I took a trip to North Carolina this past weekend for a cousin's wedding. I'm still in vacation mode. I got back on Sunday. It lingers, and it's torture having to go back to the "real world," but this trip made me realize something--vacations are absolutely a form of self-love whether it's a planned vacation or a nice fat break from the daily grind.
Before I list why, I want to first explain that I had anxiety before leaving. I did the usual, "Oh my god, I have all this stuff to accomplish before I leave! How will I ever get it all done?!" Then, I finally reminded myself, "Seriously, Katy. It's three days. If the work isn't due this weekend, chill." And chill I did. I let go of the work I'd eventually come home to and focused on taking care of myself the day before the trip by packing, grooming, drinking lots of water, eating well, etc. Summer is approaching, and before you start coming up with reasons not to go on vacation because they can be stressful during the planning stages, consider how vacations are a form of self-love:
1. They get us out of "work mode" and into "play mode," which takes an awful lot of stress off our adrenal glands--the lovely little stress helpers of the body. When our minds are stressed, they're stressed, and then our bodies becomes stressed. It's a slippery slope.
2. Piggy backing off of #1, they remind us that we're human with as strong of a desire as children to play. That doesn't leave us. Many of us simply ignore it. Let your inner child out!
3. They can inspire us! Literal movement, especially in places out of our comfort zones, can re-inspire any creative hobby...OR even help us with a project at work when we return home.
4. We get to see new things! Exercising our brains is as important as exercising our bodies.
5. They help us connect with family, friends, and ourselves. Maybe even nature! Too often, we spend our down time DISconnecting from our busy lives via social media, TV, movies, and video games. As awesome as those things are, they don't quite connect us in the ways physical presence does for our spirits.
6. They remind us that we're not stuck. We have choices. The daily grind doesn't have to be the same every day. Add a little flavor here and there.
7. They remind us how small we are in a very large world, and sometimes, that's enough to bring to light the insignificance of some of our problems or show us that some of our problems simply aren't problems when we take a break.
8. They force the Now. Vacations/breaks have a lovely little way of reminding us that we're here and now and simply being. We're not our work, our church, our household chores, our children, our school, etc. We just are.
9. They can prompt change within us. Trying, seeing, and doing new things can help us understand what we like or dislike about ourselves and our lives and help us decide to try on a new hat. Do it! What's the worst that can happen?
10. Finally, they help us appreciate (re-appreciate) home, our jobs, a significant other or children (if we've traveled alone) when we return. Sometimes, we really don't know what we have until we've taken some space from it.
Have fun. Don't stress. Love yourself.
*Pop back in tomorrow for images of the two women I photographed while in NC!*
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