Have you ever heard of a micro-vacation? Probably not, because I just made it up. Okay, so I was not the first person in history to combine the prefix “micro” with the word “vacation,” however, I would like to give this word my very own definition.
Micro-vacation (according to Raven): A micro-vacation is a break from your routine in which you indulge in a relaxing, reinvigorating, or personally fulfilling activity for a period of at minimum a few hours and at maximum a full day (i.e. sunrise to sunset). Generally, micro-vacations do not require any overnight travel, nor must they take place outside the home.
Today, I had a much-needed micro-vacation of sorts. After a multi-day Zoom workshop this week and a few meetings this morning, I decided to follow through on my routine and take a short walk. But, no more than half-way into my trek, I noticed that the pool was open. I enjoy swimming and do not do much of it. After an unusually busy work week, I did not hesitate to rush home and change into a swim suit. The sun was boiling and the thick air suffocating, yet the water was still crisp. After a minute or two of pacing in the shallow end and an unceremonious dunk into the center of the pool, the water finally started to feel like a refreshing antidote to the heat. Taking this (admittedly short) afternoon swim felt like a symbolic cleansing. For twenty or so minutes the weight of work and life dissolved into the chlorinated water.
The funny thing about one indulgence is that it can innocently entice you into taking another one. After returning home and rinsing off, I very uncharacteristically stole a pillow from the bedroom and reclined on the couch as if it were a daybed. Without any disruption or second thoughts, I played my audiobook in this relaxing atmosphere. I was so unwound, in fact, that I actually fell asleep and when I awoke ended up needing to rewind the book a good 10 minutes or so.
Calling it quits halfway through the day is uncommon for me. Even when I do not work, I usually have some sort of activity that I make a part of my routine. In this way, I usually feel uncompromisingly busy, almost literally all of the time. This, presumably, is not a good habit to have or the most enjoyable way to live life. For this reason, I am now a strong advocate of the micro-vacation.
Sometimes we take breaks (some for several hours) that do nothing to fulfill us or recharge our spirit. Instead, such breaks are just periods of time when our attention is diverted from the activity at hand. In this way, breaks are not permission to luxuriate, rather just a pause during the day. Micro-vacations, on the other hand, are deliberately intended to replenish your energy and reinvigorate your life force. Whether you intentionally choose to go to the spa, beach, play sports or board games with friends, or go on a hike, it is important to make sure that your activity takes you out of your mental space (whether work or something else) and affords you benefits similar to a bona fide vacation (like rest, excitement, or intrigue).
If you can spare a few hours to do something good for yourself, Dear Reader, why not claim a micro-vacation?
Wishing you happy days.