5 Healthy Vacation Tips for Your Heart: No Exercise Required

Learning to look and listen

Are you a work-a-saurus? Does having a deadline and a million tasks to accomplish give you the warm fuzzies?

Being productive and contributing to whatever your passion is in a positive way can be an awesome feeling.

But being able to feel fulfilled when you’re not doing those things can be a challenge.

This week we were on a family vacation in the beautiful state of Florida. The days were filled with early morning workout sessions with my husband and playing on the beach all day with the kids.

In the back of my mind I kept thinking, “I need to tweet, I need to do some facebook updates, my klout score has dropped and I haven’t done a blog post.”

The problem wasn’t eating unhealthy food, skipping exercise, or drinking too much. Mine was being able to mentally and emotionally take a vacation.

I realized the days were starting to pass and I was feeling anxious and wasn’t enjoying the small magical piece of time with my family.

Here are the 5 things I found that helped me have a healthier vacation.

1. Decide a block of time to be offline: Mine was generally 9 to 5. Ok, sometimes I cheated, but I got better at it as the days went by.

2. Be in the present: It was incredibly tempting to look for picture opportunities and blog post ideas. Then I realized that for the first two days I wasn’t really participating with my family in the fun of being someplace beautiful. As I was looking through the pictures I took on my iphone to use for this post, I realized that when I took the picture of that rainbow, I was so worried about taking the picture for a future post that I forgot all about the rainbow. I missed the moment.

Rainbow to remember

3. Stop to look and listen: It’s amazing what you hear when you stop the wheels in your head. Watching my kids laugh and seeing them have fun is priceless. It’s only for a moment when you think about it. The days scurry by and before you know it you’re back to your regular day. Taking those moments slow and not trying to hurry to the next thing makes you emotionally available.

4. Know your value outside of work: Social media is a bit like working out. It’s constant upkeep. When you take time away, you learn quickly you’re soon forgotten. It’s nothing personal. It’s just ever-changing and ever-evolving. It’s one thing to want to participate in social media because of all the wonderful relationships, social good, opportunities, and fun to be had; but when your worth is dependent on a grade or score, it can possibly become a negative if it creates worry and anxiety.

5. Value your loved ones: My kids love the movie Hook with Robin Williams. His character’s life is his career, and at one point his wife tells him he’s “missing it.” So consumed by his work, he was disconnected from his kids. Somehow he had lost his sense of what really mattered. Life is short and we never know when our time here ends.

Grabbed the kid's boogie board for a sesh!

So with these last few days left I’m going to watch my kids play, enjoy the company of some old friends, walk the beach holding my husband’s hand, and breathe in this moment.

It’s not about where you go but who you’re with. That’s the only score that really matters.

Are your vacations truly vacations? Are you able to let go of your work and be present?







  1. Mizfit08 says:

    I love this Joyce. Every. Single. Word.

  2. Angela Charles says:

    Great points! You can almost feel guilty for not checking email and thinking about work when you are not at work. Even when I am sick I still tend to check emaill from home. It’s hard to disconnect. But by not disconnecting you end up stressed out and distracted. These tips are realistic and can easily be incorporated to make vacation more enjoyable and certainly healthier!

    Angela 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

       Yes on the guilty feelings and working while sick~ It’s amazing how all that guilt goes when you step away once you get the hang of it.  Thanks for stopping by Angela!

  3. Beautifully put. Thanks for the reminder. 

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