A truly restful vacation is good for the soul. It provides an opportunity to disconnect from the distractions of day-to-day life, bond with loved ones and spend quiet time with the Lord. The Bible places an importance on rest and peace (Psalm 127:2, Mark 6:31).
Research studies show that taking a vacation reduces stress, helps prevent heart disease, increases productivity and improves sleep patterns.
Where you find rest is personal—a rustic mountain lodge, a beachside cottage or in your backyard—but getting there is important. It’s been reported U.S. employees take only half of their earned vacation time and three in five do some work while on vacation.
In today’s overly scheduled, hectic world, prioritizing rest and decompressing takes some work. Here are ways to find rest wherever you vacation:
Disconnect From Work
Research says vacations actually improve work performance, so undisturbed time away is a win-win for employees and employers. Do your best to have work completed before leaving for vacation. Let bosses and coworkers know you will not be reachable. Don’t take work with you or contact your work place or coworkers while on vacation. If for some reason you’re indispensable, outline when and how to reach you for emergencies only.
Disconnect From Social Media
Save yourself some stress and eliminate your need to smoast (social media boasting). Research shows if you cut out social media, you will focus on those around you and have deeper, more meaningful conversations.
Simplify and Limit Clothing
Take too many or fussy garments and you spend too much time hauling and managing clothes. Dress to de-stress.
Avoid High-Traffic Tourist Destinations
Overtourism became a term in 2018 due to the large, unsustainable numbers of people visiting popular tourist sites. While those locations may be on your bucket list, they won’t provide a restful vacation.
See and Experience Nature
Studies, such as one on perceptual pleasure by American Scientist magazine show how viewing nature triggers positive reactions in the brain’s visual cortex. Alternatively, viewing a high-traffic street can increase cortisol, which weakens the immune system and increases blood pressure. Time in nature soothes the soul.
Unschedule Your Time
Break from normal routines and let days unfold organically. This may not work for every vacation day, but for one or two, it’s freeing to be more spontaneous.
Even on vacations there are chores—housekeeping, childcare, packing bags, etc. Find ways to reduce these chores. Hire some help, advance-order groceries to be delivered to your rental, schedule transportation and events before you leave home and share kids’ care by traveling with another family or trading off with your spouse for alone time.
Do a Daily Bible Study
Read and pray without a time limit. “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:28–29 NIV.
Step away from others and take time to consider your thoughts, pray and contemplate God and His plan for your life.
Consume less and detox from sugars, caffeine, TV and other stressors to rebuild your body.
Work out to increase your sense of well-being as you pump up endorphins, your feel-good hormones. Even a walk makes a difference.
Reduce or Eliminate tv
Feed your brain good things that build you up. Rather than violent movies or gossiping housewives go for happy television content or better yet, pleasing music.