How to Make Your Vacation Last (Well Beyond Your Vacation) 

Written by Cheryl Brause

Summer means vacation time. It’s a season that most people look forward to all year – long sunny days, time spent outdoors and a much-needed break from our busy routines. However, switching from work-mode to vacation-mode can sometimes be a challenge. It can take a few days at the start of a vacation to unwind. Then, just as you begin to sink into a slower, more relaxed mode, you hear that little voice inside your head telling you that vacation is almost over, as your shoulders begin to tense up again.

So, how can you learn to truly enjoy your time off while you are away? And, how can you maintain that vacation mindset once you are home and back at work? Below are some tips and tricks on how to do just that.

While on vacation . . .

Be Where You Are

Focus on your surroundings and what is right in front of you. Unplug from your phone and computer and make a rule not to check your email more than once a day. Leave your work at home. Anytime your mind begins to fixate on the work you left behind or what lies ahead when you return, remember to refocus your attention on where you are now.  It takes practice to relax into the present moment, but with practice you will learn to let go of your thoughts of the past or the future so you can make the most of the present and your time away.

Slow Down

Vacations are the perfect opportunity to slow down. You can more quickly create a calm and peaceful mindset if you purposefully slow down. Walk slowly as you notice what’s around you. Plan less to do each day. Schedule time to simply read a book, take a walk or enjoy your time with family and friends. By slowing down, you can foster a greater connection to yourself, to others and to the world around you. Time too will seem to slow down if you slow down with it.

Bringing that Vacay Mindset Home with You . . . 

Too often all the slowing down and the feeling of ease and relaxation we enjoy during our vacation, seems to leave our bodies and minds the moment we are back at work or back to our daily routine. However, we don’t have to save that vacation mindset for vacation. In fact, we can make everyday more like a vacation. Here’s how:

Start your day off slowly

Most of us hear our alarms each morning and like a good thoroughbred at the starting gate, the bell sounds and we are off to the races. We grab our phones and check our emails and calendars, or scan the news, even before getting out of bed.  In an instant, we are already feeling the stresses of the day.

To make each day more peaceful and calm, try something different. Start your day off slowly. Set your alarm half an hour earlier and enjoy a few minutes of quiet breathing and relaxation before getting out of bed. Stretch your body while taking a few deep breaths. Stay in bed for a few extra minutes and enjoy the pleasure in that.  Finally, take a moment to be grateful for a new day full of possibilities.

Mindfully Move Through Your Morning Routine

Slowly and mindfully move through your morning routine.  Enjoy your shower or your first cup of coffee without rushing. Take in the full experience of your morning rituals. By being present as you brush your teeth, shower or drink your coffee, these activities can be a type of meditation as you place your full attention on each activity. Mindfully moving through your morning routine without rushing can help you experience more joy and ease at the start of your day, just as you do while on vacation. Those wonderful moments each morning can set you up for a calmer, less stressful and more enjoyable day ahead.

Spend Your Time Wisely

You may be saying, “I don’t have time for that.” The truth is all we really have is time. It is really more a question of how we choose to fill our time that matters most. It may be a question of choosing to take 10 minutes to truly listen to a child or friend, to gaze at the beautiful sky, or to take a few deep breaths.

To bring more relaxation into each day, schedule into your day a few things that bring you joy and relaxation and move them to the top of your “to do” list. Become aware of what feels good and is truly important to you and make those activities a priority each day. Similarly, know what does not feel good and limit those activities. Those precious moments of joyful activity may seem small, but it is those beautiful moments each day that add up to your life, so choose wisely.

Savor the Moment

Did you ever notice how delicious food tastes when you are on vacation? That’s often because we truly savor our experiences when we slow down and truly pay attention. We watch a beautiful sunset or take an hour to read a good book or truly enjoy a delicious meal when on vacation. We can bring that same savoring into our everyday lives by setting an intention to savor more moments, meals, and people every day. Just like watching a beautiful sunset on vacation, we can have more moments like this if we learn to slow down and appreciate where we are. It is amazing how alive we feel and how rich and full these moments can be every day when we slow down and really show up for them.

So, don’t save your calm self for vacations, bring your vacation mindset home with you and enjoy more calm, peace and relaxation every day by following these simple tips.

Come sit with Cheryl on Journey LIVE Sunday – Thursday at 9 PM ET and for our Mom Community Class on Mondays at 1 PM ET.

Everyday Mindfulness
Cheryl Brause
Written by Cheryl Brause

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