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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

90-Day Life Challenge: 6 Vacation Habits I Intend To Keep

We just got home from a 5-day whirlwind vacation. It really was nice to get away a little bit, but there was just too much going on at home and work to truly relax. Nevertheless, I fell into a few vacation habits that can be easily carried home with me.



Do Not Check My Phone Right Away

In fact, I didn't check my phone for nearly an hour after I woke up. It wasn't even strange after the first day. This doesn't mean that my first hour of the day wasn't productive--quite the opposite. My mornings generally began by making my coffee and sitting down to enjoy a book chapter or a random Wikipedia article, something to stimulate my mind and tune out the world. Then, I spent some time exercising (walking, stretching, light calisthenics, and yoga). And finally, I ended the "me" time with a brief pamper session in which I washed my face (including a face massage), brushed my teeth, fixed my hair/make-up, and dressed for the day. It wasn't on purpose, but I stumbled on a beginning to my morning routine.

Tidy As You Go

This is pretty self-explanatory, but basically, no one wants to clean up on vacation. To avoid needing to do much cleaning, I just picked up after Wee-One any time we switched activities. I also broadened the general tidying to include straightening the pillows when I got up from the couch, replace decorative table items if I moved them during meals, and sweeping up minor messes immediately. There was so much less cleaning to do at the end of the day so I never really felt like I stopped my day to clean up.

Shower Your Family With Attention And Praise

Since I was eager to "chunk" all of my work tasks into small blocks of time during our trip, it freed up a significant amount of time for focusing on my family. For Wee-One, it meant that I savored the time, encouraging him to play, and taking him on fun outings. For DH, it meant that I willingly put down my phone to ask him how his day was or listen to his thoughts on our life and the direction it is taking. I wasn't constantly multi-tasking so I found it easier to see and compliment the qualities about DH that I fell in love with four years ago.

Feed "The Crazy" At Least Once Each Day

Now don't confuse "the crazy" with cocaine or something elicit. In my case, "the crazy" is my own neurotic love of organizing planners and list-making. When Wee-One went down for his afternoon nap, I did do a little bit of work for an hour, but after that, I gave myself permission to grab the printables I had taken with me and start planning. It doesn't always come to fruition, but just the act of writing down my thoughts/feelings/needs/anxieties cleanses my mind in a way that nothing else can.

Shower At Night

It was the strangest, most nonsensical habit I fell into while at the beach but it makes perfect sense. I spent most of the day swimming, walking at the beach, sweating, or whatever, and come the end of the day, the last thing I wanted was to go to bed smelly. A light bulb went off. I wanted to shower at night, then roll around with DH in the clean sheets, free from the filth of my day. It was perfect.

Turn Off The TV When I Go To Bed

For years, I got used to sleeping with the TV on or needing extraneous noise to go to sleep; however, a simple white-noise machine that I borrowed from my sister broke this cycle. I used her HomeMedics machine--the "summer rainstorm" setting, and fell asleep within 10 minutes of laying in bed. As a side note, the simpler the better with the bedroom design. The less furniture and greater the organization, the more quickly I relaxed.

Not every day can be a vacation, but there's nothing wrong with bringing a little bit of that mentality home with you. I hope you can use some of the tips I've outlined here, and please let me know if you have some of your own.

Happy reading,

Your Devoted Friend

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