3 Mini Vacations Parents Can Take Right Now… For Free

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vacation graphicCould you use a vacation? You’re probably shaking your head up and down, but thinking, “I wish!” I wish I could afford to get away and get a little rest and relaxation. I wish I could leave the demands behind and just focus on something pleasant and fun.

What if it wasn’t about money? What if it wasn’t about resources? What if it wasn’t even about getting away? What if you could take a little vacation every day, right in your own home?

I know it’s not quite like a week in Hawaii, but the following three mini-vacations can happen as often as we want and can provide the emotional relief we often need and help to connect with the world around us. Sometimes we need escape. Sometimes we just need to deepen our connection to the moment.

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The following 4 mini vacations can give us the relief we need to reengage with our responsibilities with greater energy and enjoyment.

3 Mini Vacations

1. Deep Breathing: Breathing is a simple but absolutely essential thing that we rarely give a second thought. It sustains our life and the depth of our breath can affect our body and mind in profound ways. It’s the basic of all relaxation and meditation. When we slow our breathing into steady streams of air, in through the nose and out through the mouth, we become grounded. We become more deliberate in our thinking and actions. We switch the brain over from the AUTO setting back over to MANUAL. It provides relief to tense muscles and “stuck” thinking. When you do this, focus on the breath and allow your body to soften and sink into your seat or bed as you exhale each time. Notice the feeling of calm and just enjoy it. If this mini-vacation does nothing else, it gives some much needed rest and relaxation and rejuvenates you to return to the rigors of everyday life and parenting again. Just 5-10 minutes a day can be the vacation you need.

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2. Guided Imagery: This exercise starts with deep breathing but takes it to a whole new level. This can feel goofy to a lot of people when they first try it, but it is a tool that can provide incredible relaxation and enjoyment. When practicing guided imagery, follow the following instructions.

  • Take some deep breathes and relax your body.
  • Identify a place that is calm, happy and safe. (Could be a mountain top, riverside, beach, or even your room if that is where you feel most comfortable).
  • Focus on each of the senses you imagine in that “happy place”
  • Sight: Think of the colors, textures, and all that you see as you sit calmly in that place.
  • Sound: Think of all you hear, even if it is calm and quiet, imagine what that sounds like.
  • Smell: Notice if there are any unique smells and where they come from.
  • Touch: Feel both the physical textures and feelings as well as the emotional feelings.
  • Even Taste: Is there any distinct taste associated with your place of choice?

I’ve included a link to a simple search of “guided imagery” on Youtube. These videos can give you a better idea of how you might walk yourself through this process. Enjoy your vacation to where ever you want to go.

3. Activity Immersion (mindful participation): This mini vacation is different than the other two because you are going to take your child along for the ride as well. Mindful participation is to simply immerse yourself in an activity. Instead of worrying about laundry and work and everything else you have to do for the rest of the day, week and month, we simply stop and go all in on the activity at hand. It may be coloring a picture. It may be riding bikes. It could include spontaneous trips to the ice-cream parlor. The important part is to simply give yourself permission to take a full, unimpeded break from everything but the fun that you are creating with your child at that moment. The concept is simple but the application can be rather difficult for some people. If you find it difficult to do this, some parents find it helpful to literally “drop what they are doing” and move to a new location. Parents that work all day and have trouble shifting gears may benefit from changing their clothing when they arrive home. This is the Mr. Rogers technique. Being more immersed in one activity can give us clarity of mind and can prepare us to be more productive with the rest of our tasks.

What’s holding you back from your daily vacations?

We all need a break from time to time. Sometimes that means escape, sometimes it means immersion. Either way, we can receive the relief and rejuvenation we need to feel invigorated regularly. We don’t need a lot of money or week long child care (although that probably wouldn’t be bad either). Pick up your ticket for one of the mini-vacations above and give them a try. You’ll find that your aching need to go away subsides and life becomes a little more pleasant.

Comment: Let us know what mini-vacations you use. OR Let us know how these mini-vacations went for you.

If you liked this article, and know someone who would benefit from it, please LIKE and SHARE it on Facebook, other social media or just send them an email. You may also like the following articles. “31 Quick (2 Min.) Stress Relievers for Busy Parents or any of the articles pictured below.

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