Back from a vacation in the sunny Arizona, I’m still basking in the afterglow of a stress-free 2 weeks. It’s amazing how much a vacation can reset your mind and your body. I always look forward to and thoroughly enjoy my vacations, but this time was different. More than ever, my husband and I truly needed a break. This real need for a break was evident in how I vacationed. Since we went somewhere we had been multiple times, we didn’t feel the need to do all the tourist things and try to squeeze as much as possible into our days. We just relaxed . . . hard! Let me just say that this is totally out of character for me. I’m a do-er. If I’m not doing something I start feeling unproductive and bored which then leads to me getting antsy and even a bit irritable. (My poor husband has gotten to be a pro at realizing when I need to get out and do something. I think it may be more about self-preservation on his part, but I appreciate that he knows me so well.)
How was I able to really relax this time? Every morning we got in some type of exercise. Whether it was a long walk, a run, a hike, or a quick workout in the room or the hotel fitness center – we made sure to do something physical. Even though I am not usually a morning exerciser, this ‘schedule’ made sure vacation wouldn’t interfere with exercise. My workouts and runs weren’t as long or as intense as usual, but I was OK with that. After all, I was on vacation! Once I got in some movement, I was good with having some down time at the pool with a good book. OK, so I made it through 4 books and a few magazines! Yea, I told you I relaxed hard!
I will admit that we ate out a ton. But, the food at almost every place we went was so fresh and delicious, I never felt like I was overeating or eating unhealthy. Except for when we went out for our favorite birthday dessert . . . but that was totally worth it! 🙂 In fact, my stomach actually felt better the whole time that we were on vacation then it usually does at home with my crazy eating schedule. It was nice to be able to eat at normal times and space out my meals in a reasonable manner instead of going for 6-8 hours between meals due to my work schedule. (I’m working on that, but that’s a topic for another day.)
Another aspect that made this vacation so relaxing was being able to spend some quality time with my husband. Our lives had gotten so busy that we weren’t getting much time. While on vacation, we were able to spend time relaxing together and just talking. Not about what to have for dinner or what our schedules looked like, but really communicating. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in my own busyness and forget to slow down and intentionally spend quality time with my husband. Quality time with a loved one is a good stress-reducer that it seems is often overlook or put on the back burner by many of us.
I’m headed back to work tomorrow and I’m kind of nervous about re-entering the world of stress. But I am starting out refreshed and relaxed, so that should carry over for awhile. I also plan to carry over some of the stress-free living lessons that I already know, but was reminded of while on vacation. 1) Exercise daily. 2) Enjoy some downtime (It’s OK not to be doing something productive sometimes.) 3) Eat at regular intervals throughout the day. 4) Slow down and enjoy regular quality time with my husband. I plan to try and keep this vacation mode going for awhile. Wish me luck! The sunshine definitely helps!
Stay tuned. I will continue writing about this journey back to me with the hope that this will help someone else who is in the same boat and needs some encouragement. Join me! What stress-free living lessons have you learned?
My journey – so far . . .
Getting Back to Me – The First 10 Pounds is the Hardest
Getting Back to Me – Progress Not Perfection
Getting Back to Me – Life Happens and I’m OK With That
Getting Back to Me – Recognizing Stress
Getting Back to Me – On My Way
Getting Back to Me: Continuing On My Way – One Day at a Time