Don’t Vacate Your Vacation

Next time your thoughts are dragging you away from your well-earned holiday, instead try relaxing into the sensory world.

Nubia Navarro/Pexels

A gentle breeze lazily rocks the hammock I’ve been lying in for hours. My breath is low and slow, and I’m smiling for no reason. It’s vacation time. It feels so good to do nothing on purpose, to stretch out, curl up, and let myself rest. It is necessary, but it isn’t always easy to relax and stop being so busy, even just for a while. It requires a clear intention to make room for some nourishing downtime.

Vacations offer important opportunities to rest, recharge, and put a spring back into our step. Even the word—vacation—seems to shimmer, doesn’t it? It may evoke palm trees and backdrops for perfect selfies. We fantasize about vacations, we save for them, and we hear that they are crucial to mental, physical, and social well-being.

And yet, you might plop yourself down in the most glorious sunshine and still find it hard to unhook from the wild and woolly chaos of the un-vacationed brain, essentially vacating your own vacation. Unhooking from the daily buzz can feel impossible, and you find your attention drifting to work or to other problems you can’t—and shouldn’t—solve from your deck chair. This can open the door to chronic stress,…

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