Today’s guest post is by Kacey Mya. Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” She finds excitement in the world around her and this is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can connect with Kacey on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
There’s nothing better than a nice vacation. And, while it’s lovely to see and experience places you’ve never been, one of the best things about getting away is, well, getting away.
The stress-relieving qualities of vacation are well documented. The Mind Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh discovered through a study that participants who took a vacation suffered from fewer bouts of depression than those who did not take a vacation. They also experienced higher emotional levels than their non-vacationing counterparts. On top of that, vacationing improves your creativity and productivity when you get back to real life, too.
Now, all you have to do is make sure that the process of planning and enjoying said vacation comes without stress, too. There are so many steps you can take to make your next trip the most stress-free experience you’ve ever had on the go. Here are xx tips for making it that way.
1. Plan Ahead
Planning your trip ahead of time will remove so much of the stress that comes with travel. Clearly, you’ll make transportation and lodging plans well in advance. But, if you figure out a general idea of what you want to do each day you’re away, you’ll eliminate a lot of worry from your vacationing mind.
In order to get ahead of the curve, start a to-do list for your pre-vacation tasks, as well as the planning steps you need to take to prep your vacation activities, dining, etc. You don’t have to schedule your getaway down to the minute, but removing as many what-ifs as possible will have you walking into your vacation in a vacation state of mind.
2. Make Time to Relax
As you’re planning your trip, make sure you work in some time for you to simply relax. For everyone, the idea of a relaxing activity is different. Figure out what helps you de-stress and work that into your itinerary: whether it’s hiking, massage therapy or simply sunbathing on the beach, give yourself the chance to relax. You could also try something for the first time, such as yoga, while you’re away — you’ll de-stress and perhaps pick up a new hobby to bring back home with you.
3. Prioritize Health — Even on Vacation
Even though it’s tempting to move away from your healthy routines— and you should definitely indulge while you’re away — don’t completely sabotage yourself. That might mean sticking to your regular workout routine or maintaining a healthy diet that you adhere to while at home. You’ll be happy you stayed somewhat diligent when you easily fall back into your routine when you get back to real life.
To that end, it’s important to take time for yourself to rest and recharge if your trip will incur some level of jetlag. Even though you want to maximize your time abroad, powering through days of extreme tiredness will only strip the fun out of your vacation. Fix your sleep schedule and recharge before you leave home.
4. Disconnect from Work
How are you supposed to relax if your phone is buzzing with work e-mails, calls and reminders of impending deadlines? You need to make sure your vacation is exactly that — a break from the stress that everyday life brings. Unplugging from your phone and computer is a vital step in that process. The opportunity to truly unplug will incur some preparative steps, but the reward is a complete break from the grind. (And, if you must check your e-mail, make sure to limit yourself so that it’s not spoiling your leisure time.)
5. Give Yourself a Gap Day
Lastly, consider giving yourself a gap day after your vacation. This is a great way to ensure that you’ll return to work without stress. If you return straight from your vacation and restart work the next day, you won’t find yourself feeling rested. Instead, you’ll be wishing you had time to re-stock the fridge, wash your clothes, put away the suitcases and simply relax before returning to real life.
You don’t have to take off additional days to achieve your gap day. Just plan ahead so you return home on a Saturday. Then you have all day Sunday to get your life back in working order. By the time Monday rolls around, you’ll be ready and recharged for the workweek.