Friday, August 31, 2018

Why Short Breaks are Just As Fun

Happy Friday! Happy Long Weekend! Happy post about a short travel trip, which I am in desperate need of! Happy vacation writing, which I'm about to embark on! Written by Maggie Hammond, a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.

They say vacations are good for the soul, and no doubt you look forward to taking your annual week away and spending your time pleasing yourself and enjoying a change of scenery. Yet a lot of the time, you can return from your trip feeling tired, cranky, and wondering why you just blew all that money. Or maybe you felt like you couldn’t afford a proper vacation and just spent your week off mooching around your home. The week disappears all too quickly, and then it’s back to your regular routine for another eleven months. Sounds like it’s time to take a fresh look at how you spend your vacations.

Get out of the all or nothing mindset
If you tend to place all your hopes and expectations on one week away each year, you could well be setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s like putting all your money on a single bet – you risk losing it all in one go. Remember the TV shows or movies that your friends all told you were the best ever, and that you would love them – but when you watch them you feel a little let down? It’s the effect of expecting too much; if you go into something with more modest expectations, it will probably be better than you thought, whereas if you go in with high expectations, you’ll almost certainly be disappointed. It’s much better to spread your bets across a range of options, and vacation time is best thought of in a similar way. Rather than pinning all your hopes on one week away a year, plan some weekend breaks, day trips, and stay at home chill-out weekends throughout the rest of the year. That way you’ll be taking the pressure off the main vacation, and you’ll know if it doesn’t work out as well as you’d planned that you have other treats lined up not too far ahead.

Vacations can be good for your health
It’s well-known that stress has a harmful effect on your physical and mental health, and in our fast-paced modern society it’s pretty hard to lead a stress-free life. Kicking back and getting out of your routine gives your mind and body the chance to unwind and get the relaxation it needs. Spreading this healing effect across a range of different activities and time periods is far more effective than putting all your time and money into a single vacation week each year. To cope with pressure and stress, you need regular time out, as well as taking steps in your daily life to minimize the harmful effects of stress and anxiety. Having a week away is great as a highlight of your year, but having a special day or weekend break once a month or so as well will do an even better job of recharging your batteries.

How travel feeds your mind
Any kind of trip away from home gives you an opportunity to expand your mind, learn new things, meet different people, and experience the wonders of the planet. Seasoned travelers know that one of the most rewarding aspects of their trips is the exposure to new sights, histories, and cultures. Living in the heart of a different community that could be wholly at odds with your own familiar existence can be not just enjoyable, but highly enlightening. You can gain an understanding of how other people live, the fabric of the planet and all the creatures that live upon it, and the impact of historical events in shaping the world as it is today. It can make you appreciate how precious life is, and why you should be more caring both for your fellow humans and for the ecology of the planet. It can drive home the reality behind news stories of life in distant lands, give you the chance to connect with far-off friends and family members, and it will spread understanding between cultures. The positive impact of a well-spent trip can’t be overstated, and no matter how close to home or far away you go, there will still be a chance to have this mind-opening experience.

Money and time
Two of the main reasons people give as to why they restrict their traveling are time and money. You need both in order to take a trip, but even if you’re tight for time and strapped for cash, you can still find ways to get away once in a while:
·       If money is an issue, save as much as you can in a dedicated fund, and consider the credit options available to you. Obviously, you don’t want to end up with debts when you’re struggling with your finances, but if you are able to cover the monthly repayments without a problem, then paying for your vacation on credit could be seen as a valid investment into your health. If you don’t take time out, you could end up run-down or depressed, and get to a point where you can’t work, or you start to accrue healthcare bills. Studying the available financial services such as recommendations on the best secured credit card will help you choose a credit option that suits you.
·       Time is the other chief reason for not spending more time away. If you have a busy schedule of work, family, and other commitments, then taking a weekend break or needing a day out here and there can be hard to arrange, and very often trips get postponed or canceled. It might not be easy to make the time, but even a half day will be of great benefit to your health and happiness, so making an effort to fit a few short breaks into your life will be all the more rewarding.

It doesn’t matter what you do with your time away; you could spend the whole weekend stretched out on a sunny beach, or trekking through the mountains; what matters most is the way you feel while you’re doing it. Give your spirits a lift, expand your mind, and let your brain take a pleasant diversionary route for a day or two, and come back to life refreshed and reinvigorated.

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