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When you’re suffering from the grind of an intense work life, your spirit calls out for a real restorative break. Deep down, you know that a restorative vacation is what you need to recharge your batteries, but how can you get the most out of your time off? And what exactly is it about vacationing that feels so good?
Here, we’ll delve into why vacations are good for you and what you can do to maximize your time off.
Your Mental Health Receives a Boost
Jumbled thoughts, up-and-down emotions, anxiety, and a tenseness about the shoulders are all signs that your mind and body need to take a break. Researchers have found time and time again that travel not only lightens your spirits, it calms the mind and inspires creativity. Going out there and discovering new places, taking in new sights, trying out new things, and dining on eclectically prepared cuisine, not only enriches you, it opens your mind and boosts the health of your mental state considerably.
You’ll slowly, or rapidly, change into a happier, more well-adjusted individual. The more time you take off, the more the health benefits of taking a vacation increase. Keeping a journal, meditating, strolling through a park, practicing yoga, or even downloading a countdown clock app before your getaway to stoke excitement and anticipation, are all things you can do to fully maximize the benefits of your trip.
Take Frequent Mini-Trips
Getting away for long weekends can be just as restorative as going on a long, expensive trip researchers have found. The key is getting over the mental hurdle of breaking routine and taking time off. This can be especially difficult if you’re a workaholic or someone struggling with addiction because you can be afraid of or uncomfortable getting away from your daily schedule, which may include attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Going away on vacation is so beneficial, addiction and health treatment centers in Europe frequently recommend it.
Once you master the hurdle and see the merits of taking a trip for what it is—a time to restore your mind, body, and spirit—you’ll be that much closer to laying down your plans for a terrific vacation, within budget. The first baby step is going away on weekend breaks.
No Work Allowed
It might be an uphill battle actually relaxing enough to let go of your home and work duties so that you’re not thinking about how things are going while you’re away. Simply do the best you can to find a coworker to substitute for you at work, and consider booking third-party people, such as a stay-at-home babysitter, to help with your child-caring duties. It certainly will take some foresight and planning, but your vacation will be worth it if you’re not afraid to have people step in for you for a time.
Vital to making sure work isn’t nagging your conscience is to completely “check out” of work-related tasks, such as peeking in your work email inbox, checking voice mail, or even receiving calls from work. While you’re away, have your travel buddies make sure you commit to self-healing, making this your overarching priority. Traveling on your own? Take your pet dog with you to a wilderness area or nature park where the both of you can play and walk together far from urban civilization.
A Final Thought
Getting away is a must if you want to build an enriching personal life outside of work. After all, you are not an automaton, no matter how much you’ve been internally programmed to succeed in life and at work. So try to leave your everyday life and responsibilities behind and take a vacation. You’ll be so happy you did.
Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both.
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