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No Vacation? No Problem!
If you are like the majority of full-time workers in North America, the chances are you are not taking your vacation time. Maybe you don’t exercise your right to take a well-deserved break due to work pressures, financial reasons, or time issues. Or maybe you are just so caught up in your work that you see vacation time as a waste of time. Whatever the reason, you just never find the time to take a week off to relax. This article will focus on short breaks, planning and prepping for longer vacations, and other things you can do to derive the mental and physical benefits that most associate with vacations. We will also give you a list of the benefits of doing something rather than nothing, like reduced stress, something to look forward to, etc. So keep reading and learn about your “no vacation” options, and maybe – just maybe – you can learn how to realx, even if you can’t make it to the beach.
Why take a vacation in the first place?
The health benefits of taking time away from work have been well know for years, but vacation time can also help “recharge” the batteries and give you a fresh perspective on work. Breaks away from the office help you to get some much-needed downtime, and allow your mind and body to explore new things. Even laying on a beach reading a book can help you rekindle your mental edge, so don’t feel like you need to plan your vacation around a convention or some other work related activity.
Five Common Vacation Misconceptions
1) Too Expensive: Not every holiday has to be in a foreign country, and you don’t have to stay at 5-star hotels in order to have a good time. Check prices during off seasons for areas that have lots of tourist attractions, and try searching for bargains at the beginning and end of peak periods.
2) Too Boring: If you get bored easily, then you don’t know how to plan a good vacation. You should always plan your trip around your interests, rather than just grabbing the first package deal offered by a travel agent. There are lots of non-traditional vacations out there, ranging from extreme sports to cooking.
3) Too Time Consuming: Afraid of leaving the office because you won’t be missed? Or maybe someone might gun for your job while you are out golfing? If these are legitimate concerns for your career, then plan your vacation around non-peak periods – even if those times are not ‘normal’ vacation times.
4) Too Crowded: If you hate crowds, then stay away from tourist traps. There are lots of private B&Bs located everywhere from the trendiest of vacation areas to the smallest cities. For even more exclusivity, you can always rent a house or condo to avoid tourists.
5) Too Frantic: Many people feel that they need a vacation when they return from their vacation. The trick to avoiding vacation burnout is to under plan, not over plan your holiday. Leave gaps in t
he schedule so you can relax, sleep in, or make new plans while there.
Planning For A Vacation
Did you know that planning your holiday is a great way to relieve stress? Not only will picking a date hold you to a time commitment, it will also give you something to look forward to. The other good thing about planning out your trip is you will eliminate the possibility of having a bad vacation, as you will be the one picking out everything from the location to the activities you will do once you are there.
• If you are a slave to technology, then try to remove yourself from it. Avoid big cities, expensive hotels, and focus on remote locations, eco tours, etc.
• Always plan to go during office downtime, even if this means you are going off-season or over Christmas. It is better to go, even if the timing is not always perfect.
• Let people know when you are going so that they plan projects, assignments, etc. around your schedule.
• Don’t plan overly complicated itineraries, as you might require flexibility once you arrive at your destination. Plus, you do not need to create stress and anxiety or yourself by over planning.
A lot of people who can’t afford the time to take a few weeks off can benefit from some well-timed, well-executed day trips. If you fail to plan for these days, then you will most likely end up sitting around the house watching TV, or worse yet – doing work from home. These day breaks can offer you all the health and well-being benefits that come from a full vacation, and they take less time and cost next to nothing. Here are a few things to consider:
• Plan your day in advance, so you are not stuck doing chores.
• Focus on trying things that interest you, related to your hobbies or favorite pastimes.
• Avoid work at all costs, as the point of vacationing is to change your normal routine and habits.
• Try and dovetail your day break with a long weekend in order to benefit from an extra day off.
Another excellent thing you can do to benefit from a ‘non vacation’ is to take breaks during the day, which will once again help break you out of habits and routines. Making the effort to change up your routine will to challenge and invigorate your mind, and you do not have to plan anything elaborate in advance. Try changing your route to work, or maybe walk instead of drive. Eat lunch at different places, and look for things you can do during your lunch break. Many cities offer walking tours during the day, there are also museums, art galleries, and parks. Almost all of these things are free, and all can be done quickly.
No matter how hectic your schedule is, make the effort to take a break. Anything that helps to stimulate your mind and relax your body will pay dividends in the work place, and that means you will benefit in more ways than one.
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