5 things to do when you can't take a vacation

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why is a vacation essential

Vacations are essential for mental health. Not only they can reduce the amount of stress you get exposed to but they also promote creativity and elevate the mood.

People who don't take vacations for prolonged periods of time are much more likely to suffer from stress, bad moods and even depression. When the word vacation is mentioned most people think about traveling somewhere but the good news is that you can still get many of the benefits of a vacation even if you can't travel.

One of the most important purposes of vacations , after having fun and killing boredom, is breaking the cycle of stress and the daily routine. Studies have shown that prolonged stress can lead to depression if it wasn't handled properly.

This is why you must learn how to break the cycle of stress even if you can't travel somewhere. In this article i will tell you about few things that you can do to break this cycle and get some relief.

5 things to do when you can't take a vacation

  • 1) Mingle with nature Studies have shown that getting exposed to nature for short periods of time can dramatically reduce stress, promote creativity, reduce loneliness and improve the mood. You don't need to travel far away to do that you just need to find a calm place that has a sea, a lake or even a park. (see why open spaces can help you become more creative)
  • 2) Stop using electronic devices: Mobile phones, laptops, tablets and most other electronic devices keep distracting us every now and then. A study has found that people who get distracted often are less likely to find creative solutions for their problems. By isolating yourself from these devices even for one day you will feel much better
  • 3) Go through an indulging experience The best way to forget about your routine work or daily stress is to get indulged into an experience that takes you away from the world for sometime. Watching a 3D movie, doing an extreme sport or even swimming can help you do so (see also Why do people like video games)
  • 4) Go to a place you haven't been to before: Novel experiences can refresh your mind and help you become more creative. You don't have to travel to another country to find a place you haven't been to before. Certainly there will always be a place like that near by
  • 5) Do a group activity: When you mingle with a group you will find it much easier to forget about your daily routine. Contrary to seeing one close friend being with a group of people will prevent your mind from wandering often about work and other unpleasant thoughts.

Put them all together

All you need to do if you can't take a vacation is to gather the friends who didn't make it as well then do an exciting group activity together or spend sometime in nature with them.

While such actions might not be equivalent to a vacation they will still provide a great mental relief to your exhausted mind and help you keep moving forward.

The good thing about such actions is that they can be done on weekly basis. You will hardly feel stressed or exhausted if you did something like that once in a week.

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