Let’s face it, sometimes getting ready for and catching up after a vacation is extremely stressful. With society relying on technology and the strain of work and responsibilities, is it possible to relax during a vacation?
From preparing your everyday life prior to leaving for your getaway, to stressing about business needs during your stay, and piling on the self-guilt and worry that you will be buried in responsibilities when you return; for many, relaxing on vacation is a tireless task that leaves you less refreshed and overwhelmed. In no way, shape or form, should this be the result of a vacation. A vacation is a time to let go of responsibilities. To momentarily escape, relax and recharge your batteries. So, how can we accomplish this state of euphoria?
The following 10 steps are a guide to help you master the art of stepping back and actually relaxing during a vacation:
1. Choose a Destination Wisely
Are you craving adventure or serenity? Choosing a destination is the core to your escape. When you close your eyes and picture yourself somewhere, what do you see? For some, their calling may be a tropical setting and a laid back atmosphere. For others, they seek being one with nature and exploring the great outdoors. Everyone has a different definition of what a vacation looks like. It is important to choose a destination that suits you and your needs for relaxation. You don’t want to choose somewhere that will force you to need a vacation, after your vacation.
2. Prepare for Your Departure
This step can be as easy or as complicated as you make it. You don’t want to prepare so much that you stress yourself out. But on the other hand, you don’t want to be worrying about every little detail while you are away. Think about how long you will be away and the major responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Usually major responsibilities fall into four categories: living responsibilities (children and pets), financial responsibilities, security, and business responsibilities.
3. Check Your Ego at the Door
Once you prepare to cover all of the major responsibilities in your everyday life, remember that although you are a very special human, life will go on without you. Now, work, home life, or items in your everyday may not run as you would plan, but you have to trust that your support system will do their part to manage these responsibilities while you are away.
4. Embrace a Natural Routine
Now that you have picked a destination and covered all your bases, you are on vacation! This is a time where you set your own rules. There is no such thing as a 9-5 on vacation. Do not be tempted to wake up, check your email, work, and then partake in vacation activities. You should embrace a new natural routine. This means allowing yourself to sleep in, go for a walk on the beach, grab a late breakfast, try a new activity, visit a distant village, or do absolutely nothing. There are no rules. This is your time to embrace a new “vacation routine” where you decide how you spend your time.
Force yourself to disconnect from all technology. As silly and as simple as it sounds, this is a hard task. Remember the days when you would pack a Walkman and disposable camera? Those days are long gone with the accessibility to Wi-Fi and wireless devices. According to a study, 59% of Americans check their email and take phone calls while on vacation. Other research tells us that 73% of people believe that their devices contribute to the stress in their lives. In order to fully relax and de-stress, you must disconnect from technology.
I understand that we now live a world where we rely on our devices, and in some ways technology can enhance your vacation. But, don’t become infatuated with sharing your every move on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. Refrain from checking emails, or responding to phone calls and text messages. Put up an out of office auto response on your email account. Or better yet, turn your phone off, leave it in your room and allow your mind to fully disconnect.
6. Be Open Minded
If you have ever been on vacation, you will understand that you must pack your patience. It is inevitable that something will not go as planned. This is part of the traveling experience. No adventure is complete without a crazy story about that time you missed your flight, your luggage got lost or the resort upgraded you to a presidential suite. Not all mishaps are negative. Keeping an open-mind will add to your overall experience.
7. Don’t Over Schedule
There is nothing worst than going on vacation to relax but then needing a vacation just to rejuvenate from the experience. Our daily lives are jam-packed with so many appointments, meetings, and alternating schedules; why put yourself through more?
In order to achieve a balance between relaxing and avoiding boredom, plan a mixture of activities while incorporating downtime. Whether it is sightseeing, a massage or other outings that you want to participate in, try alternating between days of scheduling.
8. Don’t Tempt Yourself with Work
As tempting as it may be, do not flirt with the idea of checking your email or trying to get some work done. As soon as you hit the airport on your way home, jump into work all you want. But until then, you are on vacation. That means disconnecting in full. You already planned and prepared for your absence. The work will be there when you get home (or will be handled by those you put in charge).
9. Plan More Frequent, Shorter Trips
Sometimes leaving for whole weeks at a time is excessive for some people. Instead of planning one massive trip a year, try organizing smaller, more frequent escapes. A staycation for a long weekend can be just as energizing as a long week away. This can be a great option for people who cringe or stress out from the idea of being gone for weeks at a time. Planning more frequent trips can also alleviate any cases of occupational or emotional burnout.
10. Live in the Moment
You’re on vacation; this means this is your time to break-free from all your everyday stresses. In most cases, you are visiting a new place, tasting a new dish and seeing a new sight. This is the time to take it all in! Enjoy yourself and live in the moment, because soon enough you will be thrown back into reality.
Contributed By: Candice Naysan is the Co-founder of Wrapped In A Cloud, a luxury line of customized products. When Candice reached her 20s, friends started getting married, having babies, and reaching other milestones. She found herself in search of the “perfect gift” but discovered the difficulty in finding a quality, personalized product. Out of her love for warm, plush, must-have items – the company was born.