking my dogs puts me back on track.  It gets me present – b/c I’m outside, not in front of the TV.  There are no other “things” to do besides walk.  I also volunteer to walk dogs for my local humane society and go there at least once a week for a couple hours.  I’ve noticed at times when I’ve shown up for my volunteer shift, I’ve been upset or worried about something.  And 2 or 3 hours later, that worry is gone.  Dogs do wonders for my spirit! 


  • sueb

    I have different rituals that allow me to check in with myself.  Every evening I take an hour to sit and knit, or work on whatever project I am using as a means of self-expression.  Then I go to bed early and read for an hour to broaden my mind.  I feel that these are opposite types of activities, one in which I express and one in which I receive.  I definitely feel that my tank is not as full if I miss even a few minutes of either activity.

    Thanks for your wonderful, insightful words!  They validate my actions, and that validation is so important to me.

  • Kbeattie

    I am like Sarah, I have dogs and they keep me focused when I get too stressed. They remind me of mindfulness and gratitude. Our non-profit project brings together shelter dogs and teens in high risk situations, and that also works magic. The other activity for restoring the self I use is yoga, it is my meditation.