In this stressful world we live in, taking a periodic vacation to rejuvenate your mind and body from everyday life sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Yet, how many times have you heard family, friends, or colleagues say they needed a vacation from their vacation? Too many, I am sure.
What I have noticed in my conversations with others is that many people tend to overextend themselves and never get a chance to relax when they go away. I realize that we all have different ideas about what constitutes relaxation. However, I truly think that we as a society have lost the ability to breathe deep and unplug for a few days. I would like to offer a few suggestions that help me in balancing the desire for much-needed rest with vacation time zest.
Leave Your Work Behind
I am sure you have heard the saying “the sign of a good vacation is forgetting your network password.” I totally agree with this statement. If you are a workaholic, I know it can be a challenge not to check your voicemails or e-mail, but believe me, it can be a very beautiful thing if you do. Remember the time before we had computers and smartphones, and how simple life was? You can experience that again if you so choose. Focus your mind and your energy on your loved ones and leave your work on your desk.
Get Quiet Time Each Day
Whether it is waking up an hour before the rest of the family to enjoy your coffee alone in the morning sunlight, or taking a short half hour walk after dinner, find some quiet time each day to decompress. Couples with small children may consider working out a shift schedule with each other so that one can slip away and take a two-hour nap in the afternoon, while the other can enjoy a jog or a walk on the beach later that evening to return the favor. Talk with your travel companions before leaving about this idea so that everyone’s goals and needs can be respected and hopefully met.
Don’t Overbook Yourself
There is nothing wrong with sitting in the Jardin de Luxembourg reading a book or people watching for three hours in Paris, even if you have not been inside the Louvre yet to see the Mona Lisa. You don’t have to do and see it all. My idea of the perfect vacation is to pick one or two major things you want to accomplish for the day, and then leave the rest unscheduled. If you happen to be traveling with a serial sightseer, compromise and either agree to separate or alternate heavily scheduled days with lighter days.
End Your Vacation With a Rest Day
For as long as I can remember, I have always planned my vacation so that I have one or two days at home to get myself together before returning to work. This practice has allowed me to tackle some necessary things like laundry and grocery shopping at a less hectic pace, while not traumatizing me immediately to the idea of being back at my desk.
As always, I wish you all the happiest of travels!