We are well into summer, and maybe you are realizing that you haven’t made plans for some rest and relaxation. It’s not too late to fit in a vacation, and I encourage you to plan now for some downtime. Here’s the thing, if you don’t plan, it will not happen.

There are many health benefits to taking some time off: reducing stress, improving heart health, and increasing mindfulness, just to name a few. If taking a long trip or traveling a great distance isn’t feasible right now, you can still reap the benefits by planning creatively.

Years ago, our family vacations weren’t planned, so we would miss out on longer trips and settle for two-day vacays. Back then my husband and I were so busy with our careers that we would seldom get time off together. To remedy the problem, we decided to plan our vacations at the beginning of the year. We scheduled eight 3 to 7-day vacations scattered throughout the year. Some were tacked on the regular holidays, others were scheduled during our slow seasons.

In fact, I just wrapped up a week-long staycation and it was fantastic! I spent time relaxing poolside in my backyard. My husband and I completed some household projects – checking items off the “to-do” list always feels great! And we took day trips to the beautiful, hot Texas Hill Country. While I enjoy destination vacations, I have discovered that I can also recharge by stepping away from work and unwinding close to home.

Here are some tips for taking some time for yourself:

  • Most major travel sites, such as Expedia and TravelZoo, offer last-minute deals. You may be able to snag a great deal, even if it’s just for a short weekend trip.
  • Take a day or half-day off from work and check out a local resort for the day. Use ResortPass to find a place to unwind near you.
  • Play tourist in your own city! Check out a museum you’ve never visited, stay in a local boutique hotel, or try new restaurants. Use Eater or Yelp to read reviews of places to dine in your town.

The concept of “filling your own cup first” is legitimate. I am returning to my work with renewed energy and focus. By prioritizing my well-being, I can pour myself into helping my clients release their negative emotions and improve their overall well-being. I’d love to have a conversation with you about your dreams and how to act on them. This might even include taking steps toward that dream vacation you’ve been thinking about!

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