We were on vacation in Berlin last week. I didn’t mention anything here because I thought that would be a great opportunity to catch up on blogging and campaigning. I was not really going away from my own city.
Then again, as we started getting into the vacation, I realized I desperately needed it for my own well being. I could feel my nerves flaring up from all the tension. So I decided to really forget about work and go fully into a break. Besides, catching up on work kind of felt like procrastinating on my own vacation ;).
Unfortunately, since I mostly work from home, switching the brain isn’t that easy. The “I didn’t have to go to work today” doesn’t really feel like anything to me. Unless, of course, I didn’t want to check any e-mails or play Sims Social (yes, I’m addicted to it since a few weeks).
The first few days were okay, it felt like a nice long weekend. We went for lots of walks, had great food, doing our usual weekend stuff. But then I started to feel some anxiety attack. What if I couldn’t feel relaxed enough during this vacation? Did we make the right decision by not going anywhere? (the answer to the last question is YES, because we needed the fund for something else more important).
Skipping to the end, I managed to feel relaxed and happy like being on a usual vacation.
It’s not easy because we didn’t go to other cities (except for a daytrip to Braunschweig).
Here are the things I do to help myself:
- Stay away from the usual routine. Which was why I stayed away as far as possible from word processors and design tools.
- Set up a vacation budget, so I would not feel guilty of spending more money than usual.
- Rejoice in the fact that I’m saving money. At least I don’t have to pay for transport and lodging.
- Look for places I haven’t been to. Granted, this is the advantage of living in a bigger city. But I bet there’s always somewhere you haven’t been to in your city. Look for some exhibitions, concerts, new restaurants.
- Don’t fret about housework. You wouldn’t worry about laundry or dishes during a vacation, would you? I’m not saying you shouldn’t clean up, but just don’t feel like “since I’m not working, my house should be shiny clean”. (Unless you’re a fan of cleaning… I’m not :P)
- Don’t fret about work. This is not the time to catch up. This is a time for refreshing the brain, to prepare itself for new ideas for the next project.
- Treat your other senses. Perhaps try a new spice in food, try a new type of cuisine, or go for a massage.
- Pretend you’re a tourist. Make a role play, look the part, bring a map, and take lots of pictures.
- Most importantly, do things that made you happy. This is the time for it! My happy things are going for a walk in the city, eating good food, and read a lot.