15 mindfulness tips that will improve your vacation

If you are a reader of this blog, I’m sure that you’re a goal driven person who is building a life they don’t need an escape from. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some time off. Not in order to escape, but in order to open yourself to new experiences ( and as a reminder to be grateful of having the opportunity to do that).

If done right, taking a vacation can have lots of benefits for your well-being. It’s an opportunity to fortify yourself and to rediscover parts of you that might be lost in the everyday hustle. During this time, when you’re in a state of relaxation and calm, thoughts and feelings might come to the surface that you have previously been unaware of, or just to busy to notice. Now you have the time to address them. Vacation days can also be used to build stronger relationships with friends, family and partners. Last but not least, you can have some fun!

So, when you do decide to book that trip, here’s a list of ideas about how to make the most of it.

  1. Start with why you are going on a vacation and what do you want to get out of it. Be honest with yourself. It doesn’t matter if it sounds silly or strange. This is just between you and yourself.

  2. A vacation to-do list. This might sound like an oxymoron, but making a list of things you need to get done before your trip will help you to plan ahead and avoid the stress of doing everything last minute.

  3. Don’t over schedule your time. Learn to go with the (vacation) flow.

  4. Keep an open mind.

  5. Set realistic expectations. Your trip doesn’t have to be flawless in order to be great.

  6. Ease into vacation mode by taking the first day slow.

  7. Be an avid observer. Take in the sounds, smells and views of your new surroundings. Let your body and mind adjust to the change.

  8. Don’t rush through it. Cramming your trip with visiting as many attractions as possible will just turn into a race against the clock. You’ll be left with anxiety and vague memories. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. Maybe you’ll visit fewer attractions, but you’ll get a chance to understand and experience them better.

  9. If you’re in a new city or country, try the local food. The dishes and the eating customs are a mirror of the culture, history and nature of the place you’re visiting. Give yourself the chance to taste a spoonful of it. It’s okay even if you decide that you don’t like it. What matters is that you went outside of your comfort zone and tried something new.

  10. Don’t rush meals. If you only take one suggestion from this list, make it this one. It makes no difference if it’s a local delicacy or your regular go to order. The important thing is to savor the moment (and the food). Your senses will thank you for it. And go ahead, order dessert if you want to. They say that calories don’t count on vacation. :D

  11. Unplug. It can be partially or completely. The key is to reduce your exposure to the constant stream of news, emails and notifications.

  12. Don’t be a sunset paparazzi. There is nothing wrong with taking a few photos, I know that the sunset is beautiful...but it is also fleeting. Make sure to experience it IRL and not thought a screen. ( Have to admit, I’m guilty of this one)

  13. While your body is at the beach, make sure your head is not in the office. Side note: When you are in a state of calm, ideas might pop up in your head unexpectedly. Keep a notebook at hand to record them and revisit them when you get back to work.

  14. Invest in experiences, not in goods. But if you see a souvenir, a piece of clothing or a handmade item that you really like, go for it. We won’t judge you. Just remember to stay mindful about your purchases.

  15. Be aware of the vacation paradox. Have you ever felt that your vacation days went by with the speed of light? Yet, when you got back to your daily routine and looked back on your trip and the things that you experienced, it suddenly seems like it lasted for much longer? Well, this is the vacation paradox. The term refers to the way we perceive time when when are having a really good time on our trip. Just as it ends, we feel like time went by way to quickly, but after some time, when start to reminisce about trip, it feels like it lasted for so much longer.

I hope that you’ll have a great vacation.

P.S. Don’t forget the sunscreen. :)