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2020/21 have been unusual years. You may have been working less and feel like you don’t need a vacation. Even though you were working less you weren’t on vacation. You may have been working harder. A vacation is a time to step away from all the concerns of your job, in an office, in a home office and tasks in your home. This break from normal routines and responsibilities lets you rejuvenate and have more energy in the future. Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP says in The Importance of Taking a Vacation, “A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. The bottom line is, taking time away from the stresses of work and daily life can improve your health, motivation, relationships, job performance, and perspective and give you the break you need to return to your lives and jobs refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes. ”
Now you know why you deserve one here are some styles of vacations to plan in 2021.
A vacation from your computer.
Most of your work is on your computer. Close it and put it away. Pretending to be on a vacation by looking at your computer less frequently is not a break from work. Put an autoreply message on your email explaining when you will respond to emails.
A vacation from your normal routines
A stay at home vacation might be the perfect solution for you this year. Take time to plan it. “Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip!” Don’t miss out on the planning. Change your normal routines, bedtime, getting up in the morning, meal times, activities. Stay up later, get up later, have breakfast in bed, eat out, order in, go for walks, swims, rent a bike, sit in your backyard/balcony, read. Think of all the things you enjoy doing and make a plan for each day of your vacation. Fill it with things that you love doing, want to try for the first time and that are not part of your normal routines. Here is an article that has 100 activities for kids.
A vacation from your town/city
You may not want to stay overnight in hotels. You can still plan a vacation outside of your city limits. There are many communities that surround where you live. Plan day trips to see local sites and visit markets, parks and walking trails. Trying googling 5 free things to do in ……. to get ideas of activities and sites to see.
A vacation from loneliness
During Covid19 there were times when you needed to stay home. You may have gotten used to doing your own thing. We are social beings and need to interact with others. Plan on meeting with someone each day of your vacation. Plan a social distancing picnic. Each of you brings your own food and meet at a lovely spot to talk. If talking is not your strong suit, meet up with a friend and play a game. It can be a board game, frisbee, throw a ball or try kubb.
A vacation to try new activities
There nothing better about a vacation than doing something new. If you can’t travel somewhere new do something new. Take a week of lessons and learn how to paddleboard, sew, bike, play an instrument, paint etc. Treat yourself to a new spa treatment every day. Eat at restaurants you’ve never visited before. Public golf courses have lovely patios that overlook beautiful green spaces. Try camping. Start in your own backyard and then explore other campsites.
A vacation to support your country
The country you live in has a lot to offer. Too often we don’t appreciate what is right in front of us. Use your vacation to help local businesses and the tourist industry. Whether you want to travel far or close to home, book a hotel or resort and spend your vacation dollars helping to stimulate the economy. Over many years I have visited all the provinces and 2 of the 3 territories in Canada. I am proud to tell people of the lovely places I have seen, the great people I have met, the fun experiences and delicious food.
A vacation to support your mental wellness.
We all need a break from the stress of work and the uncertainty of the future. Take time to focus on what you need. Plan your vacation to be only in the present. It may be a stay at home or an away from home location. Enjoy what is around you, interact with people who encourage you, experience things that refresh you. You may want to try meditation, yoga or exercise. Take time to try new healthy foods and recipes. Experience nature. Plan each day with activities that will renew you so you can handle what comes next.
A vacation to be with family
During Covid19 some of you may be feeling like you need a vacation away from family. That is ok too. Communication and interactions with family members may have been strained over the last couple of months. Take a break, laugh together, do new things, go somewhere unexpected. Together, plan a vacation. You may decide that each member of the family plans one day and you all do it. Each member may get to pick one activity they want to do and you combine all the suggestions together. Take the pressure off the person who usually needs to make all the plans. Use the time to reset relationships, build new respect for each other and have fun. I have learned when doing family vacations it is really important to plan into each day a time when everyone does their own thing for a while. Alone time is just as important as together time during a vacation.
Plan a short vacation
Some places still have restrictions on where you can travel. Plan a number of shorter vacations. Here are some tips on how to pack light.
The trick to packing for a short trip is to take items that can be used in more than one way. Take a large bag or backpack with you for items you want handy while you are in transit. You can use that bag for shopping, hiking or at the beach. Pack a small handbag in your carry-on suitcase to use after you arrive, in the evening and site seeing. Take one neutral coloured skirt or pants to wear each evening and pack tops that can be worn in the evening and then more casually with shorts the next day. This eliminates separate evening and daytime apparel for a short trip. Sports clothing can take up a lot of space. For running, hiking biking take clothes that can be hand washed reducing the amount you need to bring. Although having a wide variety of swimwear may be fun pack 2 outfits that you can mix and match to make 4. Reduce the number of jackets you take by wearing layers, pack a long-sleeved shirt that you can wear alone or over a t-shirt in case it is cool or you need to cover up from the sun. You will need a sweater/lightweight jacket for the evening and a windbreaker for the day. Combine the 3 layers to help you stay, cool, warm or dry. Having a colour scheme so all of your clothes go together well gives you lots of outfits to mix and match. While you are in transit wear the shoes that take up the most space and pack the ones that need less space in your carry-on suitcase. The last thing to do is make a list of what you packed so the next time you go on a short trip the packing is even easier.
Take time for a vacation and let me know what you did to refresh so you will be better able to handle what comes next.
If you want to talk over your vacation plans, book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing appointment. It allows me to support you by providing planning and coaching while both remaining safely at home. https://mindoverclutter.as.me/virtualorganizingassessment
Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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