With life lived at breakneck speed, omnipresent new technologies, and a lack of time, our day-to-day is often hard to control. After all, something is happening from morning until night, and time often slips away from us. Summer vacations are the perfect time to flip the off switch and re-center yourself. And here’s how.
Disconnection and reconnection
Reconnecting with yourself, recharging your batteries, and seeing things from a new angle is essential to switching off during your vacation. And this means physically distancing yourself from all types of screens.
Objective n°1: Stop checking your emails.
Method: Relaxed vacations are planned in advance. Finish as much work as you can, check in with your boss (or yourself) about your to-do list, brief your colleagues about projects currently underway, and trust them to do a good job. Delegating is key to getting your vacation off to a great start. After you leave, disconnect from the usual routine. Turning off mobiles phones immediately is too much change for some, while others have no other choice if they want to disconnect.
Objective n°2: Get rid of all electronic devices.
Method: Work phones are not the only devices that ruin vacations. Tablets and other screens should also be limited, or even removed completely. How can you relax while checking social media, reading the news, or surfing the web for that thing you need back home? Summer vacations are the best time to treat this addiction to information in real time while surrounded by friends or family. Fewer screens, and more shared moments together!
In search of meaning
Vacations are only meaningful when they are taken following a period of hard work. Etymologically, the world “vacation” comes from the Latin vacans, the past participle of the verb vacare, meaning to be unoccupied or free. With this in mind, it makes sense that working while on vacation means you aren’t actually on vacation.
Objective: Give your vacation meaning.
Method: There are as many methods as there are people on vacation. But there is one common theme: you have to focus on yourself, your desires, and your needs, and listen to your body. If you feel like moving, do a sporting activity you love or that you have always dreamed of trying. This will focus your mind and avoid thinking negative thoughts. Alternatively, if you prefer peace and quiet, treat yourself to a yoga session or try meditating. A fully-awoken mind will help you get the most out of the present moment, the here and now, free from all judgement.
Free from constraints
Of course, every day is constantly dictated by a long list of events. But taking a vacation also means being free of any constraints, so don’t add to the ones you already have!
Objective: Do what you like, and what does you good.
Method: Clear your head while planning your perfect day, even if (and especially if) your plan breaks from your habits. Improvise lunch as you wander past the oyster hut, or because the children prefer a picnic on the sand rather than going home. Go to the beach at 6 p.m. because it is cooler. Play a game of cards on a terrace, but only if you really want to. Lie in a hammock facing the sea with a good book when you need silence. Taking time to be alone can also be part of your vacation, and even produce positive effects! Finding the balance between relaxing and doing activities is essential to your well-being and feeling in your right place, harmonious, and happy.
It’s now up to you to design vacations that suit your needs, while prolonging the positive effects for as long as possible… And remember, digital detoxing is a long-term habit! Have a great summer!