With Labor Day this coming weekend, we hope you’re going on a multi-day vacation or stay-cation to relax, rejuvenate, and spend time with loved ones. Taking some time off is good for the soul and can have some serious physical benefits. In fact, many Americans don’t use all their paid time off – a calamity! You deserve to take that time, and should do so.
When you finally do plan that vacation, it can be difficult to turn off your mind and truly relax. With so much to do prior and post-vaca, it’s hard to turn off the spinning wheels in your mind. It may take multiple days of worrying before you’re able to really chill – and then you only have a few days left!
How can you turn off the stress as soon as possible? Sounds difficult, but with a little practice, it doesn’t have to be. Being truly mindful about enjoying your vacation, and learning to let go of all the stressors that may remain at home, is possible with a bit of extra thought.
Firstly, in preparation for your vacation, get all the absolute most important priorities at work or home out of the way. Don’t save finishing a report or proposal for a casual vacation morning when you don’t have anything planned – if it doesn’t end up getting completed because something spontaneous comes up, you’ll become increasingly stressed.
If you can, make a promise to yourself to not check work emails, or if you have to, check them only every once in a while to ensure that fires aren’t burning. From there, trust in your coworkers to get the job done while you’re away. That’s partly what they’re there for!
Another helpful tip? Avoid social media. While it may be fun to post pictures of your trip, we advise waiting until you get home to do so. Plugging into your social accounts plugs you back into your life at home – a life you’re trying to temporarily take a break from. Logging in can remind you of tasks, people, and places demanding your attention when you get home – so ignore it for the time being.
While you’re away, try not to overdo it on the daily activity planning. If you’re constantly thinking about what’s going to happen next, you won’t actually pay attention to what you’re enjoying in the moment. Make a general plan for a few days, but allow yourself a couple days with zero activities planned to make room for spontaneity.
On that note, use this time to try something new! Studies show that the more lasting memories you make during a certain period, the longer it will seem to you. Wake up early, avoid television, and head off into the great unknown. You won’t regret it.
All in all, making your vacation feel longer than it is all comes down to enjoying the present moment. Be mindful of your enjoyment, relaxation, and ease throughout the vacation to lengthen, strengthen, and make the most of your time away from responsibility.