Images: N.S. Villaflor
THE heat can get stiffling and oppressive these days. Worse, the weather can make you sluggish and leave you drained in mind and body as well. If for no other reason your batteries seem low, you need self-intervention.
No, you don’t have to blow half a month’s salary to regain your mojo. All you need is to ring up some friends and do stuff together — the more spontaneous the better. Here are a few simple relaxing activities you can engage in to calm those nerves and lift your spirits up:
1. TAKE LONG DRIVES.
But not too long. Just enough to get you back on the same day (otherwise, that would count as a staycation). Head to the mountains via the Transcentral Highway, for example, and enjoy the scenery and cool elevation. Stop to admire the vista of mountains, hills and sea, or buy some fresh produce from stalls along the road. The Balamban sunset over the Tañon Strait is breathtaking in any weather, a beautiful source for inner peace.
2. IMMERSE IN A RURAL FIESTA.
These days, celebrations in urban areas tend to get too loud and often rowdy (e.g. the Sinulog). But fiestas in remote places are a lot more subdued. That is of course when local cockpit opens or the drinks start to flow freely (watch young and old, men and women, boys and girls do the bodots the correct way). Food can be meager or abundant, depending on who in the community has money to spend really. Whatever the case may be, the locals know how to celebrate the fiesta the good old stress-relieving way.
3. TAKE A SHORT HIKE.
Cebu has a few trails you can explore, some are easy, others not so. Pick a trail you can do in a few hours, just to let off steam or to loosen up those tense muscles. A hike along a river bank is relaxing as a walk down the beach.
4. ROCK BALANCING.
There’s plenty of river stone along the riverbanks, so pause for a while and do some rock balancing. For some it’s an art, to others it’s a hobby. Either way, it’s a discipline on its own that requires much patience. Rock balancing, which dates back centuries, has religious or ceremonial roots among ancient cultures in Europe and Asia. Modern day practitioners though have diverse approaches to rock balancing. Bottomline: it’s fun and calms the nerves.
5. APPRECIATE HOME.
After your quick soul-searching, always learn to express how grateful you are for all your blessings. Even the little things count dearly. You don’t have to switch to full hardcore meditative mode, but relax, take a deep breath and tell yourself that there’s no place like home. And you’re just happy to be you.