Relaxation on holiday is all about de-stressing and recharging your batteries. A vacation affords you a great opportunity to take stock, unwind, and emerge feeling refreshed. If you live life to the full and always seem to be running in the fast lane, then a holiday experience is ideal for slowing down a gear or two, filling up on energy stocks, and embracing total relaxation.
Follow our golden rules for relaxation:
Reduce stress levels before you go: Find the right accommodation to suit your needs, work out the most comfortable way to travel, and organize your vacation and pack early so that nothing is left last minute. Tie up any work or domestic loose ends before you set off to ensure you are not beginning your holiday stressed out and ill-prepared.
Vacation more often: Trying to cram in total relaxation into one or two holidays a year may mean that you expect too much from one short period – relaxation, fun, excitement etc. Booking and looking forward to more getaways takes the pressure off each vacation. The result? Greater life-work balance and a greater sense of relaxation.
Appreciate simple pleasures: Being able to feel the benefits of simplicity is a great tonic too. Give yourself time to take in a fantastic view, to feel the sun on your face, and a light breeze in your hair. Lie on a sunbed and simply lounge away time, take afternoon naps, and let the beauty of your natural surroundings work its magic.
Read a good book: A good book is not one that you have been trying to read for ages or one that you feel you should read, but one that you can really devour. You want a page-turner that transports you into another world, does not overstretch your brain cells, and yet keeps your attention to the very end. If you are not a reader then an audio book has the same settling power.
Relax into the lap of luxury: Make the most of every feature on offer. Take regular dips in the pool, even if you are not a great fan of swimming, curl up on your big, comfy sofa, even if you hardly ever sit down and relax at home, and take a nap in your soft bed when you feel like it. Luxurious facilities are there for your enjoyment, so enjoy them!
Spend time alone: Whoever you are holidaying with, create valuable space where you can be in your own company. There is no need to retreat for long stretches of time, but constant interaction can be exhausting. Take a short walk by yourself in the mornings or when the sun goes down, or find a quiet corner to hide away and relax for a while.
Stop working: Work can seem never-ending, but all work and no play makes Jack or Jill a dull boy or girl. What will happen if you take time off? Will everything fall apart? You may be indispensable, but what can be achieved without you for a short time? If the prospect sounds frightening then plan ahead and make contingency plans before you go.
Give yourself extra time before and after your holiday: If you have a super busy run up to a break and then hit the ground on the other side running, then this stress can eat into your vacation. Tension at either end of your getaway can seep into the first few days and the last few, leaving you less time in the middle to relax. Allow time to recover from jetlag and to pack or get a few things done before you go to minimize anxiety.
Don’t over-plan: Action-packed holidays can be great fun, but a schedule that is too strict or tightly organized can become a burden. Give plans some breathing space. If you have particular ideas about what you want to do whilst you are away then great, but be wary of planning each available moment. Being able to follow your mood and be yourself at all times is a wonderfully relaxing way to be.
Do something different: You may feel that nestling into your comfort zone is going to inspire the most relaxation possible. Of course, holidays that meet your expectations are more relaxing. However, by adding in new experiences and stepping outside your usual routine, you can open yourself up to greater adventures and enjoyment. This exhilaration and interest relaxes and reenergizes you at the same time.
Don’t update social media too often: It can be tempting to record every part of your vacation. Taking photos and videos to remember your stay is all well and good, but constantly updating Facebook, Twitter or weibo stands in the way of you really relaxing into your holiday experience. Put a limit or even a block on tech.