How To Unplug (For Real) On Vacation
Smartphones and laptops are perfect for planning adventures, looking up the hippest restaurants, and posting those #FOMO inducing beach pics during a trip. Unfortunately, having 24/7 access to those digital devices is a slippery slope.
You can often find yourself checking work emails and scrolling through social media rather than taking in the view.
In fact, according to a recent NPR poll, 30 percent of Americans focus a significant amount of energy on work during their “getaways.” And another survey found that 56 percent of workers checked in with work when they’re supposed to be on vacation. This means we’re packing stress right alongside our bathing suits and flip flops. No wonder two-thirds of full-time workers experience job burnout.
With so few vacation days already (10 paid per year on average in the U.S.), it’s imperative to use that time to break the vicious cycle and recharge. So, decide to disconnect next time you travel. How? Here are five tips to help you recharge. After all, your cell phone needs it too.
Bring An Actual Camera
Yes, it’s way easier just to pack a cell phone, given how small they are and how good of pictures they take. But even having it in your presence can quickly lead to you checking on Facebook, peeking at your email, or spending hours crafting the perfect Instagram post. Instead, bring a legit camera out on your adventures and leave your phone in the room. This will help you stay focused on the day ahead and not get sucked into the social media spiral. Plus, there are so many great compact cameras available on the market today; you have no excuse.
Choose A Destination That Does Not Offer WiFi
The thought of this might already be sending you into a panic. But just hear me out. Going to a place with limited or no WiFi or cell phone signal will force you to disconnect. It might feel weird at first. But after you get over the initial shock, you will feel so much more relaxed and be forced into the moment. Just think of how your parents once traveled. They could disappear for weeks, and everything would be fine when they returned. Plus, it’s a great excuse not to answer work emails either. Have your out of office read, “I’m currently traveling with no access to the internet. Will respond upon my return.” You’ll be fine without knowing your friends’ status updates or your boss’ latest request. It can wait.
Practice Mindfulness With Yoga or Meditation
For many, vacation means vegging out, eating a ton, and trying to let our minds wander. While there is certainly merit in wanting to let go of daily life totally, it’s important to use vacation as a regeneration opportunity. That can only happen if you practice some form of mindfulness. Try taking a sunrise beach yoga class to enhance that sense of relaxation. If there isn’t a class available at your destination, flow through some sun salutations in your hotel room. There are plenty of free online videos that can lead you through a short session. Or, find a free guided meditation. Even 10 minutes of these activities will enhance the dysconnectivity from technology and connection to the present.
Book a Spa Treatment
You only have a limited time when you’re on vacation, so indulge a little. Book a massage or try a locally inspired treatment to help you unwind more. After all, the whole purpose of a spa is to help you disconnect from the day-to-day and walk away feeling regenerated. When you make a point to do things out of the norm, it takes you away from daily stressors and could even help open your mind creatively. Look, you might have to spend a little extra cash, but the benefits will outweigh any cost. Plus, it can be something you dream about when you’re back in the grind.
Catch Some Zzzzs
It sounds simple, but it’s often overlooked. Many Americans (42 percent, according to The National Sleep Foundation) are chronically sleep-deprived. That can lead to all sorts of health problems like increased risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure. While you should focus on getting quality sleep as often as possible, it might not always be an option. So, you at least need to let your body regenerate on vacation. It can be tempting to pack in a lot when visiting a new destination. But it’s important to leave time to sleep in and take naps. The last thing you want is to end your vacation feeling exhausted. Take it from the experts Tom Brady and actress Brooke Burke-Charvet. Both have admitted to taking “sleepcations” where they booked a getaway just to snooze.
TIMA Contributor Jordi Lippe-McGraw is the owner and author of Well Traveler, a blog dedicated to navigating life through beautiful and practical stories from around the world, inspiring people to embrace their individual journeys and learn simple steps towards creating a happy and healthy life.
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