How To Get The Most Of Your Vacation

How To Get the Most Of Your Vacation

Vacation | Relaxation | Rejuvination | Goals

In order to have this moment (putting your feet up at the beach), take a moment before that vacation to consider how to make the best of your vacation time.

With late August being a traditional time for families to take vacation before the kids go back to school, and with Labor Day weekend right on its heels, many people are preparing for a vacation from work and the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life at home and work.

The reality of that preparation to leave town includes a dozen or more details: flights and driving routes, pet sitters, projects to finish or temporarily hand off at work, meetings to attend to make sure the details don’t get dropped, school supplies purchased then prepped for the first day of school, and packing lists for all the things needed for that one week or more of time off.

It’s enough to make it feel like vacation could not come sooner. But if it did, would you be too exhausted to enjoy it?

Let’s take a moment to think about how to get the most out of your vacation. And the answers you come up with — what? You think I know what only YOU know  you need??? — will probably surprise you.

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Benefits of Recovery

Welcome to Daylight Savings 2016, and the loss of another hour of sleep!

Woman (and author of post) laying in bed sleeping under white covers, with two Siamese cats seeping on a pillow and on her foot.
Zzzz! Learn about the benefits of rest, recovery, and naps! Photo courtesy of Imei Hsu. Use only with permission.

A few seasons ago, an experienced athlete shared with me a piece of sage wisdom:

“You can only race as well as you can recover.”

It’s the occasional freak of nature — and perhaps our belief that we may be that one percent or less of the overall population — that drives us to behave in ways that are contradictory to the well-understood and time-tested fact that athletes perform better when they get consistent rest and recovery times along with their training, nutrition, body work, and other medical care.

Many people were stunned when marathoner Ryan Hall announced his retirement at age 33. Hall, cited as one of the greatest American marathoners in history, had been struggling with fatigue and low testosterone. The rigors of training for one marathon and half marathon after another had taken its toll on his body and particularly his hormone balance.

As a therapist, I see very few clients who perform at these high rigor levels of demand in their work lives and private lives. What I do see are people who have extremely busy and productive schedules at work, at home, and even at play. To find time to “have it all and do it all”, many of them cite sleep as the activity they give up most often.

To get all the items checked off the list, the kids shuttled to soccer practice and ballet dance lessons, projects at work finished and home renovations projects completed, to care for an aging parent, and make sure the pet gets its surgery and regular teeth cleaning — well, sleep gets whittled down to the bare minimum to get by.

But at what cost?

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Day Off

Time out, day off, inspiration

What would you do with a chosen day off? 

What do you choose to be when you find yourself with  unclaimed time on your paws?  Loomi demos my favorite choice: rest and meditate! (photo credit: Imei's iPhone5s)
What do you choose to be when you find yourself with unclaimed time on your paws? Loomi demos my favorite choice: rest and meditate! (photo credit: Imei’s iPhone5s)

The SDC office is closed for Feb 4 2015. Originally, I had made a decision to cancel all scheduled appointments for February 4th to make room for the possibility of a Seahawks celebration, but it appears there is no planned public event.

A re-pete of last year’s champion homecoming brought about 700,000 parade watchers and fans flooding into Pioneer Square and SoDo, making it very difficult for people to get in and out of the area. Our sealed windows were no match for Beastmode fans, and while the crowd was joyous, it wasn’t something I felt my clients wanted on the day they come to work on challenging aspects of life. I joined in the celebration and had a great time.

Instead of waiting until the last minute to make a decision this year, I thought it would be a good time to practice what it is I teach: learning to be in the moment, take a breath, and see what “is”.

While I have plenty of things on my “to-do” list, this isn’t what my day off is about. Neither would I want a long to-do list for the clients whose appointments were moved to another day. What will we do with an extra hour is really more of a question of what will we choose to BE with an extra hour (or in my case, with an extra 7-8 hours)?

And with any luck, my day out of the office might very well include a shiatsu massage. I always manage to awaken a clever thought after the body is flushed of any circulation blocks or energy stagnation. I like who I “be” when everything in the body is feeling good!

And, as before, I still love the Seahawks! It was a great game, with a risky play that worked in the Patriot’s favor to bring them the win.

We’ll be back!