How to Truly Relax While on Vacation 3 min read
Have you ever returned from a vacation feeling like you need, well, a vacation? Why is this such a common sentiment amongst travelers?
If you feel like you’ve forgotten how to truly relax, you’re probably not too far off. Between the addictive pull of social media and a skewed work/life balance, it’s not surprising we don’t feel rejuvenated after some time away. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like this. But it does require a bit of pre-planning in order to ensure you bring those blissful vacation vibes home with you.
Set yourself up for success
Returning home from time away should feel bittersweet, not just bitter. Yes, your vacation is over, but you’re back in your own space full of your comforts and your cozy bed with just-right pillows. But, oftentimes, we leave the house in shambles before we depart on vacation and we return home to chaos.
Between finishing up work-related tasks before you set your out-of-office message and packing in a frenzy, we often come home to un-made beds, dirty laundry, spoiled food in the fridge and all sorts of general upheaval in our homes.
Taking the time to organize your living space before you leave is one of the best things you can do to ensure you maintain your vacation bliss after returning home. This might mean you take a later departure flight or even leave a day later. It will likely be worth it to have the time to pack in peace and check off your to-do list before you go.
A few things you can do before leaving on vacation:
- Clean out the fridge. Check all expiry dates and donate or chuck what won’t be good by the time you get back.
- Do the laundry. Get home and dump your suitcase into the washing machine without worrying about a backlog of dirty clothes.
- Make your bed. (Bonus: put clean sheets on it before you go!) There’s nothing like coming home late after a long flight to a clean, already-made bed.
- Finish up everything you need to do for work so you can set an out-of-office email and take real time off.
Another helpful tip? Save yourself a full day at home before returning to work to help you wind down after a day of travel, digest the trip and stay relaxed through the transition back to “real life.”
Take a social media detox
Sometimes if we don’t set the intention of actually relaxing, we get caught up in mindless activities (like scrolling through social media). If we aren’t living in the moment, our vacation will pass us by in a flash and we’ll be left feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed.
Before you leave, set the intention of taking a total social media detox and have a plan for how you want to fill your time. Read by the pool, play games, take long walks or do whatever helps you feel most present and alive.
And be honest with yourself. If a total detox isn’t feasible, don’t set yourself up for failure. Make a point of only checking email/Instagram/whatever before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. so you can spend the majority of your day intentionally.
Remember to take it easy
Whether you’re taking a beach vacation or spending a week in a big city, remember not to over-plan your days. It’s important to find time to try new activities, sample the local cuisine or visit local landmarks or museums, but remember to leave yourself time to breathe. It’s okay to spend an entire day on the beach or an afternoon lazing in a park.
If you can take a day before you leave to tidy up your space and your to-do list, focus on intentional downtime while you’re away, and say “no” to checking your email or social media, you’ll find it much easier to maintain the vacation vibes even after returning home.