The Art of Relaxation
Vacations are all about having a good time. They are also a time to relax
and refresh your body and mind. Learning to relax is really difficult for
many people and in fact is actually an art. The first step to any healthy
vacation is to just chill and have some fun. Work involves deadlines,
schedules and other commitments, vacations should not. When you work, every
minute of your day can be jammed with meetings, answering emails and phone
calls and taking kids to soccer or swim team practice.
Avoid letting your vacation become a series of planned "things you have to do."
The faster you can switch from work mode to vacation time, the sooner your
body and mind can start to relax. True relaxation is learning to let go,
creating real down-time and allowing yourself to just do nothing.
When You Know It's Time
If you pay close attention to how your body feels and your attitude
towards life, you'll know exactly when it's time to take a break. In recent
years, work and home schedules have become very hectic, increasing mental
and physical stresses and reducing life's enjoyments. The constant
bombardment of stressful thoughts places an enormous strain on all parts of
your body and mind. If you have any of the following signs: increased pain
levels, more muscle tightness, headaches, irritability and shortness of
temper or lack of creativity, it's probably time for a vacation.
Break Free of the Go Go Go
Vacations are about letting go of some of the drive to succeed. Success
does not require a 24 hour dedication to your work. Pulling away from work
helps bring balance and a whole new perspective to your career. It doesn't
make much sense being successful and making lots of money just to spend it
at the doctor's office or in the hospital. A healthy vacation may be just
what the doctor ordered when it comes to increasing success and helping you
live a long and healthy lifetime. Let's look at two important vacation
habits to keep in mind when you are planning your next vacation.
Resist the Urge to Do Too Much
If your vacation plan starts to mirror your daily life just in another
place and time, resist the urge to over do it. Sure there may be many
things to see and do, but you can't do it all and expect to relax.
Entertain the possibility that instead of doing and seeing it all on this
trip, maybe you might actually come back a second time to catch what you
missed. Don't get me wrong; you don't necessarily need to just sit in a
chair and drool. Vacation days chocked full like work days won't give
you the rest necessary to feel refreshed and revived.
Turn-off All Cell Phones, Email and Computers
Before you leave, create a "gone fishing" message to anyone who might
email you. Change the phone message on your voice mail announcing that you
will be unavailable for the next few days while you kick back and relax.
Absolutely though, stay away from the work impulse to check your email or
voice mail while on vacation. Relaxation time is about creating a different
rhythm or mind-set with your time and days. You can try getting up earlier
or staying up later, going off your normal eating schedule, reading the
local paper if you normally don't, taking a break from your rigorous
fitness schedule or anything else that separates vacation days from work
Make Your Break Really Count
There is great power in breaking the bonds that tie you to your work. When
it comes to your work, remember that you need to take a break to refresh so
you don't burnout. This is the time to recharge your batteries and come
back full of energy and raring to go. A relaxing vacation will have you
enthusiastically back at your job and ready to slay the competition. One
resort uses a slogan that best sums up the healthy vacation experience. It
says Relax. Rejuvenate. Restore. What more can be said!