How to Make the Most of Your Vacations
I always forget just how good I feel when I return from vacation. It’s so easy to get caught up in every day life and routine that we don’t notice the slow buildup of stress and burnout. I just returned from a week’s vacation at the beach, and I feel rested, less stressed, and just better all round. Since the pandemic, I’ve started doing vacations in a much different way. Before when we would go on vacation, I always felt as though I had to maintain some of my everyday routine, like exercising, checking email or texts, and adhering to certain bed times and wake times. Since the pandemic I’ve been doing things differently, and I’ve noticed it has made a difference.
Here’s what I did differently in this most recent vacation:
I broke my daily routine
Last week when I was on vacation, I threw my normal routine out the window. Normally I would exercise on certain days, go to bed at certain times, and stress about how long my daughter was watching screens. Last week, my family and I decided to do what we wanted to do when we wanted. It felt great. I didn’t feel like exercising, so I didn’t. I slept in as late as I wanted, napped when I wanted and didn’t stress about how much time my daughter was watching her tablet. It felt so nice to take a break not only from work, but also from my daily routine.
I intentionally chose activities that were relaxing or fun
This past vacation, I tried my best to choose activities that I knew would be either fun or relaxing. Whether it was playing with my daughter in the pool, or reading a new book, I was careful about how I spent my time. If we want to get the most out of our vacations, we have to be intentional about how we spend our time. If we unconsciously choose what we would normally do in a normal day, we may not choose something that is actually fulfilling and rejuvenating on vacation.
I practiced mindfulness to be present for my family
Mindfulness is something I’ve been practicing for a long time, but I really re-connected with it during the pandemic. I find that I’m most fulfilled when I am present and engaged with activities that are fulfilling, and it takes being mindful to do that. for me, being present and engaged with my family is the most important thing.
I stopped guilty thoughts in their tracks
I did have some negative and guilty self talk about not doing things that I “should” do, or not keeping to my normal daily schedule. However, I worked hard at stopping those those in their tracks, and just allowing myself to relax and do things I wanted to do.
I hope this post is helpful in identifying ways to make the most of your vacations and time off from work. Vacations are good for your mental and physical health, so make the most of them!
Reach out anytime!