Earl Wilson once said, “A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” There is nothing quite like getting away from it all, is there? You may love, hate, or tolerate your job, but no matter the perspective, getting away is most likely a cherished goal. For good reasons, many of us include vacations in our yearly plans and budget. Vacations are as much a part of our well-being as our diets and dentist visits. They allow our minds and bodies to rest, refuel, and renew.
Why Are Vacations So Important?
For this article, we should broaden our definition of a vacation. Many of us think of a vacation as going someplace fun and rejuvenating, far from home and the stresses of daily life. It is a pleasant concept, but not everyone can get away from home, or their budget will not allow such expenditures. So, what do those folks do to rest, refuel, and renew?
Instead of focusing on where to spend your vacation or how much to spend, maybe you should think outside the box. Focus on what makes you feel good. Think about something that makes your heart happy, rests your mind from tough decisions, and nourishes your soul. Approaching vacation in this manner may allow you unlimited possibilities.
Replenish Your Body and Feed Your Brain
The National Park Service website says, “National parks offer refuge and respite to hundreds of thousands of people.” Why do so many people flock to national parks for respite? Simply put, they want to quench their thirst for new experiences by feeding their bodies and brains. Everyone might not use the same words to describe their desire for physical challenges and cognitive stimulation, but the underlying premise is there.
Changing our daily routines and allowing our minds to think — without stress or anxiety getting in the way — will enable us to not only rest but also stave off mental health issues, such as depression. A well-rested person can perform better on the job and face everyday struggles with renewed resolve and energy. As a result, the quality of life is elevated, promoting overall well-being.
Many of us recall some of our family vacations as an unorganized whirlwind of hurried travel and confusing roadmaps, but much fun and frolicking occurred nonetheless. Others make a great effort to afford themselves a lazy and luxurious refuge from corporate life and don’t mind what the kids want. However, family vacations are for the family, and each member’s enjoyment and needs should be considered when planning the adventure. After all, you are not just having fun but creating lifelong memories. With thoughtful planning, every family member can come home refreshed and refueled for the upcoming challenges of daily life.
Can a Staycation Be Effective?
We all became more inventive during the pandemic, with schooling, relationships, and vacations. By now, we should all be professionals at vacationing at home. Firstly, be on vacation, simple as that. You do not work when you go to Disney World on vacation, so put the work away when you vacation at home. Treat it like a normal vacation. One of your goals should be to feel like you have been on vacation when your vacation week is over. This might require a little pre-planning but get creative and enjoy your time!
A few tips for a fulfilling and inexpensive staycation are listed below:
- Take a day trip to a park or lake, picnic, and toss the frisbee
- Read that novel you have been setting aside for a rainy day
- Camp out in the backyard
- If you want a bit of luxury, have a candlelit dinner on the patio, with table linens and fine china.
- Plan a game night
- If you can manage it, have an outdoor movie night
- Take in a museum, theater production, or concert for a bit of culture
- Enjoy a luxuriously long nap or bath.
Whatever you decide to do for your staycation, do it with passion. Enthusiasm is contagious; your family, friends, or partner will reap the benefits.
Vacations in Recovery
Vacationing during recovery can be beneficial for many reasons. Recovery can sometimes seem like a never-ending treadmill of repetitive actions and routines. However, healing can happen in different locations and surroundings, so changing scenery may lift your spirits and give you new energy. Consequently, a well-timed vacation may break up the monotony, allowing time and our environment to adjust and enhance our mindset.
Allowing yourself more frequent, albeit shorter, mini-vacations throughout the year may be more beneficial because you can enjoy different locations to rest, refuel, and renew. Weekend road trips can be quite an adventure for anyone. Find the best way to experience downtime for your well-being.
At SoCal Mental Health, we understand the impact of self-care and vacation on mental health. It is vital to your well-being, and your quality of life depends on it. Vacations help relieve the stresses of daily living and give us a fresh, renewed view and outlook. However, if you or a loved one is currently experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, or other mental health concerns and feel like it is out of your control, we can help. Our programs provide supportive and compassionate treatment, including developing relationships with your peers and our support staff. You do not have to go through this alone. Call us today for more information at (888) 627-6225.