Vox pop*: What’s your restorative place, space or activity?

We all need to restore ourselves every now and then – have a refresh, break or retreat. Many of us have a place we return to that restores us – when we go there, we feel instantly relaxed, at peace and at home. It could be somewhere you go to currently or from the past. It might be a space you enter for an instant, an hour, a weekend, a whole week, longer… For others, it’s an activity or a way of being with ourselves, in the moment. Which ever it is, all our stresses go and we’re at ease with ourselves and the world.

There are a myriad of possibilities. It could be:

  • a particular holiday location
  • reading a book in a favourite armchair
  • sitting on a verandah with a cup of tea or coffee
  • going for a walk along a particular beach or in a forest
  • sitting in a jazz club – chilling
  • sleeping, writing or journaling under a special tree
  • fishing by a river
  • a particular temple, church or mosque
  • soaking in a hot bath listening to music, with a glass of something special
  • sitting around a fire or campsite in the mountains
  • looking up at the stars in the sky.

Here’s what some of our readers shared with us…

Anna Grassotti: Sweden

My favourite restorative place is a tree in my garden. Weeping willow, to sit under the branches that holds and separates you from the world. Here is a place where you can land in your center, breathe with the slow movement from the branches. There is a birds nest in the tree. The birds fly in and out. You become part of the ecosystem of the tree. It is soft and welcoming. It caress its inhabitants and you are one with all.

Yvonne Allison: Brisbane, Australia

My love of the sea is such that, whenever possible, I travelled on ships in preference to planes. Out in the middle of the ocean on a long sea voyage, days from land on either side, alone on deck in a quiet spot was always a very special experience – a unique, spiritual awareness of man’s insignificance in the great expanse of the universe. I have never felt this anywhere else.  It’s a sense of our smallness – for we are so small, so very small – yet so full of our own importance, insensitive to the immensity of infinity. In truth we are like ants – busy, busy, busy; rushing around picking up the sugar; and polluting the planet like no other creature upon it.

Anne Isabelle Sam: Bangkok, Thailand

I don’t have ‘a’ place as such. For me, it’s moments when I consciously connect – with myself, with my environment, with the now.

Often times, I look around me: it can be watching the sky, feeling the wind on my body, smelling the breeze, looking at the leaves, observing the meditating cat. Sometimes it’s indoors: like being stuck in that ugly lift. I become aware of my feet on the floor and observe how I am feeling. It often when I’m reading a book, or so deeply absorbed in something that there is no more time. Really, it’s whenever the moment connects me with eternity.


Justine Moss: Joo Chiat, Singapore

Golf is my special activity. The mental and physical exercise and skill of what’s needed from you on the course, the camaraderie, the bonding with golf friends, the laughter… During and after each game I feel invigorated and refreshed both mentally and physically. I’m able to relax more, sleep well and really think better. It’s the expanse of golf courses I love – a peaceful place to think and take stock – connect with nature, breathe in some fresh air… get rid of any toxicity that’s been stifling or weighing down on me. I recently played in three golf events over three weeks for the first time in a year.  I’d been feeling a little down due to work reasons, and realised how much I missed the game. It made a real difference.

Jacki Nicholas: Sydney, Australia

One of my little spots many years ago was a particular bench alongside the Sydney Opera House that overlooked the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If I’d had a particularly bad day, I found myself there, watching as the day turned into the darkness of night and the sky peppered with stars. The lights came up in the city and harbour suburbs and I watched the ferris wheel go around and around at Luna Park. Everything eased away. I exhaled and, before long, I was at peace. It truly felt like it was my bench, and was always miraculously free whenever I needed it. Having this special spot in my early twenties helped me understand the importance of restoration, of place and of state. When I returned to Sydney two decades later, I was surprised to find some people sitting on my seat!  For a moment I was attached!  And then I let it go, realising that in those intervening years I’d found other moments, places and practices in which to restore myself and happy that others were enjoying the ‘special bench’.


What’s your special ‘go to’ place, space, activity or practice that truly restores you?  Share it with us at hello@perspicuoushealth.com and we’ll aim to include it here.


*Vox pop is a shortened version of the Latin vox populi, which translates as the ‘voice of the people’ or the ‘person on the street’. It was a term used by Sir Francis Galton on 7 March 1907,  to indicate a way of finding the truth through the wisdom of the crowd, for guessing in a weight-judging contest. Today, it’s a media term for interviewing a range of people on a particular topic. At Perspicuous Health, we use it to tap into the thoughts, opinions and wisdom of our readers and followers.  If you’d like to be invited to one of our vox pops, please email us at hello@perspicuoushealth.com with some of the topics you’d be interested in.