Take Your Vacation With You.

Lying on the beach without a care (Lake Okoboji, IA)

I just wrapped up a sweet vacation at Lake Okoboji.  This week long summer break was very relaxing for myself and family and showed me a new perspective on life (stay tuned for my future posts and rants about this..)

But as I was packing our things for our trip home, I thought, why not pack my vacation with me?  I am talking about packing non-tangible things, of course. Yes, the souvenier cup from the Barefoot Bar will remind me of my relaxing time off while I am back home, but I'm talking about packing the emotional and psychological aspects of a vacation. 

According to Jeroen Nawijn, a tourism researcher at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, our trip's psychological payoffs wear off within two weeks, either directly or gradually.   This is a serious bummer, and I'm sure many of you have directly experienced Mr. Nawijn's findings.  My blissful vacation experience combined my constant search for well-being has led me to create the following list of ideas and tips to blend your work/home self with your vacation self.  Here we go! 1.  Let go of the opinions of others.  "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do." (Eleanor Roosevelt).  And since we're getting into it, wear what you want without thinking about it. Take that feeling of being in a place where no one knows you and allow yourself to be yourself, freely, everywhere you go. 2.  Find and go with your natural sleep rhythm. I know, I know.  We all have commitments that we need to be on time for.  But....have you ever given yourself the time to discover your own natural sleep pattern?  Give it a try when you have a day or two off.  You will soon discover that you have a natural alarm clock that lives inside of you!  Honor it and you will be more productive, alert, and most importantly - happy! 3.  Get outside.  Swim, hike a trail, bike, play tennis, practice yoga near a tree, plant something, swing with the kids....these are just a few!  Try to get outside everyday, even for just 30 minutes.  Give yourself the time to enjoy this lovely and amazing world we get to be a part of! 4.  Take time each day to do nothing.  "Time you enjoyed wasting, was not wasted." (John Lennon).  Don't read, check you email, text, watch tv, answer the phone, fold clothes, shop.  Yes, do nothing.  Carve out an hour if you can anytime - morning, noon or night to just sit and relax.  If having a cup of tea or wine or whatever helps you with this, I consider that still doing nothing...the point is to turn off distractions and just sit with yourself.  Just allow yourself time to be... 5. Check out all things Local.  On vacation we tend to check out the local art, parks, restaurants, bars, museums, shops.  Check out the wonderful and sometimes overlooked local things in your own city or town or even neighborhood that you have overlooked.  And if you are really lucky...walk there!! Please post and share your own comments, suggestions and experiences with implementing any or all of these ideas.   Enjoy this day,