By Henry Moore, Fit Well Traveler
When you’re having difficulties relaxing due to stress, then it’s time to take a restorative vacation. Below are some pointers on how best to reap the mental health benefits of your upcoming vacation.
1) Don’t Let Your Itinerary Control You
When on vacation, do you obsess over sticking to your detailed, pre-planned itinerary? If so, then you may be subjecting yourself to stress that is causing you more harm than good. To better align yourself with the goals of your restorative vacation, leave room in your itinerary for carefree spontaneity. Instead of a tightly-packed day of scheduled activities, try aimlessly wandering through an unfamiliar city.
2) Set Realistic Goals
An Expedia-sponsored Vacation Deprivation survey conducted in 2013 found that 10 percent of all Americans contacted claimed they were “unable to relax” during a vacation. To avoid this, set realistic daily goals for yourself that fully resonate with restoring your mind, body and spirit, such as meditating, going for long pleasure strolls with your travel companion, or trying something new, such as whitewater rafting.
3) Be Health-Conscious with Your Meals
A lot of people end up breaking their health-conscious diets and abstentions while on vacation, perhaps by drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Try to honor your body's needs instead. To not entirely deprive yourself of the fine local cuisine, which may be heavy in sugar or fat, stick to simply tasting different dishes rather than making full meals of them.
4) Take Care of Home Matters Before Traveling
To unburden your mind from home-related concerns before you take off for your vacation, make sure to take proper home security measures: bolt your home’s main doors, set the alarm, leave the television on, and have a friend pick up your mail. This way, you can fully decompress with zero home-related worries to unsettle your mind during your trip.
5) Make Time to Kick Back and Relax
When you arrive at your destination, be sure to schedule in some pure relaxation time in between touring activities. You might feel like you have to fill every minute with an exciting excursion, but if that’s not how you want to spend your time away, you don’t have to. Find time to book a deep-tissue massage or simply allow yourself time to curl up with a good book in your change of scenery.
Overall, just remember to take it easy, and approach your vacation with a carefree attitude, while still taking in the sights and the local cuisine. Indulge in the time you have off from work and enjoy a little rest and relaxation.