Brain Waves with Debra Rose

Vacationing at Home

Debra Rose

What most people love about vacation beyond the classic reasons of needing a break or curiosity about a new locale, are many of the subconscious benefits; maybe we cannot articulate them, but we know when we experience them.  Have you ever noticed how the day seems to fly by when your biggest decisions involve where to eat dinner or whether you need an extra layer when you are out and about?  Unlike at home, do you find yourself being more active, eating in response to your hunger, sleeping the amount of hours your body seems to need? There is a foundation of mindfulness on the journey with you, especially if you are traveling to a new place or find yourself in a novel situation.  Observe what happens when you visit the same place frequently, do you slip into or find yourself setting up a ‘routine’ that is more automatic to your day?

Most of our daily life is a series of decisions, and almost half are made unconsciously.  Brushing your teeth, making tea, checking social media, all of which happen without conscious ‘decisions’ to execute.  While we need habits to survive and be efficient, we slip back into them all too quickly when we return from a vacation.  It is no wonder that the trip last week feels like it was so long ago.

What we can do is choose to incorporate some of those vacation experiences at home, the opposite of a ‘staycation’ in which you are bringing the memories home and continuing to enjoy them.

Most if not all trips involve being outside, so start your day with being outdoors as soon as possible.  A walk, running an errand, even standing outside to assess the temperature will make a difference in how you enjoy your morning.  Even better is following up with a breakfast or beverage that reminds you of your favorite place.  When you are running errands or going through your day, practice not rushing or getting easily irritated by delays and obstacles.  On vacation, such things are comical and a good story, at home it can be annoying…only if you choose to see it that way.

As your day continues, habits like meals can also become monotonous.  Grab something different for lunch and take the time to mindfully enjoy it, as you might if you are in another country.  When you are focusing on your meal and slowing down, you may find your enjoyment and awareness of having lunch increases.  You may also find that you engage with strangers much more while traveling, whether out of necessity or sharp attention paid to your surroundings.  Rather than reach for your phone as a crutch or hurry through your day, take a minute to look up, chat or say hi to a real human being.

Most important to continue to replicate is the sleep experience many hotels are attempting to implement, so you associate their brand with spectacular rest and relaxation.  If you have stayed somewhere comfortable and calming, recreate as much as you can at home`.  In between the long-haul destinations and bucket-list travel, throw in a few close to home getaways the way you might in another land.  Breaking up your unconscious daily habits with some of what you enjoy when traveling can add novelty and appreciation to your daily life. Without getting on a plane to do so.