Thursday, 12 August 2010

How to Take a Vacation Now, Even if You "Can't Get Away"

I hope you enjoyed Tuesday's blog post with the video of Tao Garden.  Now that you understand how vital a vacation is for maintaining and building your personal resilience, I can guess what you're probably thinking...

"Yeah, that's great... and I could probably take some time off work... but there's no way we can afford the Caribbean, much less jetting off to Thailand!" 

And you may be right.  Whether it's lack of time or lack of funds, maybe you can't get away right now, or at least not for long.  If that's the case, don't feel badly.  I couldn't manage a long vacation away right now either for various reasons, but that didn't stop us from taking a "mini-vacation" last week, and it was super!  Here's what we did...

First, I cleared most items off my calendar for two weeks - no speaking, no consulting, just some routine business tasks and time to think about the future.  Then I booked a day at a local spa called "Spa Nordik" (see the photo below), including massages for myself and my wife, as well as use of their amazing wet and dry saunas and hot and cold pools.  

Spa Nordik - two thumbs up!
Basically, this place is a paradise.  It's literally minutes away from the city, yet remote enough that you're not conscious of the city's hustle and bustle.  

Phase two of our plan was to do an overnight getaway at a local hotel, as well as taking in a movie and having dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant.  So, although this has been mostly a stay-at-home vacation, it really has been a very relaxing holiday.  

Planning Your Own Stay-at-Home Vacation:

To do something similar for yourself, just review the vacation priorities I mentioned in the previous post.  If you look at them carefully, you'll realize you can in fact accomplish most of this without ever leaving home!  In fact, let's assume a "worst case" scenario where you can't get much if any time off work...

Step One: Arrange your affairs so you won't have to make any big decisions or worry about anything for a two-week period.  If there's something really stressing you out that's not going to go away, I would highly recommend using an energy-psychology method such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to manage your stress, and perhaps talking it through with a trusted friend or counselor in advance, so your vacation is as worry-free as possible.  

Step Two: Book a massage at a local spa.  You'll probably want a "relaxation massage" or something similar.  Just make sure you don't get some idiot who's digging into your flesh as if you were at a sports medicine clinic.  That happened to me once - my wife, who was getting a massage in the same room at the time, said later, "I was sure you were going to flatten him!"  Well, I avoided bloodshed at the time, but the point is that you want your massage to relieve tension without causing you physical pain.  

Step 3: Plan a healthy menu for your vacation.  Many people think of vacation as a time to go binge drinking and discard all restraint.  Of course, what we have in mind is a vacation that builds your resilience instead of depleting it.

Step 4: This step is optional but very much worth considering - watch the video below, where Feng Shui expert Elizabeth Chamberlain shows you how to transform one room of your house into the perfect stay-at-home vacation spot:

Step 5: Plan your light exercise and fresh air for the week - perhaps long walks, walks to places you don't get to very often or a hike in the nearest wilderness area.  Swimming comes highly recommended as a vacation exercise, especially in summer.  

There's your blueprint.  I hope you've enjoyed learning about "resilience vacations" this week, why your body-mind organism desperately needs one and that you can take one very soon no matter what your financial or work situation.  I look forward to your comments and to hearing about your vacation!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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