About 2 weeks ago, I got back from vacation. My boyfriend and I went to visit some friends in California, and it was amazing.
We had a nightmare day of travel out to California, but like the champions we are, we didn’t let it get us down. On the docket for the week was a visit to Yosemite National Park, hanging out in Sacramento (kind of our home base for vacation, where our friends lived), and a trip to San Francisco. It was a lot to cram into 1 week of vacation!
I’m not going to recap the play-by-play of our vacation, because I honestly HATE reading vacation recaps. I don’t want to read about you lounging on the beach and going out to dinner at a different restaurant every night! It’s boring! What I am going to do is leave you with some things I learned during vacation—after all, the purpose of taking time off is to recharge and get some new perspective.
Sunshine and movement is everything.
Some of you may know, but I have had anxiety issues for the last several years. The week we were in California, I felt SO GOOD. Like, it was kind of unbelievable. There are a lot of factors here—we were on vacation, all of my everyday stresses were on the back burner, we were spending a week with friends doing fun things—so feeling good is to be expected. But I think a large part of it was that we were outside in the sun getting lots of exercise. The weather was amazing and I got like 2 mosquito bites the entire week. We WANTED to spend time outside.
So we come home and the humidity is 200% and mosquitoes feasted on my arms and legs the moment I stepped outside. It’s a little harder to enjoy being outside in summer in southern Indiana, but I’m trying to exercise a few times a week and walk our big dog in the morning, before the misery sets in.
I’ve been keeping a journal for the last few weeks and documenting how I feel each day, especially in relation to what kinds of food I’m eating and how much exercise and sleep I’m getting. I’ve noticed such an improvement on the days that I make time to go for a run or take Cooper out in the morning.
Be willing to try new things.
I am more of an indoorsy city girl—basically a wimp when it comes to roughing it. So I knew that our plans included visiting Yosemite for a couple days, and to be honest, I thought that I would tolerate it. Joshua has always wanted to visit and I thought I would just play the role of supportive girlfriend while we were there. I was much more looking forward to San Francisco and being in the middle of a busy city.
But I absolutely LOVED Yosemite. Guys, it was by far my favorite part of vacation. We walked in streams! We saw a mama deer nursing her babies! We drove really far up a mountain and saw breathtaking views!
Moral of the story—sometimes you have to suck it up and try something you’re not super excited about. But sometimes that pays off. I’m so thankful that I had an open mind and positive attitude about our visit to Yosemite because it helped me realize that I can learn to enjoy things that maybe aren’t what I would expect. (Also I’m currently planning all of our future vacations to national parks.)
Friends over phones.
File this under “duh,” but it never hurts to reinforce this lesson. Did I take lots of photos on Instagram during vacation? Yes. Do I regret that? No. Do I regret basically ignoring social media for the rest of the week? Heck no.
While I love being able to see what my friends are up to, social media can also be depressing as hell. Especially since most people (myself included) are only posting their highlight reels—not real life. So it’s easy for me to go in a black hole of scrolling through pictures of other people’s lives and forget to live mine or to fall into the comparison trap. Our week away helped me to see how much better I feel when I’m connecting with real life people instead of worrying about what other people are doing. Since we’ve gotten back, I’ve found myself on my phone less and less, and it feels really good.
Since we’re back to reality (and have been for the past few weeks), I really want to try to keep these vacation habits going. Plus, it’s fun to pretend that I live in sunny California. 🙂