It’s the Fourth of July – a day when most of us get the opportunity to kick back, relax, and celebrate our independence. This got me thinking... about independence, about vacations, and about giving ourselves a BREAK.
Did you know that a 2012 report commissioned by Expedia.com indicates that most employees take even LESS time off than they are allotted through their company? Worse still, 28% of those polled said they didn’t take vacation for work-related reasons. And for those lucky ones who actually did get some time off? 34% of them reported checking work email regularly or constantly while on vacation (note: I have definitely been one of the 34%).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am ALL for having a career you love and putting your best feet forward, but you have to balance hard work with downtime. Your body needs time to recuperate, regenerate, and refresh in order for you to be the best employee possible.
Let’s think about this another way. In ten years, will your company say, “Wow, we’re so happy Ms. X didn’t take that weeklong vacation to Peru. This place would have just CRUMBLED.” Nope, they won’t.But in ten years, you’ll say “I wish I’d taken that trip to Peru when I’d had the chance.” You never know what obligations you’ll have THEN.
That all being said, maybe you just can’t take a real vacation this year. That’s OK.
VACATION IS A STATE OF MIND.
You can take a vacation any where, any time.
Here are three suggestions for taking a vacation without (really) going anywhere.
Take a Media Break
We are all absolutely BOMBARDED every hour of every day with information – whether from TV, radio, online news sources, or social media – it can be hard to escape. I challenge you to UNPLUG for just ONE DAY. It’s amazing how relaxed you’ll feel.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town
Whether you live in the big city or a small town, chances are there are parts of your area that you’ve never seen. Spend a day exploring where you live.
This could mean hiking a new trail, walking through a new neighborhood, going on a guided tour, or checking out a new restaurant. Notice that keyword ‘new’ here – the trick is to do something DIFFERENT than you normally do.
Give Yourself the Spa Treatment
Can’t afford a fancy spa weekend? Instead, spread out spa-like appointments over the course of a week.
Go to a yoga class on Monday, get a mani/pedi on Tuesday, get your hair done on Wednesday, visit a juice bar on Thursday, and treat yourself to a massage on Friday. Enjoy the spa aspect of each day for what each individually gives to you. If even this is a stretch for you, take just a couple hours at home and give yourself the spa treatment there. Take a bubble bath, paint your toes, put on a face mask – whatever it is you enjoy doing... Just do it.
I, myself, won’t have the opportunity to take a ‘real’ vacation this year, but I will definitely be implementing all three of these strategies to take me to that vacation mindset.
What about you? What can you do to enjoy a vacation without going anywhere? Leave your thoughts in the comments.