How to Make Your Daily Life More Like a Vacation

I took a nice two weeks vacation last month. I was thrilled, but even shortly before the trip, I also feared the awful feeling of returning. This is not the best attitude, but when the vacation flies by so quickly, it’s easy to get worried. Before you know it, you are stuck in the same routine that you were in before leaving. This time, I wanted things to be different.

When I travel, I almost feel like a different person. I want to know more. I can laugh at myself more. I hate to say this, but I’m happier. Of course, vacation can be lazy and condescending; they make you happy by design. But I was wondering if there was more to it than that. I wondered what it is about travel that puts you in a completely different state. So during this trip I noticed. My goal was to identify the benefits of vacation and incorporate them into my daily life.

Distance for a fresh perspective

When I return from a trip, I have a new perspective, I’m better at problem solving, and it’s easier for me to shrug off small, distracting annoyances. This is due to the mental distance of the correct break.

Taking breaks helps you stay motivated, creative, and efficient – a growing body of research confirms this. According to Scientific American , your brain performs all kinds of restorative functions during a break:

… that many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime … Downtime replenishes attention and motivation in the brain, promotes productivity and creativity, and is essential for both peak performance and simple formation of lasting memories in everyday life. a life.

We’ve already told you why relaxation is important as well , so I won’t go into details. The point is, taking a break is a mental distance from everyday bullshit. Breaks, downtime, distance – whatever you call it, it works wonders for your brain. This is why vacation is so essential.

Take Better Breaks

I already use the Pomodoro Technique to remind myself to take breaks. But my breaks often involve thinking about work, answering emails, or doing other tasks that require solving problems. I always look forward to getting back to my desk and keep a close watch on the clock. All in all, I half regret my breaks. I don’t distance myself from anything, which makes them useless.

Mental distance is easier on vacation – out of sight, out of mind. But when your daily life and work is ahead, it becomes more difficult. I’ve found that the key to taking a proper break is to distance yourself physically in order to distance yourself mentally. Here’s what helps:

  • Take breaks from natural outdoor environments : A 2008 study published in the journal Psychological Science found that subjects performed better cognitive functions after spending time in a relaxed natural environment.
  • Plan lunch with a friend : Social commitment helps me get out of work (if I’m not talking about work, which I try not to).
  • Break Ease : An hour before break, I switch to my laptop or work somewhere other than my home office. When I’m away from the office, it’s easier for me to take a break.
  • Leave your phone , otherwise, I really want to check it for time, email, or other distractions. However, I have to keep track of the time myself.

For me, it just helped to reconsider my breaks. I had no problem remembering their reception, but I had to learn how to take them correctly. When I do this, it is like a mini-vacation, as far as my perspective and mental capacity allows. Yes, getting the right vacation is still important. But also the breaks.

Leave work behind at the end of the day

Another important way to distance yourself from work is to make sure that at some point you actually end your day. Work is easy to take home with you, and here are some tips to stop work and go home for the night :

  • Schedule an activity right after work — if you have somewhere to go, it’s harder to just spend “five more minutes” at work. We know that five minutes easily turns into an hour.
  • Ask a friend or family member to call you as a reminder. Likewise, you can set an alarm.
  • Schedule a daily task review : I love this because it suggests an end to your work day.

Creating boundaries between your work and family life is very important. It gives you distance, and with it, a new perspective.

Embrace novelty to make you feel happy and motivated

I love being on vacation because I love to travel and I love to travel because I love seeing new places. The key word here is new . Newness does many wonderful things with our brains – it improves our memory, makes us happy, and motivates us.

And the novelty is what makes the trip so enjoyable. All new. Even the smallest activities, such as lunch, are enjoyable because they are new experiences.

Ordinarily, everyday life doesn’t feel like something new. For the most part, you do the same thing, see the same people, and live in the same place. I love what I do, who I see and where I live, but it’s easy to get bogged down in a routine when everything is … well, routine.

Practice mindfulness

But there are ways to reap the benefits of newness in everyday life, even if it does seem old. Harvard professor Ellen Langer says you need to be careful . It’s easy to dive into meaningless routines at work and at home, even if you have an interesting job and live in an interesting place. Traveling deliberately disrupts that routine, so it’s much easier to be mindful while traveling – you don’t have a routine and everything is different.

