At this time of year we always seem to get the vacation bug. It could be conditioning from years of spring break vacations with our families growing up, or maybe just an urgent need for some warmth and sunshine after a long Canadian winter. Thoughts of crystal clear waters, the intoxicating scent of tropical flowers, and the general feeling of being relaxed fill our minds as we wish away the last remaining snow piles that lurk at the edges of our driveways.
Trying to capture the relaxed vibe of being on vacation without having the time to hop on the next plane to a warmer destination is no easy task, but we’ve rounded up some inspiration to help you beat those end-of-winter-blues.
Photo Credit: Community Explore
Take real breaks. Getting outdoors, even for a ten minute walk during your lunch or coffee break, is an easy way to refresh your outlook and disconnect from your phone and computer. Weather not cooperating? Schedule lunch with a friend. Social obligations help to force you out of work-mode. Make a sincere effort to avoid talking about work.
Refresh your home. While no one we know particularly enjoys cleaning, giving your home a quick once-over by clearing off tables and countertops, making the bed and putting away clutter can make you feel more relaxed and less anxious for as long as it lasts. For an even more uplifting vibe, pick up some fresh flowers and stage them in the areas you use most often. Surrounding yourself with greenery and flowers can have immediate positive effects on your mood. Brightly coloured peonies, orchids and hydrangeas are some of our favourites!
Be a tourist in your own town. Take a day or weekend to explore your surroundings. Most of the time we are so busy rushing through life that we don’t take the time to appreciate what is often right in front of us. Attend a local event, visit historic sites, hike a nearby conservation area, shop a local independently-owned store (check out our favourite spot in Whitby, Penney & Co.), or try the new restaurant in town you’ve been hearing about all week.
Photo Credit: Phosphenes
Free up your schedule. It sounds simple enough, but ask yourself honestly: when was the last time you made room for spontaneity? Live a day, a weekend, or more without a schedule or agenda to follow. Learn how to say no to obligations that aren’t necessary or don’t bring you joy. Sleep in knowing that you have nowhere to be and can spend the day anyway you choose to. Allow yourself the freedom to be spontaneous, which is one of the best things about a vacation.
There’s nothing like a true beach vacation to give you a refreshed, renewed outlook. Even for those of us who won’t be travelling south for spring break this year, we can still achieve that vacation mindset by making some minor adjustments to improve our everyday lives.