How to Take a Mini Vacation Every Day This Summer

The day is long, the sun is shining ... and you’re inside at work. Unlike the summer of youth, when endless days spread out for weeks at a time, summertime for adults means more to juggle. Work demands continue as vacation schedules play havoc with deadlines, and family demands heighten.

Oscillation between hard work and playful rest is needed for optimal performance—not to mention for your own good mental health. If you’re not lucky enough to have the luxury of an eight-week sabbatical like you had as a child, build mini-vacations into every day. Here's how:

  1. Soak up the sun. Make the most of the light by getting outside. Have a walking meeting. Take a nap on the grass during lunch break. Eat outside.
  2. Practice boredom. What if you pretended, even for 15 minutes, that there was nothing to do? Without constant distraction, imagination kicks in. The brain reboots and the body relaxes.
  3. Be all in. When you are doing something, do it as if that’s the only thing to do. Everything has a season, a time. What if answering an email with your full attention was as valid and worthy of your focus as leading a meeting? Use attention wholeheartedly.
  4. Make hay while the sun shines. The long days of summer offer more after-work time to be outdoors. Connect with neighbors in your yard. Have a BBQ. Enjoy fresh corn on the cob from a local farm. Light a campfire in your fire pit, toast marshmallows, and watch the embers float by.
  5. Play at work. Be less serious. Lighten the mood by bringing a beach ball to a meeting. Start the day with a Beach Boys song. Ride your bike to work.
  6. See the flowers. There is so much beauty in this season as things ripen and bloom. Celebrate by taking it in. Touch a flower as you walk from your car to the office. Gaze at the blue sky. Feel the heat on your skin.
  7. Put down your phone on vacations and weekends. The world won’t fall apart if you go offline.    

As Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “To bring mind, body and spirit to peak condition, executives need to learn what world-class athletes already know: recovering energy is as important as expending it.”   

Summer, like life, is short. Savor it. 

Find out how to bring more relaxation tools into your workday: kripalu.org/rise

Megan McDonough is the chair and cofounder of Wholebeing Institute. Her work is to harness the highest and best in people for the greatest good.

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