It has become a buzzword, but mindfulness is a useful concept. We have written about this in detail , but mostly it is about being more aware and focused on the present moment. This is how you notice new things. And by noticing, you experience your daily life in a new way. This is how I have worked to be more considerate since I returned:

  • I meditate (in my own way ): I try to be more “present” in my boring daily activities. How to cut vegetables. Sounds silly, but it helps. Meditation allows me to concentrate more and pay attention to each experience .
  • I have the best morning routine: As with my breaks, I had a tendency to constantly disrupt my morning routine. So I updated it to force myself to be more mindful. For example, I start my day by writing in a journal, not digital. Pen to paper helps me focus better.
  • I Turn Off (Sometimes) : We all know our devices can be distracting. But sometimes I don’t understand how bad it is. For me, this is a reflex – I thoughtlessly take my phone and browse Instagram. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing – I just tap! On vacation, I had to remind myself to stop doing this. I remind of myself in everyday life and now. I turn off my phone more often and find out that I have staring at the phone triggers. Resisting this urge makes me more real.

Beyond awareness, accepting newness is as easy as trying new things. Not everyone has the opportunity to travel to distant places for this. This does not mean that new things are prohibited.

Be a tourist in your own city

I grew up in a small town and went to college in nearby Houston. I wanted to see the world more, but unfortunately I couldn’t afford it. So, in college, I went on weekends to nearby townships – Galveston, Lake Jackson, Humble. Many would laugh at calling it a “journey,” but I focused on the novelty. I was looking for how these cities were different from my own. I was looking for historical sites and learning something new. The novelty is good for you. You will most likely find him traveling the world, but you can find him in your area too.

Get rid of your comfort zone

Accepting newness is as simple as trying a new restaurant. Or go to an event you don’t usually go to. And remember, you don’t have to try something new. Vacation is often uncomfortable: you might eat something you don’t like, sleep in strange places, or (ahem) pee on your haunches in the toilet. You are still experiencing or learning something new. Perhaps embracing newness in everyday life is as simple as saying yes to things that are outside your comfort zone .

Keep in mind – it’s still important to get back into your comfort zone. It allows you to appreciate everything new and interesting that you do, because it gives you something to compare with. Hedonic adaptation occurs when newness loses its … newness.

Free up your schedule and make room for spontaneity

Aside from the mental distance and novelty of exploring new places, vacations are great because you don’t have any obligations. I like to explore without a schedule or agenda – it’s liberating. And this is very different from my daily life, filled with responsibilities, deadlines and social obligations.

I love how relaxed I feel on vacation. While there are some commitments in my life that cannot be removed, I knew that I could also get rid of many of them. I do a lot of things that I don’t like because I ‘m afraid to refuse people.

Learn to say no

It sounds depressing, but I actually made a list of things in my daily life that I didn’t like for one reason or another. Maybe they were bored. Maybe I didn’t have time for them or I couldn’t afford them. The list consisted mostly of what I feared – commitments that, when I thought about them, changed my mood. Then I broke the list down into three categories:

  • Things I Can’t Help About : Tasks Needed for Any Job
  • Things I Can Do Something With: Extra work I didn’t have time for
  • Something I hate, but good for me: jogging, volunteering.

After that, I decided to do something about the commitments I was in control, which meant that I had to face a great fear of saying no to people. I found ways to do it without being an asshole , and of course people understood me. It took a lot of stress off and made me feel a little more relaxed as a person I am on vacation.

Do not book yourself

Another way I’ve introduced this sense of freedom into my daily life is to stop ordering myself too much, even if it’s what I like. It’s great to fill your weekend with fun, exciting things to do, especially if it’s new.

But there is nothing better than feeling when you wake up on Saturday morning and know that you have nowhere to be, you have nothing to do, and you can spend your day however you want. You have the freedom to be spontaneous, which is what makes your vacation so exciting.

Of course, there is nothing better than a real vacation. Unfortunately, most of us are unable to fulfill ourselves by traveling the world all year round, if ever. With some minor changes in my lifestyle and a few new habits, I was able to take some of my vacation thinking and apply it in my daily life.


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