Taking a relaxing vacation may seem like an oxymoron to some, but it doesn’t have to be. Vacations are an important part of mental health and can help prevent burnout.
Whether you realize it or not, vacations are an essential part of life. Taking a break from work will relax and reset your thoughts, allowing you to return with a clear mind ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
Americans have a bad reputation when it comes to vacations. We are often seen as workaholics who can’t relax and enjoy ourselves. This is unfortunate because vacations are an important part of mental health and well-being.
Too many people are bad at taking vacations. In recent survey shows 49% of Americans admitted to working for an hour or more a day while on vacation, and around one-quarter work more than three hours each day they’re on paid time off.
In today’s workplace, where burnout and turnover are common, 58% of U.S. employees say their job is the source of the majority of their mental health problems. It’s not always easy to completely disconnect, especially as the lines between work and life have blurred due to remote and hybrid work arrangements.
This sort of distracted time off—whether self-imposed or set by employer expectations to be available at the time—essentially cancels out the purpose of spending time off the clock. Further, more than one-quarter of Americans shared they do not feel rejuvenated after their vacations.
How To Take A Relaxing Vacation
There are many reasons why Americans don’t take proper vacations, but the most common one is that they simply can’t disconnect from work. With technology nowadays, it’s easier than ever to be accessible 24/seven. But this constant connection is taking a toll on our mental health. We need to learn how to unplug and recharge, both for our own sake and for the sake of our relationships.
10 Tips On How To Plan A Relaxing Vacation
We all know the feeling. You’ve been looking forward to your vacation for months, counting down the days until you can relax and forget about work for a while. But when the time finally comes, you find yourself unable to truly relax. You keep one eye on your email, halfheartedly participate in activities, and generally feel tense and anxious the whole time. Sound familiar?
So how can you make sure you have a vacation that’s actually restful and not just a series of #instaworthy moments? Here are a few tips:
1 Plan Ahead
This may seem like a no-brainer, but according to the Qualtrics survey, only 26% of Americans plan their vacation more than six months in advance. By giving yourself plenty of time to plan, you can ensure you have the time off from work lined up, as well as make reservations for flights, hotels, and rental cars.
2 Choose Your Destination Wisely
Not all destinations are created equal when it comes to relaxation. If you’re looking to really unwind, steer clear of places that are known for being high-energy and touristy. Instead, opt for somewhere quiet and secluded where you can really disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
3 Unplug From Technology
This one can be tough for a lot of us, but it’s important to disconnect from our electronic devices while we’re on vacation. Constant checking of email, social media, and the like can prevent us from truly relaxing and enjoying our time off. So make a conscious effort to put away your phone and laptop, and take a break from the digital world.
4 Don’t Check Work Email
This one should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to bring their work stress with them on vacation by checking and responding to work emails. If you can swing it, try to completely disconnect from work while you’re away so you can really enjoy your time off. If that’s not possible, set some strict boundaries for yourself and only check email at certain times of the day or certain days of the week.
5 Set Boundaries
Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or your significant other, it’s important to set boundaries from the start. Discuss what everyone wants to do and make a loose plan for each day. That way, you can all enjoy your time together without feeling like you have to be on the go 24/seven.
6 Slow Down
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they travel is trying to pack too much into their trip. Trying to see and do everything in one trip is not only exhausting, but it also leaves you feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation when you get home. Instead of trying to do it all, focus on experiencing a few key things that interest you.
7 Stay Present
One of the best parts about vacations is that they offer a chance to disconnect from the day-to-day grind and recharge your batteries. But if you’re constantly checking your work email or posting on social media, you’re not really giving yourself a break. Make a conscious effort to put away your devices and be present in the moment.
8 Don’t Over Schedule Yourself
One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking a vacation is packing their days full of activities from dawn till dusk. While it’s great to see and do new things while you’re on vacation, be sure to leave some down time in your itinerary so you can just relax and enjoy your surroundings.
9 Set Realistic Expectations
If you’re planning on visiting five different countries in two weeks, you might want to reconsider. Packing too much into a short amount of time will only leave you feeling rushed and stressed. Instead, try picking one or two destinations and focus on exploring them thoroughly.
10 Plan, But Be Flexible
One of the best things about vacation is that it can be what you make of it. If something comes up that sounds like more fun than what you had planned, go with the flow! Don’t be afraid to change your plans if it means having a better time.
Finally, it’s important to make sure that you’re actually taking a vacation from work when you’re on vacation. If you find yourself working even just a little bit while you’re supposed to be relaxing, it’s time to cut it out. You’re on vacation for a reason, so make sure you take advantage of your time off and truly relax. Otherwise, what’s the point?
So there you have it, folks!
Follow these simple hacks and you’re sure to have a relaxing vacation every time. Just remember to unplug from work, relax and recharge, and enjoy your time off! And if all else fails, just book a staycation at a nearby hotel. We promise it’ll be worth it.
After all, vacations are meant to be a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life—so make sure that’s what you’re getting when you take some time for yourself.