A couple weeks ago I featured a post on keeping your office organized from a fantastic writer and fellow lifestyle expert, Sarah Landrum. When she offered to do another article, I jumped at the chance and she is now going to be a regular contributor to the Happy Hour Effect blog! Woohooo! Her latest article is timely as many of us have spring fever and are in need of a vacation (or staycation). Check out Sarah’s tips to ensure your next trip is stress-free.
5 Ways to Have a Stress-Free Vacation
By Sarah Landrum – Guest Blogger
It’s 3 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon. You’re probably at your desk, answering emails or preparing for a meeting with colleagues. However, your mind has drifted away to white sand beaches, luxurious resorts and crisp mountain air. Your mind is telling you that it’s time for a vacation. Your mind is right.
Vacations prove to be vital for those who work high-stress jobs. Without a break, your stress level can go through the roof, which can have detrimental effects on your body. Heart attack, depression, insomnia, weight gain, teeth grinding – all of these and more can be caused by an excess amount of stress.
Unfortunately, though, some people take their stress with them as they pack up for an out-of-town trip. The following five tips will help you remove all stress as soon as you board the plane and rip into your complimentary bag of cocktail peanuts. All you have left to do is enjoy the heck out of your next vacation.
- Check Your Calendar…
A spur-of-the-moment vacation sounds spontaneous and romantic, but is it really you? Chances are, if you’re reading this article, it’s not. That’s why you should:
- Schedule your next trip around big projects
- Look at your timeline to see which week or month best suits your stress-free vacation
- Start planning
- … And Ask Your Boss
To that end, be sure to check with your superior before making any plans. Bosses like to vacation, too, and they might already have travel plans written in pen on the calendar or they may need you there at that time. Bring your boss a couple dates you had in mind and ask them when the best time for you to plan a vacation is. You, and your boss, will be much less stressed when you’re on the same page.
- Set Guidelines
Your job might be demanding enough that your colleagues will want to get in touch with you, even when you’re trying to get as far out of touch as possible. If you feel like you might have this problem:
- Let everyone – co-workers and clients – know that you’re leaving
- Find a temporary replacement on a project if it’ll need tending to while you’re gone
- Share contact information with those who’ll need it
- Tell your team what constitutes an emergency, and only allow them to contact you in emergency situations
- Get Yourself Together
After a relaxing vacation, you’ll return to work feeling renewed and refreshed. Don’t ruin this state of mind with a messy desk, out-of-control inbox or lengthy task list. Get organized beforehand by:
- Tidying up your desk and cleaning the surface if necessary
- Emptying your voicemail and email inboxes
- Finishing any tasks you’ve started
- Giving yourself the time – or putting in the extra hours – to get it all done
- Don’t Overdo It
Your vacation should be just that: a vacation. Once you have everything squared away at work, it’ll be time to leave. Don’t overdo it. Here’s how to ensure that you’ll actually relax on vacation:
- Don’t stuff each day with too many activities. You’ll want to spend a lot of time lounging by the pool
- Don’t shy away from local destinations; staycations give you all the entertainment you need without the stress of traveling long distances (check out this infographic for some great staycation ideas!)
- Choose travel companions who are on the same wavelength
- Create a travel budget and stick to it
If you follow all of these steps, you’ll be on the road to recovery from workplace stress. Frozen cocktails optional, but suggested.
About the Author: Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a site for those looking to grow their careers. Passionate about helping others find happiness and success, she shares advice on everything from career development and leadership, to health and fitness, and more! Follow her for more great tips @SarahLandrum