The goal of a true vacation (and no, working from home during the holiday break doesn’t count as a vacation) is to relax, and refresh your mind and body from the stresses of your daily life.
Here are a few strategies you can use to make your vacation time an even more relaxing experience.
Plan a Relaxing Schedule. Your to-do list shouldn’t get longer when you’re on vacation. Planning activities is fine, of course, but make a point of building plenty of free time into your schedule. This is important for a number of reasons. It allows you to improvise if you discover a new activity you want to pursue. It creates wiggle room so unexpected delays and detours don’t destroy your entire itinerary. Downtime is a precious resource — use the ample time you’ve left in between planned activities to sit quietly and read a book, or take a nap.
Unplug from Work. It’s hard to relax if you always have one eye on your email or other reminders of your everyday responsibilities. Before your vacation, make a plan to delegate your work duties so they won’t derail your vacation. Set an away message for your work email (and even your personal email, if you use it for work), and leave a contact that people can reach if their message requires urgent attention. The most ideal vacation is one where you can turn off your ‘working self’ until you return.
Bring a Relaxed Mindset with You. One of the most important things to remember is that de-stressing won’t happen magically just because you’re in a new environment. Begin creating a relaxed mental space around this vacation while you’re planning it. Prepare for the things you can control, but remind yourself there will be unexpected events and schedule changes, and that’s okay. Practice fostering a mindset where you can roll with the punches, and adapt to whatever each day brings on vacation. Putting extra pressure on yourself to relax creates additional stress, which is counterproductive.
Let go of the stress, relax and enjoy the moment.