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headshot of Jamie Martin, editor in chief of Experience Life magazine

On one of the final days of wrapping up this issue, I stepped away for some self-care. The Experience Life team had given me the generous gift of a spa treatment for my recent milestone birthday, and I had made an appointment for what was supposed to be a quiet Friday afternoon.

Alas, a shift in work deadlines meant the day wasn’t as free as I anticipated, and I considered rescheduling. You should cancel, one voice in my head said. The team will be waiting on you if you go.

No, another voice said, it will be OK. There’s still time to finish things up, and they’ll understand.

The latter voice won out, and it was OK. As I settled in for my treatment, I realized I was acting on the theme of this issue: unplugging to recharge, even if only for a couple of hours. So, I decided to shush that taskmaster in my head, let go of any lingering guilt, and just enjoy my experience.

It turns out I was prioritizing a form of habitual recovery, which LT Mind performance coaches Barbara Powell, MA, and Brie Vortherms, MA, LMFT, describe in a recent Life Time Talks podcast episode as “things we do for ourselves regularly to make sure we have the mental and physical energy to take on whatever stressors we might encounter.”

Getting a spa treatment is not something I do every day, but a few times a year, it’s a great tool for helping me reset. (For more on three types of recovery, and why they each matter, see “The Trials and Tribulations of the Everyday Athlete,” or listen to the “What Is Self-Care, Really?” podcast episode at Life Time Talks.)

I decided to shush that taskmaster in my head, let go of any lingering guilt, and just enjoy my experience.”

As I left that appointment and veered back into work mode, I felt renewed, as well as motivated to find more ways to unplug and reconnect — not only with my body, but also with the people, places, and things I love. While reviewing these articles, I found plenty of ideas for making that happen:

  • No Distractions”: I downloaded Ryan Frankel’s This App Saves Lives and have put it to work as I keep my eyes on the road.
  • Why We Still Need Cookbooks”: Food editor Kaelyn Riley’s influence led me to open a homemade family cookbook and make my grandma’s banana bread. I also pulled out my copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book: 75th Anniversary Edition and made a surprisingly simple chicken marsala that was tastier than any creation I’ve tried from Pinterest.
  • How to Become a Digital Minimalist”: This feature inspired me to declutter and reorganize my phone. I spent a couple of hours one morning deleting unused and unnecessary apps, creating clear categories for those that remained, and moving “optional” apps to secondary screens. My next step is to set my standard operating procedures and attempt the 30-day break.
  • 7 Simple Ways to Improve Social Connection”: I love the concept of embracing micromoments, and I’ve been trying to connect more intentionally with all sorts of people in my daily life, including coffee-shop baristas, grocery-store clerks, the parents of the kids on the youth basketball team I coach, and my colleagues, friends, and family.

These types of efforts are relatively effortless, yet they have the potential to bring so much value to our daily experiences. Whether it’s cooking a meal, truly tuning in during a commute, or simply setting our phones aside more often, the here-and-now presence of mind and body reconnects us with the things that matter most — our people, our communities, and this big, beautiful world we all share.

Jamie Martin

Jamie Martin is Experience Life’s editor in chief, Life Time’s vice president of content strategy, and cohost of the Life Time Talks podcast. Follow her on Instagram @jamiemartinel.

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