All kinds of office-related issues are keeping you up at night, not giving you the restorative sleep you need, and your spouse has been pestering you to get away from work. You should listen to your spouse. Experts note, not only is taking a restorative break healthful for your body and spirit, your mental health is significantly improved, making you more creative and productive for when you do have to go back to work.  

Here are some handy pointers on how to maximize the mental health benefits from your upcoming trip:

Be Flexible About Your Itinerary

Are you the type to stick to every planned activity of your prepared itinerary? If you’re guilty of this, then you need to shake up your by-the-book tendencies and vary from the scheduled program a bit. Doing so will not only free up for a more spontaneous line of activities, but you’ll be keeping with the overarching goal of your vacation: to decompress and enjoy life a bit.

For example, waiving off the all-day museum tour when it’s beautiful outside may seem bonkers to some people, but following your whims and fancies – just when it strikes you – could be more what the doctor ordered than a constrained schedule of “letting loose.” After all, constraint and “letting loose” don’t make good playdate partners.  

Set Goals that are Realistic

Whitewater rafting when your chiropractor warned you about the state of your spine? Going for that second piece of apple pie when that will trigger the ire of your doctor back home? Do yourself a favor and set some realistic, practical parameters for yourself before going on vacation. Voicing your vows of commitment before getting on the plane will do a lot to set the necessary intentions in your mind so that you don’t stray when temptation is right before you.

Of course, give yourself room to indulge without feeling stress. Everything in moderation!

Dine with Your Health in Mind

Got a taste for whiskey? Is your smoking habit still alive and kicking? Vacations can actually be a good time to consciously abstain from such habits, if you set your mind to it. Maybe some research and pre-planning is necessary, like making a list of bars you’d like to visit in your destination that serve excellent alcohol-free drinks. The idea is to be proactive about following through on your good habits by making pre-established decisions before you venture out of the hotel, rather than just trusting on your discipline to save you.

Don’t Leave Home Without Making Sure It’s Safe

Don’t leave without making sure you’ve fully secured your home. If you have a security system, make sure it’s working properly. Sometimes it may be a bit too sensitive to motion, so start checking on it a week before you leave to make sure it’s adjusted properly.

Other measures you can take include asking a neighbor to keep an eye out for strangers roaming near your property, leaving a radio or TV on, putting a hold on your mail, and checking in via Bluetooth-connected devices while you’re away.  

Indulge in Activities Focused on Stress-Busting

When taking in the sights and pleasures of your trip destination, make it a point to schedule in some pure decompression time between logging in hours of shopping, exercise or touring. While part of the experience, these activities aren’t focused on stress-busting per se. Booking a spa session, taking a yoga class, or even dancing the rumba would be a lot more like it!

The above five pointers will help keep your priorities straight as you plan out the experiences of your vacation. Go about it with a carefree, almost silly-spontaneous, attitude as you drink in the sights, stroll around, and feast on the local cuisine, among other things. Sink your teeth into your vacation. You know you deserve it.


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