This past summer, I decided to take my own advice. Well, not my advice exactly.
I decided to take the advice that has been shared on the web site I work at, entrepreneur.com, by the likes of Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson and countless others:
If you’re feeling burnt out and in need of inspiration, shut down, get up and change your scenery.
Like many of you out there working full-time jobs and side hustles and managing home life and desperately trying to catch up on Game of Thrones before you fall dead asleep on the train all at the same time, I needed a little break in the action. I needed a moment to catch my breath, recharge my batteries and refocus on my goals and my strategy for achieving them.
Related: 3 Important Changes That Can Save Yourself From Burnout
To combat burnout, many wellness experts champion the idea of stepping away from our desks and getting out into nature. And while some may scoff at the notion that watching a pretty sunset could have anything to do with finding business success, science agrees. Experts including Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., co-director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC-Berkeley, have researched the mental and physical benefits of experiencing awe—defined as witnessing something that is vast, difficult to even comprehend, and, well, awesome. Research has found that being around something that brings on awe leads to a reduction in stress, an increase in open-mindedness, and a sense of being a part of something bigger and greater than ourselves.
All of those things tend to wrap us up in a big ball of happiness, and in my experience, happiness opens up the floodgates of creativity and “let’s do this”-ness, and so this summer, the family and I decided to skip the cotton candy and long lines of theme parks and hit the road in search of awe.
Related: Feeling Stuck? Here Are 15 Quotes on Creativity from the World’s Most Inspiring Leaders
So where to go? The first place that sprung to mind when considering vastness in nature was the Grand Canyon—doesn’t get vaster than that, right? Some internet browsing introduced us to the nearby towering Red Rocks of Sedona, which led us to book a stay at the nearby Enchantment Resort. (There are a ton of other hotels in the area at all different price points listed here.)
Here’s a view from Enchantment’s pool, which should immediately answer the question of whether or not we found the awe I was after.
The resort sits in the Boynton Canyon, surrounded by insanely beautiful rock formations — buttes, spires, mesas and many other words I was suddenly remembering from 8th-grade geology. I grew up on flatter-than-flat Long Island so I can say without question that I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Shortly after unpacking, I found myself hiking and biking the canyon trails, while the rest of my family took a more gentle approach to experiencing awe (i.e. hanging out by the pool sipping virgin pina coladas and playing an occasional game of tennis).