As I wait out the long, cold winter, I can’t help but daydream about my vacation last summer. The awe-inspiring beauty of Gimmelwald, Switzerland and Chamonix, France are unmatched. Once I turned off my email, shut down my cell phone and became fully present, the stage was set for a wonderful vacation.
What I most long for now is the vacation mindset – the energy, enthusiasm and feeling of renewal that comes with vacation. Upon returning home and re-entering the real world full of deadlines, obligations and routines, I began searching for ways to integrate the vacation mindset into my everyday life. Here are a few techniques that I’ve been using to keep a vacation mindset all year:
Sleep in. Whenever possible, sleep until you naturally wake up, without an alarm jolting you out of sleep. Feel the pleasure of easing into your day instead of hitting the ground running. Seek to find a balance between a leisurely and hectic pace.
Unplug. While it may be impractical to unplug from email, the internet and cell phones, block some time each day (even just 20 minutes) when you are totally unplugged from technology. Feel your energy soar while you take advantage of peaceful, creative thinking time.
Keep it local. While traveling, it’s an adventure to find the best local food and off the beaten path attractions. Challenge yourself to find new, refreshing things to do right in your own community. I recently signed up for cooking class to learn new techniques for using local, seasonal ingredients.
Take a hike. While on vacation, I hiked through beautiful, breathtaking country for two weeks. I couldn’t help but be inspired by the natural beauty. Put your body in motion at home and your mind will follow, wandering to undiscovered destinations.
Be present. One thing I love about vacations is the ease in which I stay present and focused, moment-to-moment, without the distractions of regular day-to-day activities. Try not to multi-task when back at work and see if your quality of output increases.
Rethink “To Do” lists. While on vacation, my “to do” lists are replaced with “wish lists” for the day – a short list of events or activities I hope to do. Sometimes there is no list and I just go with the flow. Back at home, try focusing on quality over quantity, getting fewer things done right.
Establish new routines. While on vacation I established new routines that are much more open and flexible to adapt to the daily events that come my way. By shaking up your routine back at home, you take your mind off autopilot and actively choose what to do and when to do it. Establish new ways of moving through the day to wake up your senses.
Play every day. Vacations naturally put us into a playful mindset. Bring a little playful energy to each day, and you’ll be ready to face your daily challenges with a laugh and a smile.