Vacation is a magical time for rebooting and recharging. A couple times a year my body craves it even at the cellular level. Today I am writing about my life-hacks to ensure a great healthy vacation.
What weird timing for a vacation post, isn’t it? Yes, summer is over, and it seems like many of us are getting back to work, school, other regular routines. But some of us are still planning a vacation, right?
This post is a bit of self-reflection. This summer I had an amazing opportunity to take some well deserved time off. I met with my parents, traveled to a few wonderful places, and generally got some good rest and reset for the year ahead. Despite the fact that I was always with a crowd, I was trying to stay observant and connected to myself as much as I could. My ultimate goal was to relax, nourish myself, and enjoy the vacation as much as possible, while being present in every moment with my family, listening to every word they have to say with passion and just “being” there.
Today I want to share my thoughts on how to ride on a wave of relaxation and get maximum pleasure while maintaining a healthy lifestyle on vacation whether it is a month long trip or just a few days away.
1. Creating a big picture by answering the question, how do I want to feel?
Asking myself this simple question always helps me to get into the right mindset. When I set intentions like “I am fully present in each moment”, “I feel and experience joy”, “I feel grateful for every minute with my family”, “I am fully recharged and refreshed after this vacation”. This helps me to enjoy my time without stressing over some minor things because on a grand scale small stuff does not matter.
2. Not everything needs to be planned perfectly
Typically, I love to start my day writing to-do lists. It is a helpful tool for getting things done. On vacation, I am trying to be much more flexible. Instead of carefully planning every day I am keeping in mind the big picture of how I want to feel. Letting myself move with the flow is really rewarding and often brings me to the right place at the right time. Generally, my rule is simple: be present and follow the flow. Busy life, especially in a large city, makes us push ourselves too hard sometimes. I am currently working on reintroducing this idea on going with the flow beyond vacation.
3. Take a great book
Vacation is a perfect time to start a new story, or finish an old one, or read an interesting non-fiction, or spiritual book with meditations (btw, Journey to the heart and The Four Agreements are a few of my favorites). Choosing a right book It is like choosing a right partner for a trip. Plus, it is an opportunity to learn something new. Just make sure it is pleasurable and fun for you. Sometimes I prefer digging into reading, while other times — listening is a more suitable way to enjoy the book.
4. Make an agreement with yourself about work
When I can not completely unplug and still need to work on vacation (which is not the perfect case), I prefer to set boundaries with this work even before I left the house to go to the airport. I set a comfortable amount of time which I will spend working and never go beyond that point. As an example, tell yourself that it is going to be one/two hours a day in the morning, or afternoon, or any time which works best. Stick with this agreement, and do not feel guilty.
5. Move that body
Instead of a regular workout, I love letting my body to choose the movement it prefers each day. Doing some yoga or stretches in the morning, followed by swimming in the salty water or exploring a new city can be a perfect organic work out. One of my favorite types of movement is a walk on the beach! Keep in mind that sometimes our bodies simply need rest and long naps. Keep it organic and enjoy!
6. Practice mindfulness with food
Having a big picture in mind of how I want to feel helps me a lot with letting all stress go, especially related to food choices. Sometimes my husband and I do some light research on places to eat, especially in small towns. It will also help to check the menu before we go somewhere since it is available online. But generally, I do not like strict rules with food. I had periods in my life when I was stressed to eat out. Now I am much more relaxed. I have learned to trust my body and stick with common sense. I know that almost every place has some kind of fresh vegetables as sides or salads available. If I want to try a new dish, a dessert or a glass of good wine, I will do so if it will make me happy. I love to remind myself that even the most healthy food will not be as good for your body if it was eaten under stress and frustration. So, savor every bite, enjoy the social interactions, and the present moment.
7. Let all stress go
Although it can be difficult, vacation is the perfect time to practice letting go. Albert Einstein said, that problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. So I love to not think about my problems for a while, letting myself grow by soaking in calmness, beauty and being right here right now, understand that future does not exist yet and I am capable of creating my future. According to the law of the attraction, happiness attracts more happiness. So let yourself be happy and grateful for everything. Let everything go.
Now, what do you think about this post? What helps you to have a great vacation? I am excited to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below or on social media!