Sitting on platform three waiting for the train I realise I’m craving some green wilderness. Give me a forest, a park, a garden…. I have a sudden want to be amongst cool green stillness.
Not today though. Instead I sit on platform three and ponder the relationship between person and place.
How do people change when they are travelling, working, at home?
How do our surroundings influence our moods, our perspectives and overall well-being?
I think most of us realise there are particular places that consistently evoke a mood. Oceans inspire calm; cities stoke imagination; fields facilitate freedom; lounges make us cuddly. But I’m not sure this association is consciously utilised to maximise routine happiness.
Sure, when we feel trapped (e.g. in an office), we escape for fresh air; when we are feeling vulnerable, we curl into a cosy, soft space to recoup. But often it takes a headache or stress or a cold to trigger the retreat.
So, to that end, maybe we should ask: is taking time out enough to reboot the body and mind? Or, to maximise the time out, should we be taking place-specific space to reinvigorate the senses, cleanse the soul, clear the mind?
What if we actively scheduled place-specific time to achieve wellness? Spend one hour a day in a place of green or blue to centre, reflect, reconnect with the planet? Every week, take a walk through the city to people-watch, think, note the things we admire in others? Perhaps plan some time in an open space to help remember we are small little wonders in big spaces with big potential? Or just take time out to snuggle, sleep, read, write, dream?
I think back to when I have consciously chosen the place to fit my mood… I remember standing on the Dubrovnik wall in Croatia staring into the cold Adriatic as I longed for loved ones. I recall walking for hours through Bangkok suburbs to find a little hub of food and local buzz to ignite my senses. I think of sitting in the Roman ruins of Palmyra,Syria staring out into the hazy red desert thinking it was the perfect place to consider the woes of the humanity.
Perhaps finding place-specific time is something generally reserved for holidays on tropical islands, outings in capital cities and during wild, remote escapes.
Maybe finding that place to feed the time-out cravings should be a thing of every day life.