How to Take a Vacation from Your Life
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
“I need a vacation from my life.”
I can’t begin to count the number of times I heard this lament from busy individuals who are faced with overwhelming obligations and not enough time. (Would you believe there are ways you can get 30 hours back in your week?)
You won’t brook any arguments from me that a vacation is the perfect prescription. We all need that perfect escape now and then.
As you know, with escapes, you have to eventually come back to “reality.” But what if you don’t have to escape your reality? What if all you need is a mental reset, a point of clarity, a distancing from your problems, so you can look at them with fresh eyes?
The good news is you can! And you can do so without hopping on a plane or blowing your credit card limit.
Below is a list of 30 practical and simple things you can start doing today to recharge. Most of them are no more than 30 minutes and 1- 14 are absolutely free.
1. “Wow, I am so lucky!” Do you ever take a moment out of your day to say that? No? Then start now. What is the one thing in your life right now that is going right? Got one? Okay, now repeat after me, “Wow, I am so lucky! I have ____.” Because you do not lack for anything.
2. When I was in high school and things bothered me, and I felt no one understood my pain (permission to roll your eyes), I’d lock myself in my room, strap on my headset and get lost in my music. Maybe we adults need to give ourselves permission to brood like our teenaged selves from time to time.
3. Get a good haircut.
4. Dance. With friends at a club. Or by yourself in your whitey-tidy like Tom Cruise.
6. Go for a run.
7. Take your dog for a walk.
8. Hug your kids.
9. Shoot hoops with the guys.
10. Read something uplifting.
11. Play it forward. Volunteer your time, or…
12. Clean out your closet and garage and donate your things.
13. Take it poolside.
14. Play tourist in your hometown. Old Town is a neighborhood in Scottsdale that is a fun place to walk. I bet you have similar neighborhoods in your city that are pedestrian friendly.
15. Do an impromptu staycation at your favorite resort. In Metro Phoenix, resorts that are normally priced around $300-$500 go as low as $115 in the summer months. You’re welcome. (By the way, I’m not affiliated with this particular resort or Groupon.)
16. Partake in retail therapy. I normally wouldn’t encourage this since material things can become a habit forming vice. But if you can exercise a little restraint, then buying yourself a lipstick or shopping for a new outfit is definitely a mood lifter.
17. Do some self-care. Go get a manicure. (Gentlemen, this is no longer only for ladies).
18. Treat yourself to a 30 minute facial, or…
19. Untie those knots with a quick message, then go home and,
20. Relax with a glass of wine. And while you’re at it,
21. Give yourself a candlelight bath.
22. If you’re the type who needs to get physical…well, um, sex? Yes, let’s be blunt here. We’re all adults. Hopefully, no children under 18 are reading this post without parental consent. You want a different kind of physical? Then consider…
23. Putting on your boxing gloves and going toe to toe with a trainer or do a few round house kicks on the heavy bags at your gym.
24. Linger at your favorite coffee shop.
25. Take a friend and go to the movies. Give yourself permission to order the obscenely priced popcorn and soda.
26. If you absolutely don’t want to be around people, commune with nature. Go fishing. Go hiking. Get lost. I mean that figuratively. Please take a compass.
27. Write in your journal. It acts as a brain dump. Or try this next one out…
28. My friend Jennifer, an energy practitioner, takes her alone time seriously. She calls it her “Zen Jen time.” For a set number of hours, she blocks out the world and allows herself room to meditate, reflect or do whatever that’s needed to get herself recharged. She honors this time by putting it on her calendar as she would any other important appointment.
30. If none of the above works, I then highly recommend you take a real vacation.