“I need a break.”
“I’m so stressed.”
“I have to get away.”
“I need an escape.”
I know I have said these things a LOT lately. How about you?
Haven’t we all felt this way at some point during this pandemic?
If you are like me you have been cooped up, felt stressed out, anxious and have just about reached your wits end numerous times during this quarantine.
So many of us feel like we NEED a vacation. And most certainly we all deserve one.
According to the Miriam- Webster’s Dictionary the most prominent definition of vacation is “a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation”. But, let’s face it, during this pandemic, travel has hit an all time low. And for many it just isn’t an option.
But there is another definition of vacation that I want to focus on today: “a respite or a time of respite away from something”.
If you take this kind of vacation, I believe it can be just as satisfying as any trip to the mountains or beach, (well almost) and you do not have to spend a dime, use a vacation day, or even leave your home to feel refreshed, invigorated and energized once its over.
So save your frequent flyer miles and let’s escape.
Take a Vacation from Devices
Have you every gone unplugged for a week? No emails, no social media, no texting or phone calls?
The first time I tried this, it was forced upon me. That’s because I was on a cruise ship and at that time they offered internet connections, but for a heft price. It seem like it was practically the price of the cabin!
That forced me to turn it off and put my phone away.
It was one of the BEST things I ever did on that vacation.
I never realized how much of a babysitter my phone was. And how frequently I checked out of life to check my device.
Bored in line: look at the internet.
Wake up in the morning: check e-mail.
Waiting on dinner at a restaurant: scan social media.
We have become like zombies. Every ding, ping, flash and buzz we see or hear and we go right back to the phone, tablet or computer.
Taking a break from this is truly a vacation from information overload and it allows you to tune into the moments in life you might have otherwise missed.
It allows you to participate in conversations by talking with people in person. It also proves that you can survive boredom.
Who knows, with all the extra time you are saving you might actually have time to read a real book with paper pages!
Take a Vacation from Negativity
Make a commitment to a stop criticizing and complaining.
It’s so easy to look at people, situations, workplaces, organizations, religions, etc and see what is wrong with them.
But have you ever decided to take a look at what is right about them? Or to look to see common ground instead of differences?
Take a few minutes, a few hours or even a few days if you dare, and zip your lips and purposefully seek out the good.
It may feel uncomfortable at first, and it may be challenging, but once you do this you will start to see commonalities among people and ideas, and notice things that are really beautiful in the world, that you would have missed because of your complaining.
Personally, I am working on changing my bad habit of complaining about the weather. Yes, I prefer sunny and mild days to cold and rainy ones, but can I do anything about either?
So instead of letting the forecast determine my mood, I am choosing my mood regardless of the weather outside.
It’s the same with a meal, a play, a book, a boss, neighbor or spouse.
If you take a vacation from criticizing, you may actually find yourself becoming grateful. And believe me, gratitude is the gateway drug to Happiness!!
Take a Vacation from Watching News
Watching or consuming too much news during this time in history can really amp up your stress and anxiety levels, so a vacation from news is not just a suggestion, it truly is a must!
These days, I rarely watch or read the news, or listen to confrontational radio programs, and I am so much happier and positive!
That probably shocks people given that I am a former TV news anchor, reporter and producer, and that I hosted a daily talk radio show.
During that time, I was inundated with the worst news going on in the world.
Believe me, when you have made your living reporting murders, rapes, hurricanes, drug overdoses, flooding and political scandals for over 2 decades it takes a toll on your mind and your outlook on life. And with the advent of 24 hour news, instant news from the internet and social media it’s very easy to get just as absorbed as I was when I did this for a living.
Taking a vacation from the news in any form for a week (or longer) will allow you to start seeing what a wonderful world this really is, rather than tuning in to only see the worst. And not only is that is quite refreshing, it will reduce your stress levels immensely.
Take a Vacation from Toxic People
Know anyone who you have to tiptoe around because they could blow at any moment?
Have snarky comments tossed your way at work?
Always have someone criticize you for everything you say, wear or do?
The good news is, it’s not you.
The bad news is, those kinds of people are toxic!
The best way to take a break from these people is to steer clear.
And if you can’t do that, just don’t engage. It’s hard to argue when no one is responding.
This can be especially challenging however, if some of those toxic folks happen to live with you. But just because you might be related to the “original” negative Nellie, doesn’t mean you have to tolerate or accept their negative talk and behaviors. These folks are dream killers, spirit stompers, and the effects of their words can affect your for years.
I know this sounds easier said than done, but for your own sanity and peace of mind, slip away, disappear, find a quiet place to get away for a while.
This might be a great time to take a walk, make a phone call to a fun friend or read a great book.
Spending time with positive minded people via social media groups, zooms or social distancing can help feed your soul with laughter, smiles, great conversation and that kind of support is truly energizing and will lift your spirits.
So try taking one, two or all four of these vacations and see how relaxed, re-energized and refreshed you feel.