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Vacation Time: Reset Your Perspective

By Mellanie Hills

Reprinted from Women in Technology International

We just returned from a family vacation that was several weeks long.

We travelled in a motorhome, and spent several days enroute, soaking up local scenery. After a delightful week visiting relatives in Alabama and Georgia, we took our son on a college visit at our alma mater, and then dropped by the Florida coast for spring break. The pristine beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore were truly spectacular. Nearby was a fabulous seafood restaurant; we had a lovely lunch on their patio overlooking the beach, and returned again to enjoy the sunset.

Traveling in a motor home is tranquil, allowing the mind to wander while you're a passenger. For me, it provides the best "think time." Life is relaxed, and you see the country from a perch high above the traffic. I could live that way!

At home in Austin, it rained a lot while we were gone. We returned to thick, green grass (about a foot high) and lush, full trees. The native wildflowers were in picture-perfect bloom everywhere. When I take nature walks, everything just seems more beautiful and idyllic now.

I'm also now more focused and productive, and everything seems effortless. Did vacation change my perspective, or did I change? I came back full of ideas, and the energy with which to execute them.

What about you? Have you taken time off to reset your perspective, or have you made plans to do so? You can't afford the time? Think again - can you afford not to?

Americans tend not to take all our vacation, unlike the Europeans. Some of us just can't find time to take off; others fear what will happen while we return, such as will there be a job to come back to? Of much more concern should be whether failure to get away, to reset and revitalize, could lead to diminished effectiveness. This may also be a reason for our high level of health issues.

Take the time. You don't have to go someplace expensive or special - just get away from your routine, and especially from your stressors.

One such stressor for many of us is the mountains of e-mail we receive. Should you check it while you're gone on vacation? That's a matter of personal preference. You may prefer to pull e-mail while on vacation, so you don't stress out about dealing with an avalanche on your return; or you may prefer to stay away, and deal with the onslaught later. I used to be in the first camp, but after stress-related heart surgery, I've moved into the latter; plowing through it when I return seems less stressful than spending vacation time on it.

If you haven't gotten away recently from work, and e-mail, it's time to get going. You need the time to focus on what's truly important to you, think about your future, and plan where you want to be. When you come up with the answers to those questions, write them down and focus on them. That resets your perspective, and puts you on the road to making them happen!

You might be surprised at how much easier things are once you have that fresh perspective!

Mellanie True Hills is The Health & Productivity Revitalizer. She coaches individuals to create healthy lifestyles and works with organizations to create healthy, productive workplaces. See Mellanie at WITI's National Conference June 8-9, 2004, where she will share more strategies for "Designing the Plan for Your Life and Health". View the video of Mellanie's presentation, "Staying Healthy and Sane in an Insane World", to discover what you you must know about heart disease.

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Copyright 2004 Mellanie True Hills Company.  All Rights Reserved.

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