The first important thing to say about vacations is that they shouldn’t be filled with only “effective activities.” Productivity and self-development are now in high esteem, but you still don’t necessarily have to do only what develops you. Efficiency is good if you really want to learn a language, go for a run in the morning, or take a new course. But if right now you are more attracted to the idea of doing something “useless”, it means that in this situation you will be more energized by this kind of pastime. For example, see loved ones, do sports without overload, watch movies and TV series, go for a walk, play at Hellspin, swim, go on a comfortable trip.
For the time of vacation, it’s better not to plan business tasks that you have not had time to complete – try to delegate them and do not get involved in the work process. Remember that vacation is your legal right both legally and humanly. Don’t try to take three courses in a week and go to the gym seven times. A great deal of time and energy on vacation is often an illusion.
How to Truly Rest on Vacation
To recover, it’s best to plan moderate and enjoyable activities. But remember the balance and alternate between activity and quiet time alone with yourself. Changing activities is also effective for recovery, especially given the specifics of your job. If you don’t usually move much, incorporate moderate physical activity into your vacation, and if you work with your hands or walk a lot, prioritize intellectual pursuits like board games with friends or reading books. But even here, it’s important to find something you enjoy. Don’t try to do everything at once – choose what is the priority for your situation right now: an excursion or a day at the beach, socializing with people or an evening in bed? There is no right answer, there is only what is more relevant to you right now.
Taking Care of Yourself on Vacation
When on vacation, set aside time to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. It’s not always easy, but even an hour or half hour a day will be helpful. Studies say that solitude makes people happier, helps restore resources, and boosts creativity. A good option is to get away alone in nature and put your phone on night mode. You can also meditate, cook breakfast, or just walk on the beach, paying attention to your senses and the beauty of nature. Being able to savor such moments greatly enhances our positive emotions.
The second way to take care of yourself on vacation is to reduce not only the workload but also the household load. For example, you can afford to call a cleaning service or ask your loved ones to babysit. This way you will have more time to relax and enjoy yourself.
A third recovery option is to avoid regular and prolonged social media scrolling, which is detrimental to our well-being. Instead, choose to spend time in nature, going to the movies, and having pleasant conversations. This will help you get back to yourself and your life, as well as reduce anxiety that you’re “vacationing wrong” or “not good enough.”
Finally, the most important point is to consider your physical and mental health. If you feel that you have accumulated many difficulties and problems during a long work race, it’s time to seek help from a psychologist or at least establish a regimen and healthy diet.
If You Are Traveling to Another City or Country
In this case, understand how it’s necessary to rest exactly for you, to focus on your own well-being, not on the usual norms. Do not think that “if I go to the sea, lying in a hotel room late at night has no right!” – of course, this isn’t true. You have the right to plan excursions, a day by the sea, a party or not to plan anything at all. All the tips mentioned above are also relevant: stay alone with yourself, alternate between active and relaxed vacations, refuse from scrolling, delegate things, rely on your needs.
What to Do if You Can’t Relax
Fantasizing about a perfect vacation is one thing, but spending it relaxed can be difficult. This can be influenced by both external factors and internal factors – the “I cannot rest” attitude. And while the former isn’t always under our control, we can influence the latter. If you realize that you are scolding yourself for the lack of work tasks in your schedule or not enough learned and viewed, try to stop and think first. What do you need such a rush for? What do you need to load yourself up for? Is it possible to postpone plans? What happens if you don’t follow through? If the inner critic doesn’t give you a minute of rest, seek psychological help.
How to Get Back Into the Working Rhythm?
If planning a vacation isn’t always hard, then returning to work can feel like a real challenge. This happens because of the disrupted mode, because of the habit of being in a relaxed state, and because of a simple reluctance to work, which, by the way, is quite natural after a long pause. Therefore, if at the beginning of the vacation we adapt to the mode of rest, then when we go to work, we again go through adaptation, but already to the working conditions.
Here are some recommendations on how to prepare for this:
- A few days before the end of your vacation, return to your usual sleep and wakefulness routine, especially if your work routine is very different from your vacation routine.
- Try not to abuse alcohol during your vacation and especially in the last days before going to work, in order to gain strength, not to lose it.
- Don’t rush to finish all the most interesting and important things in the last days of vacation. Enjoy them.
If the time for work tasks has arrived and you don’t feel ready for them, try these self-help techniques:
- Try to dive into work gradually, reduce the workload in the first few days, and don’t berate yourself if you do a little less than usual. Of course, if the reduced activity doesn’t lead to a conflict with strict superiors.
- Plan to leave the vacation in the second half of the week to give yourself a chance to adapt gradually.
- Keep physically active after your vacation: start the day with a little exercise or end the evening with a gym or classes, if you have time and energy left.
- Spend time alone. Remember, setting aside 30-60 minutes a day for yourself is doable, and it will give you a chance to recover from a difficult day.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. Even if the vacation is over, you can still request help or do something non-ideal for the benefit of your mental health.
Remember that you have the right to recover, to do nothing while on vacation, to request help with household or children, and to do what you enjoy. Taking a full vacation not only allows you to be effective at work but also to take care of your physical and mental health. And it’s much more important than our efficiency.