An entertaining vacation and a restful vacation: are these the same?

How many times have you returned from a fun, action-packed week with family or loved ones – full of engaging activities, intense bonding, night life, day trips, maybe some great sight-seeing on the way there or back – and thought: after that, I need a vacation!

Well, it’s no coincidence: the truth is, not every time away from home and work offers the same thing.  There’s a difference between fun and relaxation, leisure and re-creation.

Typically when we head out for some hard-earned travel time, we don’t want to be bored so we plan out something to do each day.  As we do, we create diversion and engagement.  But we also give up downtime and a chance to re-charge the engines.  There are activities that engage us and there are activities that rejuvenate us – typically, we’re good at identifying the former but not so much the latter.

It is critical to decipher what kinds of activities rejuvenate us, that is, give us energy, re-fuel us, make us more rested and serene, because not all pastimes create the same effect for everyone.  One person could spend a day at the beach and afterwards be ready to take on the world; another person could spend a day at the beach – a parent with small kids, for example – and by days end be gasping for a break.

What rejuvenates YOU?  What activity genuinely makes you feel rested at day’s end?  Not necessarily entertained, not just inspired, not lit up per se . . . but rested.  Whatever it is, make sure there’s at least some of that in your vacation this summer.  It’s OK to mix the two but don’t let the entertainment elbow out the rest.  You need both.

When you return from your week(s) or day(s) of vacation this summer, may you come back with more energy than you left.

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