I know, I can hear you thinking, "But I'm on vacation. I'm away from work. Away from the stuff that stresses me out. That's why I'm so relaxed. I can't be that way every day. It's what makes vacation vacation."
The thing is though. You're so relaxed on vacation because of your thoughts about vacation. You believe vacation to be synonymous with relaxation. (Unless, of course, you're one of those people who doesn't relax on vacation because you still continue to work or you fill up your days with so many activities that your schedule is just as jam-packed on vacation as it is at home.)
Our thoughts create our reality. If you believe work is stressful, work will be stressful. If you believe vacation is the only place you can really relax, then that will be true for you.
Why not change the way you think? I've done this and I can testify that it works!
Just yesterday in fact, I could feel the stress building because of all the things I "had" to do. I want to let you know, yesterday was a "free" day for me. I was not working at the florist. I didn't have any other set appointments or time restraints (other than going to my grandma's house at some point in the evening to prepare her dinner, but the time was flexible). I had "planned" to walk my dogs, go work out, and spend the rest of the day writing. Making sure I remembered to go to my grandma's around five or six o'clock (she lives very close to me, so it's not much of a drive either).
As I thought about what to prepare for breakfast, I started to feel stressed out. I had to get moving because I needed to walk the dogs, and then I wanted to be working out by such and such a time, so that I could get home, shower, and start being creative.
Once I became aware of my stress-inducing thoughts, I stopped myself. I stood in the kitchen for a moment and said, "Vacation starts NOW!"
I've done this many times before, so I can get to "that place" rather quickly. If you're just starting out though, it may take some time. Some reminders. Some patience with yourself. But you can relax and be at peace right where you are, just as if you're on vacation.
And yes, I did this even when working at one of those jobs I disliked.
It's all dependent on your frame of mind.
I remember when I worked at a school, and would be walking through the hallways between classes. Sometimes I'd be thinking how I didn't want to be there, I didn't want to do what I was just about to do (per the schedule). Then I'd tell myself, "Vacation starts now!" and I'd feel the shift.
I'd walk more leisurely. My mind would relax. I'd enjoy where I was, because I knew, just like vacations, it, too, would pass. The day would be over before I knew it. And really, the job wasn't ALL bad. Besides, once I felt peace of mind, nothing seemed as bad as before.
Once I relaxed into where I was, I didn't feel so much like a caged animal, just wanting to break out.
For me, putting my mind "on vacation" means my breathing slows and settles into a relaxed rhythm, my heart rate slows and relaxes, my brain relaxes and the tension disappears.
It's not about changing what you're doing, necessarily.
It's about changing what you think about what you're doing.
Sometimes, though, a change in what you're doing may be necessary. Or at least helpful. For my example yesterday morning, I dropping "having" to walk the dogs. I had taken them on long walks the day before (and I have a big backyard that they run around in every day anyway).
Sometimes we pile so much onto our plate, whether it's at work taking on projects, or in our "free" time, scheduling appointments and making plans. It's important to remember that you don't have to do any of it. You really don't.
When I go to the vacation place in my mind, that reminds me of that fact. I immediately think, "Hey, I'm on vacation. I don't have to do anything! What do I want to do today?" And that rights my ship.
Yesterday I wanted to work out and work on a new, fun short story. I was still productive. But it came from a place of wanting to do it than feeling like I had to do it. That's the difference between the vacation mentality and most people's non-vacation mentality.
Before you knock this suggestion, I encourage you to give it a try. The next time you're feeling stressed or pressed to "get it all done," stop and imagine you're on vacation.
How do you feel?
Let your body relax. Smile a little even. Close your eyes if you can.
Go to that place.
Then, from that place, continue on with your day. Make changes that need to be made (such as schedule changes or dropping or adding tasks).
Now you're acting out of a place of peace, rather than from a place of stressed obligation.
The first quote below states it brilliantly. It's all in your mind. Even in your daily life, there is nothing you have to do. If you think you have to do something, that's because you've accepted it as an obligation and a "must-do."
Change the way you think and it'll free you!
You can look at even the mundane tasks, like paying bills, as a fun activity. Something you choose to do. Something you get to do. (Be grateful that you have the money to pay those bills!)
The truth is, each day is a vacation. A vacation in this life. On this planet. As the person that you are. It can be full of trivial, mundane, requirements that you do begrudgingly. Or it can be loaded with fun, enjoyable activities that you choose to do because they bring you peace and contentment.
Quotes of the Day:
"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in." (Robert Orben) http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertorbe382710.html#Eej4xFzIAxxa8Ufz.99
"I do not really like vacations. I much prefer an occasional day off when I do not feel like working. When I am confronted with a whole week in which I have nothing to do but enjoy myself I do not know where to begin. To me, enjoyment comes fleetingly and unheralded; I cannot determinedly enjoy myself for a whole week at a time." (Robertson Davies)
"The man who is so run down that he needs a vacation can never adjust or reform himself in two weeks. What he really needs is to re-transform his life." (Elbert Hubbard, Philistine: A Periodical of Protest, 1905)