5 secrets for mastering the art of vacation relaxation

Publish Date: July 31, 2023

Written by Pam Blair

- Originally published at Inman News - Pam Blair

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Summer is here, and it’s vacation or bust. The last thing I want right now is to go on vacation and come back feeling like I need a vacation.

So, how do we unwind and return feeling rejuvenated? Relaxation is key. Relaxing looks and feels different for everyone. Here are five tips to help you set yourself up for a relaxing vacation.

Leave work at work

Have a solid plan around how your business will be cared for in your absence. Prioritize this by designating time slots in your schedule well before your vacation to create a plan. Have a backup plan if possible.

Set expectations well in advance with clients and coworkers that you will be away and unavailable. Let them know in confidence who will be taking care of them.

Embrace the “Out of the Office” tool for email and change your voicemail to reflect your time off.

Turn off the devices. Leave your computer at home. Silence your phone as much as possible.

If you absolutely have to attend to work while on vacation, designate a specific time in the day to do so. Morning works best for me so that I can mentally let go for the day.

Setting boundaries is challenging for most of us, but it is non-negotiable in order to unplug and relax.

Define what is relaxing to you

We all relax differently at various times in our lives. Some relax by letting loose at a rock concert or spending a week at Disney and others find their zen at a luxury spa resort or during a solo backpacking trip.

If you can’t pinpoint what kind of vacation will help you chill out, sit down and make a list of where you were and what you were experiencing the last few times that you felt relaxed. Be willing to redefine “vacation” so that it supports unwinding and relaxing.

Shift your attention

We can set up our “Out of Office” messages, travel to that magical destination and do all the “right” things to set the stage for relaxing, but if we don’t shift our attention off of work and into the moment, it will not feel like a vacation.

How do we shift our attention?

Ask yourself, “What do I get completely immersed in?” — other than work, of course. What are those things that you get so absorbed into that you lose track of time?

It might be a book or podcast, music, exploring a new city, sipping coffee in a familiar coffee shop, spending quality time with your family or staring at the vastness of the ocean. Keep it simple and incorporate these things into your time off.

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