Sometimes it seems that we as a species have shrunk down to nothing more than eight, or two, fingers, tapping away at a screen, any screen. We rush from place to place like headless beasts, we try to do more, have more, earn more, and spend more than the next person, all the while forgetting how much such a lifestyle will ultimately cost, when your weakened health comes knocking.
We set aside maybe two weeks each year for a holiday, and even then, we seem to come back from it either even more drained, or just on the verge of relaxing, cut short by our manic rush back to the office.
If you do have only so many days to get away, and if you are willing to try and make the most of them, here is a little science-backed information to help you rest and recuperate with the time you do have.
Avoid the work sandwich
If you take on a bunch of extra work just before you jump on a plane to the beach, or if you leave a pile behind and know that it is there on your desk, waiting to consume you when you come home, you will have zero chance of resting. Instead, try to spread the additional workload, if there is any, to more than a week before you get away. That way, you will not be haunted by what awaits you.
Enjoy the planning
A study has found that those who do manage to holiday are happier than those who don’t. Also, we as humans tend to enjoy imagining a future event, which is why you should try to plan your vacation as ahead as possible, and enjoy thinking about it whenever you feel suffocated by the everyday. That way, you will squeeze the maximum out of your trip, both beforehand, and afterwards.
Splurge once in a while
If you work hard 365 days a year, you should let go once in a while and treat yourself. You do not need to spend three months’ salary on your holiday, but you do need to make it special. Find an all inclusive deal, and enjoy every bit of it. Don’t skip some of the offers included just because you might not feel up for them. You are on holiday to try things you don’t do every day of your life, so make good use of it.
Don’t lay all your eggs in one basket
In other words, don’t place all your hopes on that one holiday you have been dreaming about for years. Go for it, by all means, but if you work towards only one goal, you will either burn out, or put too much pressure on it, which will translate into a rather bad experience. Studies have shown that we enjoy small pleasures more than we do that one majestic trip, so make sure you plan for the small stuff as well, and let it boost your mood while you are waiting for the big thing.
Ease back into the swing of things
While you do want to make your final day on holiday memorable, in the sense that you do want to end your trip with a bang, and start traveling home with a fond memory, you should not arrive at the airport at 7AM, and go to work with barely a shower squeezed in. Plan for at least a day between landing and working. You will need to decompress, get over the jet lag if there is any, and readjust to your everyday life. If you go from super relaxed to full blown work mode, you will waste most of the positive energy you have saved up while traveling.
The world is your oyster, as literature would have it. In fact, the world is at your fingertips at all times. However, don’t allow yourself to just experience it over a screen, no matter how big it is. Traveling is great for your health in general, so make sure to head out on the road once in a while, and enjoy the oyster that is being offered you. With the advantages of modern transportation, you simply don’t have a valid excuse not to.