Being in the present while on vacation

Vacations are a time to escape the stresses and mundane of our normal lives. But, as hard as you try to leave your worries and responsibilities behind, they somehow creep their way into your mind. We are used to compulsively checking our inboxes, but this is an opportunity to take a step back, relax, and recharge. To do this, you’ll need to connect to the present and enjoy the moment fully. This may seem like a no brainer if you’re on a vacation, but in practice, it’s not that easy. As many of us prepare for the long weekend ahead and take time off as summer ends, here are some tips to be more mindful and present in the moment.

Give yourself permission to unwind – We are conditioned to work. This is what we do day in day out for most of our days, so it’s impossible not to be. And when we aren’t working, sometimes anxiety sets it – did we forget something, need to get started on a certain something urgently...the list goes on. When on vacation the first step is to give yourself permission to not think about work and simply be fully present.

Take enough vacation days to allow yourself to be fully present - You have vacation days for a reason. Take them! Don’t ever feel guilty about it. Especially when you have paid time off, its important to remember that these days are part of your remuneration package and if you don’t take the days off, you are leaving money on the table. But what’s important is to take enough days off at a stretch. It can take a day or two for our minds to really get out of "work mode" and into "vacation mode." Towards the end of a vacation, its normal that your mind starts to get back into work mode. So you better have enough time in between to truly enjoy your time off.

Screen-free time – this is a tough one, especially as we try to photograph every beautiful moment, but its important to at least designate some time to disconnect from your devices. When you are not looking at a screen, its easier to reconnect with your surroundings, loved ones, and yourself.

Move – Now this might seem like something you don’t want to do on vacation, especially if working out isn’t something you enjoy. But try to start your day with movement. Moving your body boosts endorphins, giving more energy, helping ease your minds and rejuvenating your bodies.  Be it a walk, a run, yoga, or even the gym it will give you a sense of calm that can last the whole day.   

Appreciate the highs AND lows - At the end of each day, maybe at dinner or wind down drinks, ask the people you are with (or reflect inwardly if you are on a solo trip) the good and the bad that happened that day. You don’t necessarily need to have a low, but you must have a high or a good moment. Its about making space to appreciate the positive things that you are experiencing, while you are experiencing it. It forces you to be present and appreciate the little things and can also give you a lot of insights into your travel mates.

Vacations are meant to be enjoyed, so stay be present in the moment and take it all in. Mostly important, have fun! 

How do you stay mindful on vacations? Comment below.


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