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8 Ways To Prepare A Perfectly Stress-Free Vacation

8 Ways To Prepare A Perfectly Stress-Free Vacation

Having a stress-free vacation may seem like a long shot to you as there is usually something to worry about. Rest assured though, it’s not impossible – it can happen – and you can take the following easy steps to make the process and your time away as stress free as possible.

1. Don’t Check Work Email

This may seem like a simple idea, but in today’s working environment, work is intertwined with our lives and we never shut it off. When you are on a vacation, you are off the grid. Turn off the email notifications and set the work phone to voice mail. The world will not end with you gone for a few weeks.

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2. Don’t Make Yourself Too Reachable

Yes, you need to be available if your mother tries to reach you about a family emergency; however, you do not need all of your devices available in an instant so you can automatically respond. This is vacation. Turn off notifications for work, social media, and apps, and maybe even turn off your phone. As I said before, the world is not going to end, and if you are away from home something can probably wait at least a few hours until you check your messages again.

3. Pack Lightly

I used to be someone who overpacked and used only half of what was in my luggage. Now I have found vacations to be stress free by packing light – usually just taking a 21-inch carry-on bag for three weeks or more. You have plenty of resources wherever you are traveling to pick up necessities that you may have forgotten. So don’t think that you have to take your entire closet with you.

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4. Don’t Plan Every Minute of Your Trip

Learn to go with the flow. We all have ideas of what we want to see and do at a location, but planning every single event down to the minute keeps you worrying about the time instead of enjoying what is right in front of you. Take a moment and relax knowing that you will see what you have time for and that shoving everything into one itemized, minute-by-minute itinerary is just going to put more stress on your supposed stress-free vacation.

5. Ask Locals for Recommendations

Want to know where to eat? Ask a local. Want to know about the best sunset views in the city? Ask a local. Locals are the ones who live in the city. They have been here longer than you. Maybe you should bypass the overrated tourist trap restaurant and opt for the family-run, five-star restaurant that is a few streets away.

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6. Let Go

If something does not go exactly as planned, just let it go. Don’t fret and let one small thing ruin an entire vacation. This just creates added stress. Learn to go with the flow on vacation and be present. Enjoy the moment and most of all relax because that’s what vacations are about.

7. Don’t Stress About Your House

So, you’ve planned a vacation and are all packed and ready to leave. Suddenly, you realize your house is now in disarray and that you should stay up until 4 a.m. cleaning just to make sure it is spotless for when you come home in 10 days. Right? Wrong. Let it go. If you do not get any sleep before your trip, are you going to be ready for a full day of vacation the next morning? Probably not. You’ll want to sleep, or you’ll be cranky. The house cleaning can wait. The other small things can wait until you come back too. If it’s not necessary, don’t get yourself in a tizzy trying to be superman or superwoman attempting to do it all. When you come home, you can get it all finished, but don’t think about that until you are home and not on vacation anymore.

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8. Relax

If you have gotten this hint yet, relax. In order to have a stress-free vacation, you have to relax. Let go of what you can’t control and go with the flow. Enjoy your trip and keep the stress levels low by having an open mind, disconnecting, and not fretting over the small things.

A stress-free vacation is possible. Just relax, go with the flow, and have fun.

Featured photo credit: M Ezzeddine via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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