THE POWER OF VACATION
What makes vacation feel like vacation? Is it the destination? The weather? The people you are with? Not being at work? Relaxing and being “stress free” is what I think we all want out of a vacation, but how realistic is that exactly? The first stages of planning a vacation is probably the most stressful, especially if you are traveling with the whole family. Deciding where to go, when to go, how much time you are able to take off work, if you’re taking the kids so how many days will they need to miss school, if not who’s watching them, are you taking the dog ordo you need a pet sitter, are we flying or are we driving, booking flights/hotel/rental car, planning activities, meal planning, budgeting, the list goes on. Then comes the packing and actually getting to your destination which can all be very overwhelming. However, once you are there with your favorite book or cocktail in hand and feet in the sand it is all worth it, isn’t it? There is just something about being away from home at our favorite beach or campground that I crave the minute I get back home.
I can’t think of a time where I didn’t feel an overwhelming feeling of gratitude while on vacation. I’ve had many moments of clarity while sitting under the stars next to a fire, or while watching waves crash on a beach realizing life is too short to stress about things that don’t actually matter. What truly matters is our mental health because if our mind is unhealthy, then our lives are unhealthy. Feeling burnt out at home or at work will lead to poor performance in either world. Having worked at places where taking time off resulted in being chastised for missing work and then working at a place where taking time off was encouraged, I can say that the quality of my work and my overall attitude was much better in the pro-vacation environment. Similarly, home life can be extremely stressful and exhausting especially if you have young children. Family vacations are a must! The memories made and bonding time during the early years of your kids life is irreplaceable. When my three kids were little, money was tight trying to make ends meet with only one income but we still made time to get away.
Taking time off to relax and re-boot should be just as acceptable as taking time off to see your doctor or dentist. I once read someone compared their overloaded mind to having too many open tabs up on their computer and not knowing where the music was coming from. Have you ever felt that way? I have absolutely felt like that, especially when my kids were little. When you have too many programs open on your computer, what does it do? It begins to run slower or it freezes and what is the first thing they tell you to do? Re-boot. Well, vacations can be exactly that for our bodies and our minds.
What can you do in your everyday life to give you that vacation feeling without leaving your home or taking time off work? Think of the things you look forward to the most when going on vacation. Is it not having to cook or do the dishes? Try going out to eat at a new restaurant once a week or once a month. Do you look forward to the super cozy hotel bed? Try upgrading your sheets and pillows. We did this a couple of years ago and it was a game changer, especially adding the down comforter! Do you love being outdoors? Try doing some of your regular everyday tasks outside, or even better, near a body of water. I love the sound of water so I have been looking into adding a fountain or small waterfall to our backyard. For me, knowing that I don’t have any appointments, calls to return, emails to reply to, or meetings to attend is a huge part of feeling like I am on vacation. Getting around that can be a little difficult in your everyday life, but try to put your phone down once you are off the clock. Don’t check your email if you don’t have to. Don’t overbook yourself trying to get as much done in a day as possible. Make time to wind down, make that a priority in your daily routine.
“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation” –Leo Tolstoy
Mayra Price is a Bookkeeping and Support Services Provider with Morrison, working primarily in our Business & Accounting Advisory practice. To get in touch with Mayra, please find contact information for Morrison here.