All winter we long for those precious summer weeks. And as the vacation dates are drawing closer, our agendas tend to fill up with deadlines and things that need to be done before we leave. So much so, that when our vacations finally begin, we’re often even more stressed than usual. Add to that the pressure many people feel to make each holiday unique and extraordinary, and it’s no wonder that we sometimes return to work even more tired than when we left.
So what’s the remedy? We’ve compiled 7 tips for a stress-free vacation.
Lower your expectations
Remember that the perfect vacation images that meet us every time we open our social media feeds are an edited version of reality. They don’t show the mosquito bites, the rainy days and the nagging. But those things are part of life, so just embrace them! The less hung up we are on our own image of the perfect holiday, the higher are our chances of actually experience one.
Drop the perfectionism
You don’t have to host a massive barbecue for everyone. And if you do, you don’t have to spend the day cleaning and cooking to create an Instagram-worthy setting. Focus on enjoying the time off, order food if you find cooking stressful and go with the flow. A little mess will just make your friends and family feel at home and show that you’re human.
Unplug and get off the grid
Yes, your hike might be full of Koda moments, but you might want to consider leaving your phone at home to be fully present. Or at least, log out from social feeds and turn off all notifications, so that you can enjoy your company and the present moment without distractions.
It sounds easy, but this is one that we often forget. Conscious, deep breathing works miracles on all kinds of stress, helps us regain our perspective and brings us back into the present. Take a few minutes now and then during the day, to do nothing but breathe. It can be genuinely
Don’t schedule everything
Let some days be empty and just experience them as they unfold. Children are the experts on just letting life happen. Smell the flowers, watch the bumblebees, enjoy the sun and listen carefully to what people are saying. Let things take their time.
A great way to reduce stress is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about noticing and accepting the present moment, whatever it may hold. Just noticing without judgment is a mindset and attitude that bring so much more harmony. Instead of cursing the rain, just notice and accept it. This is a joyful attitude that’s truly infectious.
We saved our most important advice to last. Of course, vacation means sauna! The more you sauna, the more relaxed you will be. It really is that simple.
We’ve written more about sauna and stress here.
Wishing you a great and relaxing vacation!