Talk about heaven on earth.
I'm writing this from the desk in my little room in a lovely and charming inn in East Hampton, New York. I arrived here last month to begin work on a new play at the Guild Hall theatre -- "Clever Little Lies," a funny and wry family comedy by the masterful playwright Joe DePietro.
I've traveled for stage work many times throughout my career, but this is the first time the gods of theatre have actually handed me an assignment on the seashore -- and during the summer, no less! That means that, by day, I'm a bonafide beach-bum, with my adorable and supportive husband (who's here with me); and by night, I get to walk onto a stage in a terrific play and make a packed audience laugh.
A win-win, if ever there was one.
But also, the little Catholic girl in me is feeling a little guilty about my good fortune -- getting up late and whiling away hours on the beach. Back in Manhattan, by the time noon rolls around I've already put in a full days work of phone calls as well as dashed off to two meetings, and begun plowing through the towering pile of paperwork on my desk.
Here, life moves more...calmly.
Thankfully, though -- according to the experts, in addition to the mental health benefits of taking a leisurely seaside getaway, you're also nourishing your body.
On the always informative, green-friendly website, Care2.com, writer Aimee Dansereau reveals three wonderful ways that even a simple stroll along the sand is giving your system all sorts of goodies:
Did you know that there are more than 200,000 nerve endings on the soles of your feet -- and that walking barefoot stimulates them much more than walking in shoes? And when you walk on wet sand, you're also exfoliating dead skin cells from your heels. Meanwhile, you're strengthening all the muscles in your feet (muscles that don't get used as much when you're wearing shoes); and because you're making direct, physical contact with the earth, you're getting an ample supply of electrons, which support our immune system and allow it to function at an optimal level.
There's nothing like having cool, ocean water splashing against your skin. But did you know that seawater contains many minerals that help the body heal and detoxify -- such as iodine, which fights infection and boosts thyroid function; and magnesium, which has a calming effect on our nerves? Swimming in the ocean not only decreases stress (while increasing our sense of well-being), but it's also good for such health conditions as psoriasis and arthritis; and it improves circulation, helping the body to carry blood to all of its vital organs.
While experts agree that overexposure to the sun's radiation can be dangerous, raising the risk for skin cancer and other health problems, a carefully moderated exposure can help us to reap the many benefits of the sun's radiant energy. The sun remains our best and most natural source of vitamin D (better than any supplement you can buy!); it decreases depression by increasing serotonin levels; it boosts our immune systems; and it helps us to maintain bone health and aids in the prevention of autoimmune cardiovascular diseases.
See? Don't you feel better already? So head on out and enjoy a long and lazy afternoon at the beach -- guilt-free! -- and if you happen to be on a nearby stretch of sand, drop by and say hi to me.
And certainly come see my play! It's a wildly funny evening of theatre (all about a close-knit family desperately trying to save itself from calamity). My cast-mates, Greg Mullavey, Kate Wetherhead and Jim Stanek are all terrific, and the audiences out here on Long Island have been as warm and inviting as a sweet summer breeze.
Here's a little scrapbook I've made of some special pals who dropped by for a performance of "Clever Little Lies" to lend me their love and good wishes. I hope you enjoy it!