How to Truly Unwind on Vacation

Relax sul pratoSo you’re headed off on a much needed vacation – go you!  Surely you’re excited but maybe a bit stressed too, as you’re trying to wrap things up at home and prepare for your trip.  Today we’re bringing you tips on how to truly unwind on vacation.

Tie up lose ends before you leave.  If you feel confident that things are taken care of on the home front, you’ll be able to relax more on vacation.  This may mean putting in a few extra hours to get things done in the office or at least creating a memo for co-workers to know exactly where things stand so they can fill your shoes in your absence.  Do the same for anything you have going on for social, volunteer or familial projects.  Don’t let the stressful details of things you’ve forgotten to do or tell someone weigh on your mind when you’re trying to enjoy your trip.

Designate a brief time to check-in every day.  For those who are extremely dedicated to their work, severing communication for 2 weeks may not be an option.  And certainly you will want to communicate with your children if they’re staying home while you are on an adult vacation.  Set aside time when you can be reached by your boss or caregiver every day.  Obviously anyone should contact you in the event of a huge emergency, but otherwise, let them know that you will be checking emails, voicemails or calling-in at a certain time.  This will put everyone at ease, including you.  But do be mindful of your own boundaries and don’t make yourself more available than necessary.  This will eat into your down time on vacation.

Wind down slowly.  It’s hard to go from 100 mph to a complete halt.  Instead, give yourself time to wind down from a stressful period and ease into vacation mode.  If you have a few days to spend at home before your trip, that may help.  Otherwise, keep you mind occupied without focusing on your daily tasks, such as doing a puzzle, Sudoku or reading a stimulating or motivating book.  As your vacation progresses, switch gears to more relaxing activities like watching movies, reading a juicy novel or flipping through magazines.

Plan challenges and adventures on vacation.  If you are a goal-oriented person, lying on the beach for days-upon-days may not be fulfilling.  Rather, select several challenging activities during your vacation.  Perhaps it’s climbing a nearby mountain, taking a cooking class or trying to pick up on the local language.  After all, vacation you should be more relaxed, but you’re not an entirely different person.  Don’t deny your natural instincts for adventure and challenge.  Instead embrace them and let them add fun and excitement to your vacation.

Use relaxation techniques.  If you find yourself stressed on vacation, seek relaxation techniques early so you don’t waste your entire trip.  Employ meditation and deep breathing to try to loosen up.  You can also get a massage or spend an entire day soothing yourself at a spa.  Do what it takes to really unwind so you feel rejuvenated and refreshed rather than regretting the fact that you couldn’t chill on your vacation.

Wind up slowly too.  When it is time to reenter your “real world,” do so slowly and with caution.  Don’t destroy all the relaxation you enjoyed by abruptly returning to stressful situations.  Try to have a day at home to unpack, do your laundry, do some prep work for your job and think about the challenges ahead.  Hopefully everything will seem easier to handle after your vacation.  Try to remember the fun you had and go into your new week with a cheery, positive, relaxed attitude like you had on vacation.

We hope you can use these tips to truly unwind on vacation.  Enjoy!!

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