By Megan Vick
Recently, we took a two-week vacation in the desert southwest – starting in Las Vegas and ending in Tucson, Arizona. Frantically packing just hours before our 8:30 AM departure, we made sure we each had the e-reader, cell phones, tablets, and at least one laptop. When I realized how many electronics we had, I started wondering about how people can truly enjoy a vacation and de-stress while still being “connected.”
What happened on our vacation was truly remarkable. Once we arrived in Arizona, the world melted away. We had little to no cell reception and wireless was no where to be found. The laptop and tablets were just extra weight in the travel bag and the phones were turned on airplane mode and used as cameras.
And then it happened: I realized I wasn’t stressed out.
I had no control over the lack of connectivity, so I was able to let go and truly enjoy the last half of vacation with my family. So, for those of you looking to de-stress, here are 4 ways you can do it.
1) No Electronics
Absolutely none – not even your e-reader. Without electronics buzzing and tweedling, you can focus on whatever you want: yourself, your partner, your kids, your garden, the way your pinky toe looks – anything you want. You can institute a “No Electronics Day” at your home, or simply take 30 minutes every day to get away from anything connected.
Try it – you’ll love it.
2) Get outside
Being outside – especially on a gorgeous day – will increase those warm and fuzzy feelings, which will help you be more productive later. Spend sometime in your garden, go for a bike ride or run, take a book (yes, a real book) to the park and read for a while, or meditate outside. Connect with nature – not the internet.
Cheat on your diet. Buy the shoes. Get the luxurious skin care item you want.
Do something for yourself that you wouldn’t normally do – even if it’s just for a few minutes.
4) Be Selfish
Very similar to indulging, by being selfish, you get the chance to determine what will happen in your day. If you don’t feel like doing the laundry tonight, especially because you’ve done 1-3 above already, then don’t do the laundry. If you need a “mental health” day from work and want to play hooky – do it.
At the end of the day, it’s all about moderation. Remember, there is no “Most Stressed Out Person” award. There is only you, your health, and happiness. Without those, you can’t be the best person for your family, for your employer, or the planet.
Take care of yourself. There’s only one you – and you are special.