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The psychology of vacation

The psychology of vacation

“Holidays” – a very dear word that brings to mind sweet memories, smiles, happy moments with family and friends

Remember the summer holidays as a child. School was out, and we had weeks of freedom with the sun and the beach stretching ahead! But it is easy to forget this feeling as adults when our heavy workload and stress “threaten” our precious vacation days. Holidays for the young and old mean getting away from the ordinary and above all changing our routine. Prolonged inactivity, relaxation, laziness, rest, and fun. A pleasant break from our daily lives. Research has shown that people who take regular vacations once or twice a year can cope with greater ease with obligations or difficulties and have a longer life expectancy.

Vacation = Happiness
Researchers from England and the Netherlands set out to measure the effect that holidays have on people’s overall happiness and how long it lasts. Anticipation, experience, and memories are the three psychological variables that affect our attitude towards holidays. The stage of anticipation is the most decisive because this is what ultimately increases the level of happiness and not so much, the holidays themselves. In particular, the study showed that the greatest impetus to happiness comes from holiday planning. The effect of the holiday forecast boosted happiness for eight weeks.
Vacations have the potential to break the cycle of stress. When our vacation is successful we feel ready to conquer the world again. So let’s try to organize our vacation better so that we have an unforgettable experience and come back more refreshed.

  • Conduct thorough research and make sure you know what is available at your holiday destination. Planning will minimize any disagreements, stress, and loss of valuable time. It is always better to determine in advance (especially if you are going on holiday with friends) what everyone likes and how they can be combined.
  • Try to use all of your vacation time. Do not take many “mini-holidays” all year round, but one or two “maxi-holidays”.
  • A good mood is the “first” factor of the holidays. Without whining and bad thoughts, indulge in the beauty of summer, smile, and enjoy the pleasures of the holidays to the fullest!
  • Go somewhere different each year. There are people who never go to the same place twice. This is a good strategy to make your vacation more memorable.
  • Live in the moment and enjoy the experience. An important way to enjoy your vacation is to live each moment as much as possible.
  • Disconnect from work. Many stay connected (e-mails, telephones) and as a result, do not reap all the benefits of their vacation, particularly escaping and the pressures of work. Realize that the benefit of the holidays is to come back with “your batteries charged”.
  • “See with the mind, not with the eyes”. Take fewer photos, free up your memory, and create images within yourself.
  • You may be able to afford to go on vacation, but your best friend or relative may not be able. Do not feel guilty because you are going on vacation. Don’t forget that the main reason for taking a vacation is to free yourself, as much as possible, from guilt. Don’t feel guilty when you’re on vacation and you don’t want to answer your mobile phone or check your email.
  • Make your vacation a real adventure! Holidays with new challenges are more beneficial. Sure you can relax on the beach for hours if that’s going to help you get more rest. But be sure to try to get out of the “comfort zone” (eg your cottage, resort, or hotel), to do something unusual. This “different thing” will give you new and unforgettable experiences that you will be discussing throughout the winter.
  • Have an alternative plan. Hopefully, it will not rain, no one will get sick, and everything will work exactly as you planned. But it is important to have a backup plan in case something happens. You need practical solutions and definitely a good mood, when things are not going well, in order to minimize stress and use your time effectively and efficiently.
  • Use humor when you disagree with your friends or you have an obstacle. When “obstacles” happen, humor is a great way to create a positive atmosphere.
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