There’s nothing like vacation to reset your priorities. You realize by getting away that things at home don’t need to be as complicated. We get so caught up in these routines that we create with blinders on and sometimes they only add to our stress.
We convince ourselves that our children are fussy eaters- that we can only feed them specific foods. Then you go out to eat on vacation and they eat things you would never have dreamed would be popular. Like an entire basket of deep fried shrimp. Scallops. Raw onion. You get the idea.
We convince ourselves we need a ton of clothes and shoes. Then we pack light for a week away, no one notices we wore those shorts twice, we had plenty of choices. We didn’t need more than two pairs of shoes. That third pair you brought just in case stayed in the suitcase. When your toddler got pizza sauce on her shirt, you can wash it off. Life goes on.
So the million dollar question is how do we keep that vacation feeling going all year long? Here are my favorite proven life hacks:
- Take time to plan. You spent a year planning for your vacation and the week leading up to it making packing lists and ironing out the details. Why not plan you life?
- I sit down Sunday nights with my phone and my planner and make sure they line up and get all the big things listed. I plan my exercise, my work time, my commitments, my shopping, chores, meetings, my toddler’s activities- everything I can think of. It helps me see the gaps in my week when I can plan fun activities, a work project or time to read a book. This takes 5-10 minutes and I can go into my week knowing what’s coming.
- I take a few minutes every Monday night to plan out our meals for the week and build out grocery list. I shop one time (after a already scheduled trip to town)- this saves both time and money. At the end of the day, I don’t have to decide what to cook. I don’t have to hunt through the pantry and find something. I don’t succumb to the temptation for more expensive quick meals and junk food readily available if I stop at the market every day.
- I have a journal on my desk. At the end of each work day, I take a few minutes to jot down anything that’s on my mind. I empty my inbox. I make and organize my to do list for the next day. This allows me to leave my work at work- knowing that it’s all ready to go tomorrow. I can relax at home. When I work from home, I have an end of the day routine as well. I set three primary goals each day- once those are done, anything above and beyond is just that- bonus. It can be easy to rush into the day. It can be easy to get sucked into the idea that if you’re not “busy” you’re not working hard enough. Work smarter, not harder. Take a few slow minutes at the beginning and end of each day to plan. You run your day, your day doesn’t run you.
- Simplify your belongings. When we were renovating our house, we packed up the living room and moved out of it for a few weeks. When we moved back in, we didn’t immediately unpack all the previously “very important” living room “things.” Most of those things are still packed (and waiting for a yard sale opportunity). On vacation, you’re happy with what you have. A few well loved items will bring more peace and happiness than wading through a room full of clutter. Truthfully, I’m still working on this one…
- Simplify your self care routine. You can spend hours in the morning doing your hair and makeup, or you can consult with your stylist, get a great haircut that is flattering and low maintenance, and pick up Beautycounter’s Five Minute Face. Drinking enough water, using high quality safer skincare every day and taking care of yourself will make a world of difference, and the five minute face is a guaranteed way to feel put together with colors that suit all skin tones and occasions. Check out this quick time lapse to see the whole look in 15 seconds!
Busy is a mindset. Busy is not an end goal. Being more stressed than your co-workers doesn’t make you a better employee. It doesn’t make you happier. Taking time to organize your life, take care of yourself and see the forest for the trees lets you keep that vacation feeling all year long.
Share your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below- what are the life hacks that save your day?
p.s. Looking for more? Grab my ebook for my 5 Essential Secrets to Health and Happiness!