I just got back from vacation. It was great, don’t get me wrong. But after a week or two of sitting around, having nothing pressing to do…I was ready to have something to do. This morning, I woke up ready to work.
Vacations are great because you get to experience life with little worries. There’s something empowering about relaxing for so long; I know that, at least for me, chilling out allows me to put the rest of my life in perspective.
At the end of my trip, I was thinking a lot about how I wish I could bottle up the feeling that a good two-week long vacation gives me. I figured there has to be a way to get the benefits of a vacation without actually going on one; especially because I don’t think it’s practical for everyone to take two week holidays all the time.
What is a vacation but doing what you want for a little bit, without having your to deal with your usual and ever-growing list of things you need to do, anyway? Surely we can all incorporate a little, half-an-hour vacation into each of our weeks, if not days.
Call it me-time, call it self-care—I’m going to call it a thirty-minute vacation, because I think it sounds fun.
Here are some ideas to incorporate a little break into your every day:
- Wake up early enough to make a cup of coffee/tea/water and actually sit down to drink it. I can’t tell you how many cups of coffee I’ve left on the kitchen counter that I wish I had enough time to finish. Drink while you read the paper, listen to a podcast, or just sit in blessed silence.
- Set an expectation for yourself that you’ll go offline at least thirty minutes before you actually want to go to sleep. Use these thirty minutes for good, not evil. This means you need to do something that actually relaxes you during this time, and not something that sounds like it’s relaxing, but really isn’t. Watching the news is a great example of something that sounds innocuous but can be a huge stressor for people.
- If you can’t set aside 30 minutes a day because of your job or your kids, make sure you get an hour in each weekend of doing whatever it is that you find relaxing. If this means sleeping in, getting lunch with a friend, or watching your favorite Netflix show, it’s so important that you find time to refresh yourself. Knowing you can find time for yourself, and that it’s important to do so, will absolutely help you tackle life with a higher level of enthusiasm.
- Exercise! As if the endorphins aren’t enough, taking time to take care of yourself physically and mentally will make you feel better than, dare I say it, a long week of doing nothing.
- Cook something nice for lunch the next day. Put on some nice music and treat your future self to a thoughtfully prepared meal that you wouldn’t usually take for lunch.
Find something that makes you relax and do it passionately. Life is too short to not enjoy yourself vacation-to-vacation.