When we are blessed with the opportunity to unwind and unplug on vacation, we often resist turning off the electronic tethers that attach us to work and social media. Thankfully, there is a growing body of studies that say tuning out is precisely what we should do to contribute to our physical and mental health.
Recharge Your Mental Batteries
Our brains need regular doses of ‘quiet’, or ‘information downtime’, to help avoid burnout. The constant processing of information, requests, pings, emails, and questions on a regular basis with no breaks other than when you are sleeping, can contribute to a person’s overall mental stress levels.
Physical Rest is a Must
The physical toll that being constantly connected has on our bodies is more noticeable than we sometimes realize. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, hunched shoulders, and strained eyesight are all becoming commonplace for the electronically attached person. Your on-vacation body will appreciate strolling, swimming, and moving without a smartphone in hand, or a heavy laptop bag slung over your shoulder.
Reconnect to Your Senses
Listen to the sound of the waves at the beach, or the roar of the roller coaster at the amusement park. Notice the beauty of the colours in the sunset. Wherever you go, take a few minutes to just look around, feel the wind or sun or rain on your face and soak in your surroundings. Connecting your experience to your senses is the perfect way to decompress.
Rewire Your Brain
Give your left brain a break and let your right brain lead the way. Create new neural pathways by trying your hand at different sports, crafts, and experiences. Wherever you are vacationing, walk into an artisan’s shop, or eat local foods you’ve never had before. New, creative experiences will perk up your work-worn left brain, letting you see the world with a fresh perspective.
Turn Off, Tune Out, Drop In
Turning off all electronic devices for a few days can help you get back in touch with your kids, friends and even your extended family. When was the last time you enjoyed an entire conversation, meal or interaction without hearing a beep, a ring, or seeing a light flash telling you there was a message waiting? Plugging into the world around you is a great way to truly enjoy your vacation.