Experiencing stress and burnout? Keep reading to discover why you might need a “daily vacation” and how you can make this type of self-care a part of your everyday routine.
Guest Post by Kara Lynch
It was the summer of 2018. I was working two jobs. The first, as a camp counselor chasing 3rd graders in the blistering heat. The second, on a waffle truck where a bright smile and top notch customer service was expected even on my worst days. This same summer, my high school mentor committed suicide and I lost my grandfather and dog of nearly 20 years in the same week.
It was enough to make anyone break.
I was a hot mess and while I couldn’t control the hardships, I could control how I handled them.
After a few therapy sessions, my therapist concluded I wasn’t setting aside time for just me. And then she came up with something genius: a daily vacation.
What is a daily vacation?
As a traveler, my ears rang at “vacation” and I nearly booked a flight mid-session.
But a daily vacation is really just setting aside time every day for you. It’s a celebration of solitude, one you don’t need to pack your bags for.
A daily vacation means scheduling time every day just for you and doing things you’d usually only do on vacation.
Deciding on what to do
This can include a walk on the beach, reading on your deck, or a fancy solo dinner.
Think about your last vacation: What did you do and how did it make you feel?
During my 2016 trip to Paris, I spent an entire day in a café sipping coffee and writing. I felt confident, relaxed and completely recharged. I don’t have to go to Paris to find a coffee shop and you don’t have to wait until your next trip to make time for yourself. There are ways we can enjoy solitude with a daily vacation and as the world becomes busier, we may have to.
Why we all need a daily vacation today
Simply put, we all need time to ourselves to just chill.
We’re conditioned think that if we’re not constantly busy, we’re doing something wrong.
“We don’t get a lot of support in this culture for doing nothing. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time,” says Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul.
I’ve noticed especially living in New York, anytime I have a conversation with someone I haven’t seen in a while, it quickly turns into a competition about who’s busier. But when we’re too busy, we run ourselves into the ground physically and emotionally and crave a long vacation.
As author Katrina Kenison poetically puts it, “When we are hungry, we get the signal right away. Thirst is sneakier. By the time our bodies send us in search of water, we are already dehydrated. The same holds true in our thirst for solitude.”
By the time my body tells me I’m dehydrated, I’m having headaches and migraines. And by the time I realized I’m burnt out, I’ve already had three mental breakdowns. This was before my days of daily vacationing.
You wouldn’t starve yourself if you were hungry, so why we ignore the thirst in your soul? With a daily vacation, we can prevent burnout and truly nurture ourselves.
Things to consider
In order to enjoy a daily vacation, we must have the confidence to be alone. Many people are terrified of being alone. They won’t see a movie solo or go out to dinner alone because they don’t want to be that person.
But the real world is not like elementary school where you’ll get bullied for sitting alone at the lunch table.
“The ability to tolerate alone time has been linked to increased happiness, better life satisfaction, and improved stress management,” says psychotherapist and international bestselling mental strength author, Amy Morin.
Why is it that we spend so much time getting to know our friends but not ourselves? During the solitude of a daily vacation, we get the opportunity to get to know ourselves.
“When you’re by yourself, you can make choices without outside influences. And that will help you develop more insight into who you are as a person,” says Morin.
Solitude builds mental strength, lessens depression and improves creativity and the best way to do it is with a daily vacation.
Who are you when you’re on vacation?
Relaxed? Happy? I bet you wish that person showed up more. I’ve learned during my daily vacations that I truly love the person I am on vacation. Why do we have to wait for our next trip to be that person? While taking a vacation is going away, I don’t believe we go away just to get away. I believe we go to find our vacation selves.
Imagine how much more awesome our day to day lives would be if we could resurrect that relaxed and recharged person that we are on vacation.
I’m blessed to live in Long Island, where we infamously hashtag, “I live where you vacation.” The beach is 10 minutes from my house. No matter the season, if I want to take a daily vacation, I can take a walk on the beach or ride my bike on the boardwalk.
The other day I grabbed a book and went to a new waterfront bar in town. I rode my bike, had a drink and read my book under a palm tree. I closed my eyes, breathed deeply and it felt like I was back on vacation in Florida. Suddenly, I felt Vacation Kara come out. I did this for an hour, and an hour was all I needed.
Whether it’s an hour or ten minutes, we all need time just for us. A daily vacation is a fun and healthy way to manage stress and revive your vacation self. The real world is a stressful shit show and that may never change, but how we navigate through it can. We can choose to treat ourselves and we should. So let me ask, how badly do you need a vacation today?
About the Guest Author:
Kara Lynch is the creator of kavemankara.com & kavelifestyle.com. Her blogs are designed to help you become the best version of yourself while navigating through this complicated, millennial world. Kara aims to create debate-worthy content while also educating and inspiring others. She’s a passionate writer and wellness advocate. You can find some of her other lifestyle writing at Broward Lifestyles Magazine.