Bringing The Vacation Mindset Back Home

Monday, April 22, 2019

Vacation is the time we often feel our best. We're more lax with ourselves, we're free of responsibilities, we make our comfort and happiness the priority.

Then we come home and forget all about it. At home, it's back to trying to accomplish as much as we can in a day, every day.

Rahul and I were recently in Arizona for a friend's wedding. Aside from the wedding itself, we purposely didn't set any other firm plan. The main goal was to truly unwind. And we did, and it was fabulous.

We came back home Tuesday night, and even though I had Wednesday off of work, I still woke up that morning already saying, "Ugh, I wanted to be up earlier," hurrying to get started on my to-do list.

I... don't like that.

Just as I do when I'm on vacation, I want to give myself some breathing room in my day-to-day life too. We should treat ourselves better so we can use vacation as a way to explore, not to escape.

For me, there were three key takeaways, three parts of that vacation mindset that I want to remember and bring back home.

Not setting an alarm.

This was absolutely the best part for me. I honestly don't remember the last time I didn't have an alarm set in the morning. I always do, even on the weekends.

In Arizona, I refused; I'd intended to sleep until my body/mind felt well-rested enough to wake up on its own. I did exactly that, without feeling like I had missed out on anything by not being up earlier. (Although I will admit that the two-hour time difference helped. My body clock sleeping in until 10 or 11 a.m. meant I was still up by 8 or 9.)

One day, were in bed until NOON. We woke up around 8 but stayed in bed watching "Happy Endings," eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and dozing some more until frickin' 12 o'clock. If I did that on a Saturday in my normal life, I'd have convinced myself that I was actual trash by 12:05. In Arizona, it's relaxing, which I apparently only allow myself when I'm on vacation.

I want to turn off the alarm more often. It was nice to wake up peacefully, knowing I'd gotten the proper rest I needed.

Doing a lot can be fun.

Usually, if I have more than two things on my schedule for a Saturday or Sunday, I'm convinced I won't have any free time, which is a little silly. On the other hand, when I'm on vacation, I usually want to fill the days with fun activities.

I want to reframe the way I view a busier weekend. "Busy" doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can be fun. As usual, it's all about perspective.

The same day that we were in bed until noon, we also drove to the south end of Phoenix, drove up a mountain, went for a hike, drove over to Scottsdale, had lunch, went for ice cream, walked around, rode electric scooters, admired the sunset, walked around some more downtown, drove back to our Airbnb in Phoenix and still had some time to unwind before bed, proving that it's possible for me to do a lot in a day without feeling so agitated.

Enjoy the simplicity. 

The littlest things made me so happy during our trip. We spent one evening riding electric scooters in loops around a lake, then up and down side streets looking at the houses. While I wouldn't ordinarily refer to this as a fun evening, during a trip, it was so fun. I couldn't stop smiling.

Life's pleasures aren't always the big stuff. Sometimes, the little moments are what shine the brightest. Instead of discounting them, we should embrace them.

What are your favorite parts of vacation that you want to apply to your daily life?

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