Researchers interested in stress have found that the positive stress-reducing benefits of a vacation last no longer than the vacation itself, but still no longer than two weeks. What this means is that even if you took a month-long vacation in some exotic location, the benefits from that vacation would still last approximately two weeks. Even if a two-week long vacation is unreasonable for you and your schedule, consider how you can reap the stress-reducing benefits of a vacation by taking a respite from your regular routine. Break out of your regular routine for an afternoon and make the time to take a relaxing walk outside, spend time with friends you haven’t seen in awhile, or take a long bubble bath. For this short “mini-vacation” to be most effective, allow yourself to truly tune in to the present moment and let go of your thoughts and worries about what you believe you “should” be doing. Be fully present to the pleasant sensations of your mini-vacation and allow yourself the gift of truly enjoying and savoring the moment.
Vacation: improve the moment by taking a brief vacation from your life. This might mean playing some computer solitaire or a calming game on your phone for 10-15 minutes at work, or going for a coffee/tea break and just sitting and relaxing in the coffee shop. It can mean going for a walk in a nearby park. It can mean all sorts of things to different people, but most importantly it means taking any action that allows you to physically or mentally escape from the moment, the situation, or the distress. This pairs well with another Distress Tolerance Skill, called Distract using Wise Mind ACCEPTS.
This does NOT mean running away, permanently avoiding, or taking a permanent vacation. All it means is momentarily getting away from the distress. Determine whether you are healthily taking a vacation/using distraction, or are unhealthily avoiding or running away from the situation.
Examples of a brief Vacation include: