Five Ways to Cultivate Vacation-Style Wellbeing at Home

Aug 20, 2013

Vacations are good for us.  Physically and emotionally removed from day-to-day responsibilities and stresses, and often with people we love, we remember what’s most important and grow more connected to one another and ourselves. An “escape” shifts us out of mundane reality, making it relatively easy to reach this state of peace. But there are things we can do to reap the benefits of vacations even when we stay put. Follow these steps to cultivate vacation-style wellbeing at home:

Take five minutes each morning to meditate. The state of mindfulness that corresponds with mediation is linked to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The practice essentially turns down the brain’s volume nob, allowing us to better manage our emotions, control our impulses and achieve greater focus and perspective.

Unplug. In the age of iPhones, it takes a concerted effort to abandon apps and email for an hour, let alone an evening. Consider not checking email after a certain hour, or making your bedroom a gadget-free zone. Our online, networked social lives can be a source of true connection or mindless distraction, so tweet wisely.

Take a bath. If showers are your default strategy for getting clean, treat yourself to baths once or twice a week. Few things are as relaxing and therapeutic. In this day and age, they almost feel self-indulgent – and that says a lot!

Take a walk. Set aside 30 minutes a day to simply get outside and notice the world around you. Walk without a purpose, without concern for going a certain distance. Just walk and breathe, taking in the environment and being mindful of your thoughts.

Cook. One of the best things about vacations is the food. While it’s a rare luxury to be fed by world-class chefs, cooking also brings a special satisfaction. Whether social or solitary, cooking is a grounding and relaxing activity that requires us to be fully present.

Incorporate even just one of these things into your active and fast-paced lives, and all of the sudden a vacation may not seem that far away.