Getting away from it all

Self care
22 Jul 2023

Sometimes we need a break; a rest from our usual routines. It is good for our mental health.

When I was a child my parents would take me on our annual summer holidays. Invariably it was a week or two to the south coast. Cornwall, Devon, Somerset or Dorset have plenty of seaside towns. It was their only respite from the drudgery of toiling away in a factory or shop. 

Of course I have loads of memories of those holidays. One in particular comes to mind. We had travelled by train to a B&B in Paignton, Devon. At the end of the first week I became unwell with stomach pains followed by a large number of blisters over my arms and torso. Chicken Pox was diagnosed!

Towards the end of the second week Dad visited the local railway station and explained the situation. He was told as it was an infectious disease the three of us would be accommodated in a carriage on our own with no other passengers.

And that is exactly what happened. When the train pulled up at stations on our return journey and an empty carriage was spotted crowds ran towards it. Until they saw the stickers plastered across the windows “Infectious disease”!  

The topic for this post came into my mind when I was reading a recent newspaper article. It started with the writer saying she had found heaven. She had been on a ‘reading retreat’.  She had escaped all her usual responsibilities at home and had enjoyed a weekend of lounging, reading, eating and socialising. The atmosphere was relaxing throughout. You could read as much as you want from your own book selection or from the mountain of books on offer. Obviously she found it tremendous MH therapy.    

I think it is fairly common, particularly at this time of year, to yearn to leave our normal surroundings and experience somewhere different even for a few days. Two films come to mind on that subject. The first is ‘Shirley Valentine’ who escaped from the drudgery of her marriage and also ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold  Fry’ starring Jim Broadbent walking hundreds of miles. 

Finally, this is a quote from the novel I am currently reading:

“She needs to get out of the house and out of her head. When we are in familiar surroundings we dwell in our minds with all those rubbishy thoughts we don’t really need. When we go abroad we live in our senses, taking in all the new and wonderful sights, smells and sounds. We rise above the useless prattle of our thoughts and fully exist in the present. I’m taking in these marvellous new sights and I feel so uplifted.”   

(The Summer House by Santa Montefiore). 

It would be great if you could recall your favourite breaks away and also what breaks you have planned for the future.


A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at to submit your own blog post!


Login or Sign Up to Comment and Read Comments