7 Quick Mental Vacation Ideas to Recharge Your Batteries

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Photo: zcool.com.cn
By Cynthia Dalton
For me, fitness is not just about hitting the gym; it is also about an inner happiness and an overall well-being. — Rakul Preet Singh

Ah, to Vacation!

We all love to blow the cobwebs away and go on vacation. And when we can’t do that, we staycation. But there’s another kind of vacation that’s low-cost or free, available year-round, and can be accessed just about anywhere we are at any given moment — a mental vacation.

What’s a Mental Vacation?

A mental vacation is any brief thoughts, activities, or meditation that momentarily disconnects us from the hamster wheel of daily life or difficult tasks, stressful situations, and problems.

What are the Benefits of a Mental Vacation?

  • Your mind gets a mini-break that allows you to resume the task at hand with renewed clarity and focus.
  • Taking a mini-break often results in a fresh perspective.
  • A mini-break can re-energize your day.

When and Where to Take a Mental Vacation?

Certainly not while driving a car or during a business meeting (although tempting). The optimal time is when we have a moment to ourselves, in a safe environment. One example most of us have done at least once with semi-guilty pleasure, is playing Solitaire on our computer when we were supposed to be working on something else. But just ask yourself, was it so wrong, when the result was you returned to your work and aced it?

Meditation is the classic Cadillac of mental vacations, but small diversions can work nicely as well.

Quick Mental Vacation Ideas to Recharge Your Batteries

  • Keep a stash of children’s toys to play with quietly for a few minutes. Remember Jacks, Paddle Ball, and blowing bubbles? At first this may sound silly but returning to childhood briefly can conjure up happy memories, taking you elsewhere in time, if only for a few moments.
  • Speaking of childhood, keep a stash of your favorite treats you enjoyed as a child. When the mood to take a moment to yourself strikes, pick a treat, and really enjoy it — guilt-free!
  • Keep a puzzle book handy (crossword, sudoku, etc.) and escape momentarily with a new mental challenge.
  • Indulge in adult coloring books with subject matter that interests you as well as a collection of coloring pens and pencils. Color within the lines or not. It’s your coloring book, and no one needs to see it.
  • Curate some favorite comedic websites that appeal to your sense of humor. Google “comedy websites” (some collect GIFs and memes, some have jokes by category, some are pure satire, etc.) so you’ll always have a selection to choose from at a moment’s notice. As Milton Berle once said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.”
  • Cast your own mental movie. Think of your favorite movie and imagine yourself in the lead role. Close your eyes and really see the film on your mental movie screen.
  • Surprise yourself. Write down your own ideas for pleasurable mental vacations on individual slips of paper. Place the slips of paper in a wide-mouthed jar with a lid. When the mood strikes, shake the jar, and select a random slip of paper. Voilà, instant surprise mental vacation.

For a different take on mental vacations, you might like to check out this article, by Remez Sasson, Do You Go on a Mental Vacation Every Now and Then?

What do you think?

  • Do you agree with the concept of a mental vacation?
  • Do you take mental vacations?
  • Do you have any suggestions for ways to take a quick mental vacation?

Do you have a question, comment or an idea for an article? Email: [email protected]

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