(Photo by Selma Komisky)
How-To: Relax on Your Summer Getaway Vacation
By Maya Kennedy
I am busy. I have so many commitments it’s almost unbelievable – from coaching, to babysitting, to future grad school appointments, and not to mention traveling as much as I can this summer, all while trying to squeeze in all the time I can with family and friends. Yeah, “I am busy” is almost an understatement. So what happens when we try to relax? Well I know for me it’s like trying to stop a train with a stop sign – it just doesn’t work. My mind is going a million miles an hour trying to prioritize, organize, and strategize the best ways to get everything done in the most efficient and timely manner. Maybe you’re not like me, and relaxing comes natural to you (cheers, I wish I could say the same), but for those who struggle with slowing down, here are some easy tips to keep the Type-A personality at bay.
Whether you are on a luxurious vacation or just laying at the community pool, be present with the people you are with. Invest in your company and focus on getting to know them on a different level. When you travel with people, you are truly experiencing a part of your life that only you guys will share, and that’s special, so make the most of it. Dive deeper into your conversations and see what God does with that. Relationships are so important and you can’t do life well without them.
Another way to relax and enjoy your down time is to live in the moment. Breathe in the air around you and focus on that for a few minutes either at the beginning of your day or at the end. After focusing on your breathing, really work your way up from your toes to your neck. Uncurl your toes, stretch your legs, relax your hands, then your fingers, and work your way up to your shoulders and neck. Trust me it seems silly but it really does your body wonders. It’s crazy how we don’t realize just how tense we are until we focus on relaxation. Let your body physically unwind and your brain will follow.
Make sure to look around and thank God for the little things you see. Start with the colors in the leaves, the sky, the water – God is truly romancing you with all of these small details. It is so easy to miss these when we are running around at a million miles an hour, but when you are on vacation, take the time to notice these things and be grateful for them. Find time to spend with God during your vacation. It seems like a no brainer but if you’re on a strict itinerary for your trip you might want to write it down on the list of things to do. Ask God to give you peace and calm during your vacation so when you are back to your crazy life you can hit the ground running, fully charged and ready to face whatever tasks are on your plate.
Ultimately, vacations are supposed to be fun and not stressful! Try not to do too much in one day (European travelers especially). I know it is so important to see all of the sites while you are there, but honestly, if it is compromising your well-being to do three huge sites in one day, don’t do it! Say no and work it in another day. The last thing you want to do is make your getaway vacation another work week. Remember to be present, thank God, and especially unwind during your trip and I promise everything will fall into place, even if it is not what you originally planned for!