Sometimes, all we need is a break from our routine. That’s what typical vacations are for, aren’t they?
Our cultures have made crazy, jam-packed schedules where we barely get time to enjoy quality time with our families, let alone to give our minds a piece of rest.
And when we do have vacations, they are a pain more than relaxation. Endless bookings, morning to night excursions, running from checkpoint to checkpoint attempting to hit every tourist hotspot in your week- does that sound familiar?
Then the rest of the year goes just as normal- droning like a machine, almost like we seem to do on our vacations as well!
Is there any way to take a break from this crazy routine-hectic life and have smaller vacations- every month, every week, or even- dare I say it- every DAY?
The other day, my uncle told me about a really awesome trick he uses to take a break from routine more often that we normally would, in our culturally scheduled vacations that we take- sometimes only once a year.
He told me that he dedicates an hour a day to unplugging himself from social media and his phone to simply enjoy his time. He would visit a beautiful place near his home, get something nice to eat, and just relax and unwind.
What he told me got me thinking- what if we could ACTUALLY take small mini vacations every day?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually have mini-vacations on a regular basis, rather than planning for months on end for a crazy vacation with everything BUT rest?
It would be easy for me to say that there is only one way to do this, a simple formula to take a vacation a day, but instead of giving you a grand scheme or formula, I am going to give you a small list of tips.
Here are some guidelines to taking what my dear, inspirational uncle likes to call a Daily Hour Vacation:
Schedule an hour a day.
Pick an hour of every day that you know you can take out without fail to focus on winding down. It can be the first hour of your day to relax and rethink yourself and confidence after waking up, or a lunch break, or even basking in the sunset.
Take your pick- and pen it to your schedule just as you would any important meeting. Your mental health matters!
Make sure that you are out of the influence of social media, news outlets, any other beepy sounds. Shut off that phone. Unplug from the World Wide Web. Focus on the NOW. Breathe in the present.
Pick a place.
This can adjust based on the weather. Maybe you want to just sit on your front porch, or in your living room. You can go to the spotting of trees near the playground, or the new coffee shop not too far away, or drive through a nice trail that you haven’t driven by before.
Make sure it is not too far, so that you can return to your routine afterwards conveniently, while at the same time make sure it is relaxing.
Nature is always the best bet- as exposure to natural sunlight, the breeze, plants, and the overall aroma of the outdoors is good for one’s soul.
Pick an activity.
There are so many things you can do to unwind. This, of course, depends on your choice of activity, and what relaxes you the most.
You can go for a run, or listen to some music, or do some baking, or pick up a good book, or write a list of thoughts, or write in a journal. You can even just do nothing and think, dream, imagine, daydream. Watch the clouds, count the stars. Or you can take your bike out for a spin.
This doesn’t have to be a session to squeeze in extra work or exercise or any of the other items on your to-do list. If you find yourself doing this, take a step back and rethink your activity. But if any of these things do indeed relax you, then be my guest!
The key is to do something that relaxes you.
Share it with a loved one.
There is no better way to wind down from routine than to do it with a loved one. Most of our routines are interwoven with our loved ones’ routines, and when they intersect, it is quick hugs and kisses and words exchanged at dinner, if we lived so fast paced.
Enjoying this time as a mutual activity is perfect to enjoy, appreciate, and value each other’s company and wind down together. It will make the experience all the more enjoyable.
Stick to it as a routine- and watch your happiness and satisfaction levels increase by the day!
Lastly and most importantly, no matter how your experience goes- whether it is sometimes longer or shorter, more or less satisfying as planned- make sure to keep it as a part of your routine.
Winding down, relaxing, giving your mind a time to take a break is critical for not only the functioning of your mind in your daily work tasks and potential, but also to your happiness.
Your mental health matters- and rather than saving our time to “relax” for a jam-packed weekend- why not start with a Daily Hour Vacation today, and see the impact it has on all parts of your life!