If you’ve traveled over the holidays, you know how stressful it can be. Even a trip home can leave you exhausted and stressed.
But taking a mental health holiday doesn’t mean you have to travel; there’s nothing you must see, learn, or try. It’s simply an opportunity to pause your hectic, urgent pace and escape to relax and let go.
Getaways, where there are no requirements or constraints, can lower stress, improve sleep, reduce blood pressure and strengthen relationships. They can also do wonders for your libido.
You may be reading this and thinking, “I don’t have the money to spend to escape or fly somewhere,” but that’s the whole idea. You don’t need to lie on a beach to relax. You only have to change your surroundings. You don’t need a week either; two to three days will have you feeling better and beginning the New Year feeling less stressed and more grateful. Still not convinced you need a holiday?
Here are a few suggestions from psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini:
- Check into a hotel within your budget and sit by the pool and read, play games, or work on crossword puzzles.
- Create a new relaxation area in your house. Keep it small by going through your house looking for small areas where you can be alone. A bedroom, for example, can be turned into a calming, cocoon area.
- Chill out at a small theatre that shows movies you like and see a matinee by yourself for two or three days. This short escape does wonders for reducing blood pressure.
- Drive to a nearby park and spend a day in nature. If you can spend the night nearby and plan an early walk, you’ll experience an abundance of wildlife which helps you feel more connected to the real world instead of the virtual one many of us spend too much time in.
- Try a bed and breakfast. Some people feel better being around others when they take a holiday. Bed and breakfast establishments are great for those people. You can converse and gain different perspectives while enjoying the company of others.
Our biggest obstacle for a more fulfilling, healthier life is ourselves. We make excuses, creating negative scenarios that limit our ability to grow and become happier.
If you’re feeling skeptical that a holiday is what you need, Rapini thinks you need one even more.