The Psychology of Vacation
Travel has always been a source of a special kind of excitement and joy for me. Its the anticipation of something to look forward to, almost like the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
A vacation allows you to mentally take a break from your normal daily routine from going to a 9-5 to doing your weekly grocery shopping, which can get a little old at times.
Vacation by Type and Need
Based on your personality and preferences, the type of vacation you take varies. You can opt for adventure, sightseeing, family timr and/or relaxation. I once took a 4-week long trip through Europe, was it relaxing? No. What I did get was a memorable experience full of adventure, getting lost in the streets of Rome and more European history and art than I could handle.
Looking For Relaxation?
Here are a few tips on how to feel more relaxed on vacation:
- Set boundaries and turn on your out of office reply. Let family and work colleagues know you will be unavailable
- Select a vacation spot that lends itself to relaxation. Las Vegas, might not be your best bet here
- Don’t overschedule yourself. We often times commit ourselves to activities and tours just for the sake of saying we did everything TripAdvisor suggested
- Don’t use your vacation as a selfie opportunity. I know we would like most people to believe that we live this fabulous life, but what’s the use if you’re not fully present and enjoying the moment
Listen to Your Body
After a personal loss this year, I found myself in need of some of space to recharge and to release some old, negative energy. I decided that a 5-day mind body retreat to Costa Rica would be the right move. I hesitated for a minute, coming up with excuses of why I shouldn’t go. Then, my body’s intuition kicked in, and I quickly booked the trip. I got 3 healthy meals a day, 2 yoga classes a day, and a bevy of spa treatments and outdoor excursions to choose from. The sights and sounds of this Costa Rican mountainside were a nice departure from the hustle and bustle of city life. Taking naps and sitting down and reading a whole book through was no longer a luxury.
When I arrived, I became overwhelmed with emotion. I was so grateful I had listened to my body, and that I had set aside this time to really practice self-care. I am reminded that even when I am not on vacation, that I can listen to my body and ask what it needs. Have I been drinking enough water? Have I connected socially with others? Am I taking enough computer breaks? These questions are important because you don’t want to have to escape to another city or country just to get a break. Start planning mini-breaks within your day, week and month, and take note of how you feel when you do and when you don’t.