Vacation De-Stressing Self-Help Advice

Written by Jane Brooks

Advice on approaching vacation with the right state of mind. You'll get more "vacation" out of it and de-stress to boot! 

My ex-husband was usually cranky for the first couple of days on vacation. I, on the other hand, was refreshed the moment we left the house, which meant my holiday started before his, a fact he resented.

Tips for a Successful Vacation
Don't over-schedule: Let things evolve according to your energy level.
Be flexible: Allow others to make choices.
Try something different: Go parasailing, eat an unfamiliar food, sleep late.
Be open to talking to strangers: Vacationers are sociable and you may make a new friend. Exercise caution, especially if you are traveling solo.
I suppose the amount of time it takes you to decompress is proportional to your stress level. Or perhaps it has to do with expectations. If the weather's uncooperative or the accommodations aren't up to snuff, the vacation doesn't work for some.

Me, I have few expectations. At the very least, a vacation is a respite from the tedium of daily life. Anything else is gravy. It's monotony, rather than stress, that does me in. That explains why I can unwind in a blink.

Last week I managed to squeeze in four days at the beach. As I approached the usual beach gridlock, I popped in a Van Morrison tape, ignoring my near-phobic traffic aversion. Surrounding me was a cacophony of music blaring from cars with windows wide open, despite the 90-degree temperature. Not one soul beeped impatiently as we sat for nearly an hour.

For a few glorious days, I became the recipient of service instead of the provider. My greatest concern was whether to order the duck salad or the crab quesadilla. The leaky faucet? I stuffed a towel under it, called maintenance, grabbed my book and headed for the beach.

The change of scenery and routine are what I relish most about a vacation. And the fact that everyone's in a good mood. I overheard a group of sunbathing coeds prattle about their success at the bars the evening before.

I patiently walked behind an elderly couple ,she with a portable oxygen tank, who were holding hands as they ambled ever so slowly. I watched fathers build elaborate sand castles with their kids. I saw a baby giggle as he licked his first ice pop.

Vacation is a state of mind. If you're the kind who thinks of a vacation as a luxury item, think again. Change your routine and transform your mood. Take a day from work and visit the zoo. Pick up some tasty morsels at the gourmet take-out shop and find a park to picnic.

Or try one of my favorites;stretch out on that hammock one night, listen to the cricket symphony, and observe the fireflies for a couple of hours.
Bon voyage!

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