It’s important to take a break every once in a while. Typically, we think this means setting aside a week every year for a long vacation.
While this is the perfect way to reset your mind and body annually, many people are not aware that it’s possible to take a “vacation” every single day!
Here are a few tips on how to maximize your vacation time, whether it’s a week at the beach or a few moments of silence:
How To Take Advantage Of Long Breaks
If you’re lucky enough to have several days a year to “escape from reality” for a bit, take advantage of it! While the kids are playing at the pool, use that time to reset your body, your mind, and your clock.
Normally, your body is constantly on the go. It never gets much time to relax and repair itself. Don’t worry about a fixed schedule; take advantage of your opportunity to embrace a “whenever” lifestyle for a change. Try to focus on the soothing breeze and fresh air. Allow yourself to relax…you’ll feel instantly rejuvenated.
In today’s world of instant gratification, the mind rarely has a second to rest. Everything is absorbed in short bursts of information, and anything that takes longer than a few seconds to process is quickly set aside because we “don’t have enough time.”
A long vacation is the perfect chance to slow your brain down. Instead of skimming through dozens of magazine articles, take time to finish an entire book from cover to cover. Meditate whenever possible. Remember to breathe deeply and often. Your brain will welcome the change in pace!
When we talk about resetting your clock, we don’t mean turning off your alarms (although this is a liberating experience!) Try to adopt a “beginner’s mind.” Immerse yourself in the sensation of simply being. Don’t focus on schedules, activities, tasks, places to be or things to do. Be grateful for the simple fact that you are.
Try to maintain this mentality throughout your long vacation. You’ll be surprised by how rejuvenated you feel at the end!
How To Take Advantage Of Short Breaks
It’s easy to unwind when you’re on a long vacation. The difficult part is maintaining that sense of calm throughout the rest of the year!
This is where daily “short breaks” are required. This can be accomplished at the most unexpected moments, and are oftentimes unplanned.
Focus on the fresh air and the sound of leaves blowing while on a walk with your dog. Take several deep breaths and try to clear your mind after returning to your desk from a meeting, before beginning your next task. Set a cushion on the ground and spend five minutes in meditation after your kids are down for their nap.
It’s also important to try to work some planned breaks into your schedule. Learn a new instrument and find a way to squeeze in 30 minutes of practice time every day. Sign up for a yoga class. Pick up pottery or painting lessons. And don’t forget to “reset your clock!”
We can’t stress the importance of vacation enough. Whether it’s for an entire week or just a few short minutes, you’ll be surprised by the benefits of taking some time for yourself!
Want to learn more ways to take advantage of your upcoming vacation? Click here to contact Nancy Logue, Ph.D.