TSP • @myTSPnet
Often times we get stuck in a routine and need a vacation to refresh our minds and bodies. Vacations allow us the space to clear our brains and unplug from the digital world. However, research shows that the average U.S. employee has only used about half (54 percent) of their allotted vacations days in the last 12 months.
The reality is, taking a vacation isn’t always plausible. Sometimes our professional and personal lives prohibit us from taking time off. If you feel in desperate need of a vacation but are unable to take one in the near future, try some of these quick tips for getting the benefits of a vacation without leaving your zip code.
BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY
Who needs to tour a new city when you can stay home and tour your own? Participating in activities usually reserved for tourists will allow you to see your city with fresh eyes. Doing something new like visiting a museum, browsing an art gallery or attending a sports game can be an exciting, fun experience. Plus, many museums and galleries offer discounts, so take advantage of getting a deal while doing something you’ve never done before. Locals often forget the history and novelty of their city’s architecture. Visiting a historic building or monument in your city will give you a better understanding of the city’s heritage.
TAKE A SPA DAY
Taking time for yourself to truly relax and refresh is one of the reasons vacations are so beneficial. Booking a spa day is an excellent way to unwind without having to board a plane. If you prefer to skip the cost of a professional spa, you can create your own spa at home. With so many options available at drugstores, an at home spa is more accessible than ever before. Light a few candles, brew some herbal tea and pamper yourself with a face mask, exfoliating scrub, shave kit or pumice stone. Unplugging will provide you with mental and physical recharge that’s necessary to succeed in the workplace.
TRY A NEW RESTAURANT
One of the best parts of traveling is trying new or unique foods. But after living in a city for a while, people tend to frequent the same few restaurants. Leave behind your trusted spots for somewhere you’ve never been before. Whether the restaurant just opened or has been in business for a while, make a reservation – as long as it’s new to you. To find a spot you’re sure to love, search sites like Yelp or look at local food bloggers’ pages. You might surprise yourself and find a new favorite!
Visiting your local nature trails and parks can give you a mental refresh that indoor ventures cannot. In today’s world, where we’re flooded with powerful technology, it’s necessary to leave behind the fluorescent lights and recharge outside. Research shows that getting outside can provide a multitude of health benefits. Spending time outdoors increases your Vitamin D levels, helps you sleep better, improves your attention and memory, increases energy and more.
READ A BOOK
When on vacation, reading is a fun way to pass the time and provides lasting entertainment. But, you don’t need a vacation to find time to read a book. Reading is an excellent way to unplug while also keeping your brain active and engaged. Other benefits of reading include stress reduction, increased knowledge and memory improvement. Plus, reading can be a low-cost form of entertainment. Checking out books from your local library or borrowing a book from a friend can provide you with a surplus of affordable entertainment and relaxation.
REDECORATE YOUR HOME
Redecorating your home can make you feel like you’ve gotten away without actually leaving the house. A comfortable, tranquil bedroom is the key to getting a good night’s sleep – making it the perfect place to start. Changes could be as simple as switching out accent pillows or as drastic as painting the walls or replacing furniture. To make the project more fun, ask your family and friends to lend a hand. Involving them in the process will decrease the time needed to complete the project and create lasting memories.
Leave your smartphone behind, switch off the TV and put your laptop away. In today’s digitally driven world, we’re surrounded by screens. But, research shows that unplugging can be beneficial to our health. Take a vacation from your screens and gather a group of friends for a cookout or go on a hike with your family. Unplugging will provide your brain with a chance to relax and be in the moment.
With a little self-care, it is possible to feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on another work week with a clear mind. Whatever you do, choose an activity that is exciting and will take you out of your comfort zone. Regularly taking a break and doing something for yourself should help decrease the number of OOO days you may think you need to stay sane. When all else fails, you can at least turn off your phone!