As long as there's never ending to-do lists, jobs and careers to perfect, weddings and events to attend to, and friends and family to catch up with - a lot of us can forget to care for our own selves. Remember every once in a while it's important to flee our daily lives and escape from time-to-time, even if it's just for a quick weekend getaway. But sometimes when we make the decision to "escape from it all" - we unintentionally bring along the stress with us through our usual millennial habits. From physical health to a healthy thought flow, below are our top 10 essential tips that will help you focus on yourself and make your escape exactly that - an escape!
Pack light. Don't start off your trip with a literal load of stress! There's nothing more liberating than walking onto a train or airplane with just one light item to account for. If you're going away for a weekend - I suggest one nice sized weekender bag. If it's one to two weeks - a carry-on luggage. Remember - you can re-wear your outfits! (If you MUST have more room, we grant you permission to bring along one over-sized purse.)
Put your phone on airplane mode. Bring your phone for emergencies, but other than that, you don't need to have it attached to your side 24/7.This will probably be the hardest advice for us all - but I promise you that you'll feel so much lighter by the end of your trip. Use actual maps to get around, look at your watch for the time, connect on social media when you're back at home, and instead of texting your friends how your trip is - let them know over dinner next week. If anything, it's fun to see how we used to do things before smart phones existed. If you don't think you can put your phone on airplane mode the entire time - play a mental game with yourself and see how long you can stay away from it. And remember, what's the point of a vacation if your face is constantly glued to your screen? Make your escape count.
Shades. Protect those beautiful eyes of yours with Tree Hut sunglasses! And besides the usual use of shades, they also come in handy for unexpected nap times during your travel commute and even while your at your destination.
Read! Admit it, that lonely book on your nightstand needs some lovin'. These days it seems harder and harder to find time to read - and when we do find time we lean towards Netflix. Your escape is the perfect moment to curl up on the beach or a swinging hammock and to start getting some pages in! Tip: Take a book that you know you'll actually read and enjoy - not a book you think you should read. Have no shame if it's a quick page turner or a silly romance novel. Remember - you're reading to relax, not to brag that on social media that War in Peace is an amazing classic.
Apply sunblock everyday. We hear people talk about the importance of sunblock all the time, but a lot of us still opt out. Well listen up, sunblock is essential - and not just so you don't get sunburned - but for long-term health! It prevents diseases, cancers, and everything in between. Tip: Use this advice not only for when you're on vacation! Sunblock is needed even on cloudy days.
Bring a disposable or film camera. If you MUST take photos, use a film or disposable camera. This will prevent you from constantly looking down at your camera and obsessing over filters or perfecting a shot- instead, you'll be embracing the beauty that's right in front of you. Also, if your disposable or film camera so happens to get lost or stolen, it's not a huge financial loss. Digital or phone cameras will enable social media usage, and we already know that's a huge no-no. Worry about showing off your awesome time when you return home. And when you are finally home and have your photos developed - you'll have an actual tangible picture to frame!
Press ink against paper. Remember paper and pen? It's time to say hi and introduce yourself to yourself again. Chances are it's probably been a very long time when you stopped the noise and just concentrated on yourself. What are you thinking? What are your fears? Goals? No matter how light or how heavy, how structured or how poetic - write your thoughts on paper. Don't have anything specific to say? Try these interesting prompts. Don't be scared to not have an award-winning novel in the end of your writing session- it's your writing - let it flow the way you want it to. Writing is proven to be therapeutic, whether its a fiction story, a list of things you want to do before age 50, or just old school journal writing - be sure to tuck away some time away for that. Remember - don't think about it this too much because no one else is reading this except for you.
Bring a verstile blanket scarf. A blanket scarf can work in so many different ways - to keep your neck warm, an impromptu blanket on the train, a picnic throw on the beach/grass field, and my personal favorite if tied and folded in the right way - an additional bag! This also eliminates additional items that you thought you had to pack - no need for a picnic throw, tote bag, beach blanket, or airplane pillow now!
Drink H20. Because the rules don't change when you're on vacay! Remember to keep hydrated and have fun with it by adding your favorite fruits or cucumber & mint!