Today I want to share what I call the mini vacay, short for mini vacation. It’s one of the chapters in my book Address the Stress, Tips and Tricks to Lead to Success. I love mini vacays. Many years ago, I read a magazine article where the author said that you really must take three weeks off to have a good vacation to de-stress, decompress. Three weeks is what it takes if you want to let go completely of all the stresses of work. Some kind of scientific study was done and the results indicated that it takes the first week to begin to unwind because you’re still thinking about work. The second week you let go even more and by the beginning of the third week, you truly begin to relax.
You have to take a three-week vacation to relax. It takes that long? Well, not all of us can take a three-week vacation all at one time. So, the next best thing is a two-week vacation because with two weeks off you might be able to get someone to cover your workload while you’re gone. Whereas if you take a three-week vacation, they almost have to have someone cover your work. There’s like virtually no way your workload can pile up for three full weeks, or maybe they don’t really need you anyway if it can. Ooops. Taking two weeks is really good. You have one week to unwind and let go. During the second week, you can really begin to relax a little bit. The rejuvenation isn’t quite as good as three weeks, but it’s better.
What is the worst possible vacation of all? You guessed it. The one-week vacation. Why is the one-week vacation so horrible? The one-week vacation is so horrible because you barely have a chance to decompress from being away from work. You’re thinking about all the things you’re going to have to do when you get back and it’s going to be a lot. The other thing is if you’re only gone for a week, nobody is going to pitch in and do your work. If an important phone call comes in or a critical email, then maybe somebody is going to take the time to respond. Typically, your colleagues will say something like, “Oh, Jennifer will be back to the office on Monday. Call her then”.
It’s horrible. You barely had a chance to enjoy your vacation and you come back to the office and work is all just piled for you. So typically, with the one-week vacation, it takes you a good two days, if not three, to catch up from the week before and even figure out what this week even looks like. Hence, the mini vacay.
The mini vacay is when you take a three- or four-day vacation. Hopefully, you can take them many times throughout the year. If you take off on a Friday, a lot of places slow down on Friday, you just slip out the door Thursday afternoon and you don’t think of the office again until Monday morning.
You can survive one day away from the office, go to work Monday, catch up on what came in on Friday by noon, and move on with the week. It’s perfect. Or, if Monday is a holiday, you leave the office Friday afternoon and head out for a long weekend, whether you stay home or go someplace. Does it really matter? Then you go to work Tuesday morning and again, you haven’t necessarily missed that much. If you have a Friday holiday take Thursday to make it a four-day weekend or take Friday and Monday, spread it out. The point is to take as many long week-ends as possible.
If you can take many vacations throughout the year, you have a wonderful chance every month or so to rejuvenate. I have a girlfriend that I meet up with typically once a year and we go to a resort. We have a spa day and get massages. We’re just away, stay in a hotel, eat a wonderful dinner, and stay up half the night catching up on everything that’s happening in our lives. What can you do right now to get away from the office and have a little mini vacay? Another benefit is that they aren’t a huge financial outlay at one time.
Staycations are becoming popular now, where people have chosen not to buy weekend getaways, but have transformed their backyards into a complete Oasis. Swimming pools, little waterfalls, hot tubs, big screen TVs, nice furniture creating a space where they enjoy hanging out and getting away. One year, I never took an entire week off the whole year. I just took mini vacays throughout the year. I think I took off every single Friday that summer. It was amazing.
Take a few minutes and reconsider your vacation calendar. If you can’t take three weeks at one time, and two would be a real stretch, seriously consider mini vacays. Look at what’s happening in your home town or in close proximity and dive into some local flavor. Maybe you stay home and enjoy the fruits of your labor laying poolside. The options are endless. Take time to rejuvenate as many times throughout the year as possible!