I recently had a 3 week summer vacation, which was much needed. I was exhausted from an extended period of hard work. Because I was so in need of a recharge, I tried to spend my vacation doing the most therapeutic activities I could think of.
So this post is all about what I did to recharge myself over the course of 3 weeks, and how you can try them as well.
First of all, I think a proper state of mind is very important. The most important thing is to recharge properly. Everything else is secondary. In fact, many of those things that does not work towards your “rehabilitation” is working against it. Like email. Or letting your thoughts get caught up in work-related stuff. It’s time to really focus on recharging.
With that in mind, try to get away from distractions that pulls you towards stress and whatever got you tired in the first place. Turn off email (especially work email - if all you do is turn of work email, you have come a long way). Turn off as many notifications on your smart devices as you can.
Try also to be mindful of your thoughts during your vacation. Every time you catch your mind wandering off to stressful thoughts, focus your attention back to the present moment and whatever you are currently doing. Take in your surroundings and appreciate them. All that other stuff can be dealt with when you get back from your vacation. Right now, it’s all about the now.
Meditation is a great way to wind down and get back to yourself. It’s also a great way to practice being more mindful of your own thoughts. I have found practicing meditation to be one of the most calming things I can possibly do. I feel positively serene after a good mediation.
I can’t really oversell this, because it’s a fantastic way to relax.
There are many many ways to learn meditation. I suggest starting off with some guided meditation sessions. You can try out headspace (paid service), or find a guided meditation on soundcloud.
Over the last 3 weeks, I have read something like 10 books. I Finished a few I had started, I read a bunch from start to finish, and I started several others. I have read biographies, science books, science fiction books, a couple of “self-help” books and a couple of classics. I have devoured physical books, e-books and audio books.
Books are a great way to relax, learn, think critically or just be entertained. I have tried to mix it up with several different genres, but the focus was always on escaping the real word for a little while. Just reading whatever I felt like at the moment.
I always evangelize exercise, because of all the benefits it has. It’s a great way to get rid of stress, and it does your body so good.
You probably already know why running is so good for you, but if you are in doubt, please do some research.
Just to list a few of the benefits:
- Reduces stress
- Burns fat
- Makes you happier (works as a natural anti-depressant)
- Boosts intellectual capacities
- Makes you less prone to heart diseases
It’s just a damn efficient way to spend your time.
This is a bit like exercising and running, but in a slightly different way. It provides the same benefits as running, albeit a little toned down (unless you actually run up mountains - but don’t do that, it kinda ruins it).
The big think about hiking is the great nature experiences. Just taking in nature is a great way to wind down and get back to it all. Stop often and take it all in. And when at the top of a mountain, meditate! It’s awesome!
Just plain relaxing
Kick back with a beer and just relax in whatever way you feel like. Watch a movie, talk with your loved ones or just do nothing at all. It’s all good. Just keep in mind that you are now relaxing, and not going to stress about anything!
Have a good vacation!
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