Taking a Vacation Soon? Get into a Vacation Mindset and Enjoy Every Minute!

Vacations are credited with relieving stress and bringing about good times and happy memories. So how do you ensure that your next vacation will result in positive benefits right away?

Do you often begin a vacation stressed out and feeling unprepared to leave your work and life behind? With minimal effort, anyone can embark on a vacation with the right “vacation” mindset.  Take action before your next trip to quickly turn off your work and life responsibilities and totally embrace a vacation mindset from the moment you depart.

Let Go of Work-Life and Get Into Vacation Mindset

What is the Vacation Mindset?

Without a conscious effort to transition into vacation mode, it can be difficult to disconnect from both work and life and fully benefit from our time off. Whether you are embarking on an extended vacation or just a weekend trip away from home, it is essential that you change gears to enter what I like to call the vacation mindset.

What exactly is a “Vacation Mindset” and how will it help you? Think of it as serving the same purposes as stretching before working out at the gym, playing sports, or going for a run.  With a few simple exercises, you can warm up your mind to be totally on vacation from the moment it begins.  There is no reason to waste the first few hours or days of vacation trying to turn off the ever-present responsibilities of life and work. If you are the type of person who worries about work as soon as you leave the office, this article is for you.

You – Work-Life Balance + Vacation

First let’s review the definition of “life” and “work” since these two concepts get thrown together into the all too common “work-life balance” term. The VacationCounts mantra takes this concept a step further by dividing work-life balance into three components. The third category is (you guessed it) “vacation” which must be separated from life’s activities if you want to be on vacation and not simply off from work.

Ratio of Work, Life, Vacation Hours Per Year

Work” is made up of those hours spent earning a living whether you commute to a place of employment or work from home. It is easy to know when you are working and when you are not working, but don’t forget to count the time you think about work or work from home or while on vacation.

“Life” is traditionally considered the time left over when you are not working. I think you’ll agree that vacation time should not be included in everyday life since life is made up of the “must do’s” while vacation is all about the “want to” activities. Those home and family tasks, the ones you spend countless hours dealing with such as paying the bills, household chores, running errands, visiting the dentist, even sleeping, is called “Life.”

Vacation” refers to ANY activity that brings you personal enjoyment or fulfillment regardless of whether it involves travel, costs money, or meets the outdated definition of a vacation.

> Learn More – Read our Definition of Work-Life-Vacation Balance article to get on the VacationCounts page.

Step 1: Write Down a Plan Before You Leave on Vacation – The Why?

  • By listing your top vacation goals, you can focus your mind on accomplishing what you desire by taking time off
  • To encourage you to research all the trip possibilities, visualize the reward, and craft your perfect itinerary
  • To enable you to share your travel plan with family, friends, and co-workers and build anticipation and excitement
  • By putting in so much effort and reminding yourself that vacation is an essential part of life, you will be less likely to cancel at the last-minute
  • So that you can be open to discovery while on vacation and make quick decisions to go off plan when the opportunity arises

Step 2: Disconnect From Work and Life – The How?

Turn Off Work and Life to Be On Vacation

  • Wrap up all loose ends at work by completing tasks, handing over responsibility, and informing your co-workers
  • Create and follow a checklist to confidently wrap up all life and home tasks before departing –
  • Put your computer and cell phone in vacation mode by either not bringing them or using them only for travel purposes
  • Ask one person to be your eyes and ears back home so that you will only expect to hear from this person if anything comes up that you must deal with while traveling
  • Make a promise to yourself that you will not bring work or life on vacation with you (ask the same of your spouse, kids, and traveling partner)

Step 3: Refresh At the Start of Every Vacation – The Steps

  • Upon arrival both relax and awaken your vacation senses by doing one of the following:
    • Take a leisurely stroll with no destination in mind
    • Meditate, go to the hotel gym, or practice mindfulness
    • Sit at a cafe, hotel lobby, or outdoor spot to think and discuss your vacation plans
    • Head directly to your ideal vacation spot and take it all in
  • Eat out or pack a picnic meal to nourish your stomach during the journey or when you first reach your destination
  • Think about the purpose and goals of this trip and remind yourself of the promise to put work and life on hold
  • Review your trip itinerary to fill your mind with the many wonderful experiences you have planned and push out the nagging work+life stressors

Summarizing Your Vacation Mindset

Welcome to Your Vacation TimeIt is all too easy for the realities of work and life to creep into your vacation day wherever you are. That that isn’t fair to you or your family. This is why I wrote down my guidelines which I hope will help lead you into the vacation mindset. You earned this paid time off by working hard and getting your job done. Now it is your job to ensure that your next travel experience is successful.

Don’t be one of those persons that reports that it takes them a day or two to truly feel like they are “on vacation.” You owe it to yourself and your family to switch into a vacation mindset as soon as you switch off work and life. Only by going beyond mere work-life balance and including vacation as an equally important (maybe even more important) part of your existence can you truly experience the rewards of every vacation.