Simon Sunde

"Fail early and fail often."

6 Ways To Pull The Plug On Vacation

I’m one of those people who gets very early up in the morning, to get something out of the day. You could imagine that I’m also one of those having a hard time relaxing, when on vacation (I mean I’m on vacay now, but still I’m writing this post). However, I was intrigued when I first learned, that I wasn’t the only one facing this problem – or at least the relaxation part (people genuinely don’t like mornings).

So I (unquestionably) sought to our beloved science, to resolve this difficulty of reaching the state of relaxation. What I found was quite interesting and I divided it into 6 simple tips:

1. Go to the beach. When you’re deciding whether or not you should spent your holiday on the countryside, in the city, or near the beach – you should go for the water’s edge. A study by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health shows, that people who went to the seaside for a holiday reported more refreshment, serenity, and enjoyment than people who spent time in an urban setting or wilderness.

2. Leave the smartphone on the counter. For a vacay to be rejuvenating and calming one self, you need to be completely present in the moment, says Matthew Edlund, MD, author of “The Power of Rest”. It’s now secret that smartphones, tablets and PCs are a constant distraction in our everyday lives. So we need to put them away, in order to be on vacay in both mind and body. “If you’re distracted on vacation, it’s not worth it,” says Dr. Edlund.

3. Get out of your comfort zone. Sure, laying by the pool, at an all-inclusive hotel with all the food and drinks in the world, sounds like a nice way to spend you day – just don’t spend all your days like that. Your physical and mental welfare will gain a lot more from an out-of-the-box activity, says Dr. Edlund. Plan activities. Go surfing. Go eat at a local restaurant. Go do something uncomfortable (yay, so excided…)!

4. Go out with a bang. Ever heard of the “peak-end rule”? Neither had I. It’s a term used by psychologists, and what it basically means is that we remembers an experience by its peak – and how it ends. Keep that in mind, when planing your holiday activities. Save something you’re really looking forward to, for the end – and you’ll look back at a wonderful vacation, full of happy memories.

5. Don’t post it. In this modern society, it can be ever so tempting to post every little memorable moment of your vacation. However, by doing so could actually compromise those beautiful memories. Researchers from the University of Alberta found that the more we pick apart our experiences or analyze our memories, the more we dilute the strong emotional connections we have to them – turning heartwarming and joyous memories into detached cognitive experiences.

6. Plan you next trip. The joy of anticipation is always greater than the actual event. Same goes for vacations, finds a study from the Netherlands. It was also found that participants found an positive change of their moods, up to eight weeks before a big trip. Unfortunately, when the vacation is over, people tend to fall back into their everyday rutines (and also moods). So my advice would be: Plan your next vacation, as soon as your current one is over.

And now I’m pulling the plug,
Happy Holidays :-)

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