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5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

Have you ever been super excited for a holiday, only to get back feeling highly disappointed? It isn’t a great feeling at all! We all want to come back raving about the great holiday we had, yet for some of us, we might come back feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. It’s doesn’t need to be that way!

I am a HUGE fan of traveling; in the last 2 years I’ve been in over 16 countries; you might say that I am a bit of a travel junkie! The truth is that we all have different reasons for travelling, however, I think we still share something in common: we all want to get the most out of our holiday – whether the objective is just to relax and disconnect, or have an action-packed planned trip, or even both!

Here are 5 of my secrets to getting the most out of your holiday and why!

1. Connecting with the WHY

You always get better results in life if you are proactive and not reactive. Sometimes we just do things and we don’t even question why we are doing them. When we start to ask ourselves, “why do I want this?” or “why am I doing this?” we can start to shape our experiences into more enjoyable ones that match our desires.

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Be more purposeful in creating the type of experience you want; when you know what you want and why you are more likely to have it. You always get more out of your holiday when your why is being answered.

Before traveling, check in with yourself and ask yourself:
• Why am I going to THIS city/town/country?
• What would I love to experience? And Why?

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman

2. Planning for fun

I know you will have fun on your holiday regardless, but why not plan for fun as well? I always include fun activities on my to-do list; that way I prioritize them. I include them in my week and I have more fun in life. This is the same idea; planning some fun activities helps you to destress, focus on less, and you have less hassles.

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For those of you who don’t want to pre-book tours, you can still plan to have fun by exploring the local activities available, and you will save money and see more in the end. Don’t waste time thinking what you are going to do that day, plan for fun – it works!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

3. Opinions always count!

Have you ever gone to a restaurant or stayed in hotel that was absolutely terrible? Don’t you wish someone would have warned you? Reviews are so important; most often websites will only tell you what they want you to hear, but when you read people’s actual experience, you get the low-down on what it’s really like.

You don’t want to be disappointed, to waste time, to have a bad experience, so whatever you plan to do, check out the reviews! You might also come across some other great recommendations or ideas by doing a little bit of research beforehand.

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“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” – Matthew Karsten

4. Be open to learning

When you are traveling, there is so much to take in and learn, from the people, to the food, customs, way of life, culture, and geology (to name a few). What you focus on expands, so if you are open to learning more, you will, and you will have a much better time. You will understand more and you will also go back with more knowledge.

Every place that you travel has a history, monuments, and important things to see, which gives it its uniqueness, and it should be a large part of why you are visiting there. Informing yourself and educating yourself on the place you are in will add to the richness of your travel because you will understand more. After all, they say that traveling is one of the best forms of education.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

5. Be Present!

Finally, you can’t underestimate the power of being present. If you want to make the most out of your holiday, being present should be high on your list. Most of the time our thoughts are in the past; thinking about things that have happened, or will in the future; thinking about things that might happen, or what we must do.

Being present in the moment is in fact the only place our thoughts should be directed most of the time, especially on holiday! Take in the smells, the sights, the sounds, and the feelings. When you try the food, really taste it, smell it, understand the culture of the country and how it’s influenced its cuisine, for example. You will remember so much more and enjoy your holiday on another level.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury

Just like any experience in life, we make it what we want to be; we are in control. Direct your focus on creating a holiday that is unforgettable. Put all your energy into enjoying it, exploring it, understanding it, and making the most out of it.

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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