Recently, someone I know recommended practicing the Art of the Mini-Vacation. “What a great idea!” Mini-vacations can happen anywhere, anytime. They can last 10 seconds, 10 minutes, or 10 hours. A weekend mini-vacation lasts 2 days!
So how does that work?
Any time taken away from the rush of your current life, or without the focus on your future life qualifies. Research indicates that high performance athletes take a type of mini-vacation while playing sports. Ever notice how tennis players bounce the ball a few times before serving? They are focusing their concentration, lowering their heart rate, resting muscle tissue, and restoring equilibrium to their bodies. Without a doubt, mini-vacations increase endurance and productivity – by refocusing attention, deeper meaning is brought to the tasks we do right now. For budget-minded, time-crunched vacationers, imagination is key. Here are some fun ways to practice the art of the mini-vacation.
- Waiting for the bus? Breathe deeply and feel the air enter and exit your lungs slowly.
- Meditate! Meditators have been mini-vacationing for centuries.
- Walk with focus. This is easy. Concentrate on how your feet feel against the floor while walking. Be conscious of how you ‘peel’ the soles of your feet up and into the air for the next step. Notice how your balance shifts? Remember to watch where you are walking though!
- Find 1 hour for a massage, and pretend you are in another country while being pampered.
- Vacuum with calypso music on. Dance while doing the rugs and pretend you are tidying your summer house in the Caribbean. You can add to the mini- vacation by practicing another language at the same time.
- Stay over night in a B&B just outside the city. Try things you would never try at home.
- Celebrate morning. This is a personal favourite. I snuggle my giant dog before getting out of bed. (Yes – I let him on the bed.)
- Put surprise love notes in your kid’s pockets. Just doing it feels great. And they feel special too.