Vacations, especially active, exhilarating vacations, give back in many so many ways," says Dr. Karen Wheeler, a Coeur d'Alene licensed, clinical professional counselor. "I'm a great believer in getting off the grid." With favorite escapes like weeklong river trips, whitewater rafting, hiking, camping, downhill skiing and biking, Wheeler has perfected the art of leaving it all behind.
"Being outdoors, doing something new or challenging or energetic, gives our overworked brains a much-needed time-out from routines and obligations, allows us to play, something sorely lacking in our stressful lives," she adds. "We start to see ourselves and others in a different perspective and reflect with thoughtfulness rather than react from stress and negativity."
She cites a recent University of California-Berkeley study which revealed that awe-inspiring experiences like a robust hike, ziplining — even a beautiful sunset — allow awe, wonder and joy into our lives, creating a positive effect on our immune systems, even boosting our health and life expectancy.
Is it time to flex your adventure muscle? Add a little adrenaline to your bloodstream? Decompress your brain? Here are some breakaway options, all within a day's drive of Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. ♦
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