Preparing for your long awaited holiday/vacation can be such a nightmare sometimes. You’re constantly worried about forgetting something, whether or not you turned things off at home and locked the door, even if your work is going to be ok etc. and all this stress can get to us, meaning the holiday isn’t as relaxing as you hoped. I know for me it means that I need to do a whole lot of work (sometimes 3 times the amount) before I go away so that my schedule is covered, and working on overdrive like that will often mean that your brain is on full speed and can’t shut down, especially while I am travelling to my destination – I am constantly going over everything and worrying that I haven’t done it all, or that something might go wrong while I am away. All of this does linger in my mind and I find it incredibly hard to relax while on holiday in this new technology era, so I’ve come up with a few tips to help.
Lists Are Your Friend
Before you leave, I recommend that you make a packing list and a to do list a couple of weeks prior to your leaving date. I find that this helps so much with making sure your mind is clutter free and away from accidental forgetting. Your to do list needs to contain everything you need to get done before you leave, this can include your work schedule (as it does for me), removing perishable items from the fridge, making sure everything is locked up and turned off… you know the drill! Then on your packing list, write down absolutely everything you can think of a couple of weeks before and I can guarantee this extra time will be useful as you will forget something the first and second time you make the list. I know I do. I write all my essentials and then at night, my mind remembers I forgot to add something else to the list! I keep this list on my phone so I can add to it on the go. Then when the few days come before you’re about to leave, start packing and checking the things off the list one by one, and on the morning before you go, go over the list once again to ensure you double checked everything. This ultimately calms my mind down and I know I didn’t forget something then!
Occupy Your Mind With Positive Distraction
By this, I don’t mean occupy it with social media and thoughts all the time. I’m talking about taking some great books and magazines with you that are inspiring and enjoyable. A simple romance novel, an uplifting self help book, an interesting adventure story that you might be able to get lost in etc. Take one of these to a sun lounger at the beach and get engrossed in your reading! I find it really helps to re-focus your mind and calm it down, away from the stress and anxiety you had before travelling. Reading is one way to really unwind your mind and to stop it from focusing too much on the ego side that it has, and if the book is good, you really transport into a different world. Some books I would obviously enjoy are Twilight, Harry Potter, anything from Meg Cabot, mindfulness books… Anything that steers clear of inducing anxiety or fear within you so you don’t increase your stress responses. It’s also good to make sure you limit the reading though as you don’t want to spend the entire holiday reading the same book because you can’t put it down. You will miss out on so much. I think the first couple of days are great for reading, then the day before you leave to relax again before you travel.
So once you’ve been at your holiday destination for a day or two, have calmed down from the travel stress, and have occupied your mind with distraction, try and be present. By this I mean really focus on where you are. Enjoy walks or sitting on the beach and just looking at the scenery around you. Look up at the sky, notice the clouds, really feel yourself in the moment. Explore the towns or the architecture if you’re on a city holiday, really take in the atmosphere and your surroundings so you’re getting the most out of being in a different location. It can be so easy to ignore what’s happening around you and get caught up in your own mind, but honestly, what’s the point of being on vacation if you’re not enjoying it? This leads me to my next point…
As people that live in the 21st century, and as the years go on and technology improves, we’re always glued to our devices. We don’t often notice what’s happening around us and instead we’re scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, updating our statuses on Facebook, swiping left or right on dating apps etc and we’re oblivious to life happening at that moment. Obviously I know social media is of high importance to us as it’s an extension of our lives (or work), but on holiday, try to limit it to only checking at night time. I like to use my phone for the camera only during the day, so that I am not distracted by the news, friends updates or having envy over other bloggers purchases or locations. It’s important to enjoy where you are and what you’re doing. It’s your life. So cut off from that during the day with a digital detox and really be present. Just allocate set times for it at night, and when you go back home, you’ll really enjoy everything you saw and learned, which is important to reflect on.
Take Photos For Memories
As I mentioned above, use your phone only for camera purposes while you’re out enjoying your holiday. Of course, it’s much easier to take a camera with you for better photos that you can print out, but our phone cameras are easy for on the go. I don’t class photos as not being present or enjoying the moment as they are capturing that moment so you can hold onto it forever. As I mentioned in this previous post, when I look back at some of my photos from holiday or a trip out, they bring back all the emotions and feelings of being there in real life. Our memories often fade and we only hold onto a bit of them, and our brain fills in the gaps as we age, but with a photo, it brings you straight back to that point. And of course, it’s always nice to share your photographs with your friends and family when you’re back so they can enjoy them too. Just don’t get caught up in a tonne of selfies and perfecting your pout as that will take you out of the moment. Capture what you’re seeing and enjoy it.
– What are some of the ways that you enjoy relaxing on holiday? I’d love to know!