With nicer weather finally here and the kids getting out of school, many of us have vacations on our minds. But there’s another way to relax and recharge.

Everyone needs a sanctuary, a safe place to escape. It can be a physical space in your home, somewhere outside the home that lets you focus only on yourself, or just a special place in your mind that you can visit any time.

For me, I like to get away by getting outside - fresh air makes such a difference. Sometimes it's working in my garden, sometimes it's taking a walk - either in my neighborhood or in an area park - and always with my dog!

There are really two types of sanctuaries: mental and physical. A mental sanctuary allows you to step away from your caregiver/work/family responsibilities and rest your mind, even if it’s just for a moment. It can be an imaginary location, a peaceful memory, or guided meditation. You can simply close your eyes, take some deep breaths, relax your muscles, and let yourself spend some time in this sanctuary to rejuvenate.

A physical sanctuary is an actual place you can go to escape the chaos, to relax and recharge your emotional and physical batteries. Ideally, it’s a place that’s yours alone, that you don’t have to share with anyone else (except maybe a pet). Maybe it’s a special room full of mementos from happy times, calming colors and comfortable fabrics, relaxing music, or even scented candles or incense – whatever fills you with joy and peace. It’s a place you can go to think of absolutely nothing.

Whether it’s a physical or mental sanctuary, spending time in your peaceful place can help you reduce physical tension, alleviate stress, and take a much-needed break. (It’s not the time to make mental lists of all the things you have to do. This is time for YOU.)

What’s your special sanctuary?