Your body knows you need it. Your subconscious mind knows you need it. So then why is your rational mind so good at finding excuses not to take any holidays, even if those are paid holidays you have coming to you?
"I'll wait until flights are cheaper in the off-season." "I just have this one project to get out of the way." "The kids have too many activities for us to take time off." "The office will fall apart without me." And the list goes on...
So why do you desperately need a vacation? Consider the following:
- You are under a lot more chronic stress than you're consciously aware of (and you probably know from experience the only way to verify this is to take a holiday from your regular responsibilities)
- You're under continual non-psychological stress from your environment and the way you treat your body-mind organism
- These stress factors are harming your nervous system, your energy system, probably your cardiovascular system and more on a daily basis
- Therefore, you need to rest and rebuild your health and immunity on a deep level
- And you need a time where you can relax and make no decisions at all
It's often said, "A change is as good as a rest." Nonsense! It's not uncommon to find people whose vacation was a whirlwind tour of ten European capitals and who come home all excited... only to realize they're more exhausted than when they left.
Don't get me wrong - it's great to go see the world... as long as you take a true vacation that's separate from that. So I'm not saying you should cancel your flight to Frankfurt; just that the vacation you mind-body organism most needs, the one that will build your personal resilience instead of depleting it , is a little different.
The holiday you really need requires lots of fresh air and sunshine, light exercise, a healthy diet, some light detoxification, better quality sleep and probably a bit more of it, and deep relaxation.
An Ideal Vacation?
In the video below you'll see an example of a near perfect, resilience-building vacation. Please note that the point here is not so much the place itself, nor the Qi Gong master who devised it (Mantak Chia), but the key resilience-building components of the experience. Can you pick them out?
Design Your Vacation Today:
[NOTE: The following advice is for people in a state of overall good health. If you have particular health challenges or preexisting conditions, you should consult your health care practitioner before undertaking some elements of the following]
So now that I've persuaded you to take that long overdue vacation (!), here are some of the things you might want to consider:
First, you need time off work. So tell the office to take a hike for at least a week and preferably no less than two weeks.
Second, make sure that at least part of your vacation involves a change of surroundings for at least a few days if possible. You're looking for a calm and orderly environment, a place conducive to good sleep, fresh air, light exercise and a healthy diet.
Third, book yourself a few hours at a good spa, including at least one massage treatment of sixty minutes or more, plus use of the sauna and, if possible, swimming pool facilities. This is the "light detoxification" I referred to above. A good relaxation massage will help detoxify your body naturally, as will a sauna, especially if the sauna is followed by a dip in a cold-ish pool.
Fourth, surround yourself with warm, optimistic and loving people.
Next time, I'll let you in on the secrets of how to construct a mini-vacation anytime, even when you can't really get away for long or at all. That's what I did just last week ;-)
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger