3 Ways to Recreate Vacation Magic
Remember that magical feeling of being on vacation?
Your feet are in the pool, your hiking boots are on the trail, the masseuse is running her hands across your shoulders, you’re waving at Mickey, your golf club is hitting the ball, or the dice are rolling in Vegas.
Whatever your happy place is, conjure it for a moment.
We need vacations because they refresh our souls and our brains.
They give us perspective by allowing us to step back from the Sisyphean task of trying to make our corner of the world better.
These days, vacations seem like something from a quaint distant past.
The title of a Bloomberg article says what we all know: Three Hours Longer, the Pandemic Workday Has Obliterated Work-Life Balance.
And even before the 800-pound pandemic gorilla banged on our door, we were cheating ourselves out of regular vacations. In 2018, A Record 768 Million U.S. Vacation Days Went Unused and in 2020, more than half of us took little or no vacation.
So what’s a stressed person to do?
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SCHEDULE TO PLAN LITTLE “VACATIONS” EVERY DAY!
1. Schedule time to take a walk “vacation” every day.
We all know that walking is good for our physical health, but walking is also good for our mental health. It has been proven to stimulate creative ideas! If you can’t step away from your Zoom-packed calendar, it’s time to schedule a daily walk (or bike ride, or a once-a-week yoga class or a dance class). Think of it as an appointment with yourself that can’t be changed.
2. Schedule a vacation from your devices.
According to the journal BMC Psychiatry, cell phone addiction causes depression. The most recent election cycle has upped the ante for many of us who have become consumed with the latest news, and since we’re working nonstop, email always seems to beckon. If you need advice on “How to Break Up with Your Phone,” check out Catherine Price’s book by that title.
At the very least, schedule time every evening to put your phone in another room for several hours and walk away from it. Aim for working toward a Sabbath break from your phone – for 24-hours once a week – when you don’t check social media or email. Trust me, it will all be there the next day and your brain will thank you.
3. Schedule a mini-vacation.
I’m not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and spend a weekend partying in a crowded hot-tub or doing anything else that would endanger you. While we can’t take the kind of real pre-pandemic vacation that is soul nurturing, we can plan some days off to goof off. Schedule random days off to enjoy yard work, sightseeing, or a trip to your favorite take-out place, whatever floats your boat!
We’re all longing for the day when we can reminisce about the bad-old-days of the pandemic. Until then, the best thing we can do is take care of ourselves – both mentally and physically -- so that we can continue to serve others.
Pat Libby is a consultant that helps nonprofits with organizational strategy, board restructuring, and executive searches. Pat has served as an academic, senior executive, board member, and consultant to innumerable nonprofit organizations and foundations.
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