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The Short and Simple Guide to a Relaxing Vacation


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[hana-code-insert name=’socialbuttons’ /]“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
Sydney J. Harris

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
Ovid

Vacations can be great. You have time to spend with the people closest to you, to go traveling and to do the things you haven’t had time for during the winter and spring.

But vacations can also become spaces in time where there is much to do and where “musts” and “shoulds” fill up your time until you are back at work or school again and feel drained and not feel refreshed at all.

Perhaps you are starting your summer vacation soon. Or maybe it has already begun. Below you will find a four tips that will make it easier to make this vacation a refreshing and rejuvenating one.

1. Breathe.

Just slow down. Focus on your breathing and on the things around you instead of diving head first into a new to-do list. Just be here now and be mindful of yourself, the people around you and the summery landscape and sounds.

Whenever you are starting to feel stressed again, return to the relaxed space by taking belly breaths and focusing on just that for a while.

2. Accept instead of resisting how you feel right now.

Do you find it hard to shake the inner pressure and tensions that you are carrying around? I would then suggest to just accept that they are there. To tell yourself: “This is how I feel right now and I accept it”.

This may sound like you’re giving up. However, by accepting how you feel instead of resisting it you reduce the emotional energy that you are feeding into this tension/conflict/problem. It then tends to just kind of lose speed like a car that runs out of fuel. And oftentimes the tension/feeling/thought loop becomes so weak after while that it just moves out of your inner focus and disappears.

3. Plan to do nothing.

If needed, plan to do nothing. Just take time to relax and be. Waste your time with doing fun and/or laidback stuff. Think about your well-being and make decisions based on that rather than old traditions or “musts” and “shoulds” for example. This is your vacation so focus on what is most important.

If you get stressed because of something that you feel you should probably be doing during these days, then ask yourself: Will this matter in five years?

This question helps me remember that the small things we get wrapped up in when we feel stressed are often not that important when you view life from a wider perspective. And it helps me to make decisions about what is important to to take action on or to just let go.

4. Do what you love doing.

Just sitting back and relaxing can become a bit monotonous after a while. So use some of your vacation time to do what you love to do. The stuff that refreshes you and gives you new energy while at the same time releases your tensions. Perhaps it’s working on your book, playing with your children, fishing, playing the guitar, hiking or working on your old car.

And that’s short and simple guide to making this vacation a relaxing one. I hope you’ll have a great summer!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Arthur June 20, 2010, 1:53 am

    I read this blog post and felt it was a very pleasant reminder of some commonly known truths about relaxation.

    I also found the manner of how it was written, the very tone of the post, was… very relaxing to read! I loved it.

  • Tasneem R June 21, 2010, 9:40 am

    Thanks for the tips !!! Yes I’ m about to start with my summer holidays and will remember to be relaxed and patient all through my trip :-) To stay positive is the key to good health . You blog always inspires me .
    Here’s a Phd certified personality test , you or your readers may want to try –
    This test aims at discovering how well you know yourself.
    http://www.3smartcubes.com/pages/tests/selfawareness/selfawareness_instructions.asp

  • Billy June 21, 2010, 2:11 pm

    Hi there,

    I really like this post. I find that a balance of elaxation and entertainment on holiday works well for me. Relax sometimes and go find some adventure other times. Thanks for sharing your wisdom

  • Christopher Foster June 21, 2010, 6:15 pm

    Thanks for these thoughts Hendrik.
    “Just take time to relax and be.” Your words sum up such an important key to a happy life. Sometimes we forget what is really the most important thing — appreciating the simple presence of our own being… which turns out to include so much…

  • Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks June 22, 2010, 12:13 am

    Any tips for negotiating the accessibility factor via new technology (working via email, texting, cell) from work, supervisor, clients when you’re on vacation? Can people really detach?

  • ianmalone July 1, 2010, 9:31 am

    I also want to take a good break / vacation from work.. I need to relax and be refreshed… thanks for sharing your ideas.. It’s all great..

  • Giulia July 1, 2010, 4:13 pm

    Hi Henrick!
    very interesting post. I’ve just quoted it in Technogym Wellness Blog.
    You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/39zzyah

    I love the quote of Ovid! Really really truthful! ;-)

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