Our blogging team has reflected differently on our vacation exercise: what we did do, what we did instead of what we planned to do, what we imagined doing, and how long we did it (long, short, and ideal).
But we are all thinking about vacation as time that is not non-vacation time. If you’re normally very active, on vacation you can relax. If you are normally too busy for activities, then on vacation you have that time. Vacation is choice: a time to do more (or less) than what you do when you are not vacationing (unless you are retired, but that’s another scenario from which I am still woefully far away).
This past summer vacation, I wrote out a list of physical and social activities I wanted to do on my own or with friends and family: hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, etc. Then, on the next page I drew wobbly boxes and slotted each list item into my hand-drawn calendar—spreading out the activities but also ensuring I got them all into my vacation time.
Each vacation day I had at least one goal activity to look forward to. I had a blast: two weeks of a high-energy days that were filled with lots of fun and plenty of exercise, neatly all within in my local area.
Now, I am back to my regular work week. Back to the office. And I am kinda down about it.
Even though I still have most nights and weekends for summer exercise, I feel not nearly as motivated and encouraged to be active as I did when I was on my two weeks of holidays. Activity-wise, I peaked during my summer vacation time, then valleyed right after on my non-vacation time. And I am finding that it is not helpful to be this unmotivated, considering that now I exercise more than ever after being back sitting in my office all day!
What’s the learning here, and what’s next for me? It’s a long time away my next two-week vacation!
My vacation activities seemed galvanized by my ability to choose them. Now that I am back to work, I feel I have less free time and less freedom in how I spend my time. Would making another list and wobbly, hand-drawn calendar give me back that “vacation feeling” that would nudge me back to being more active?
Or, perhaps I should try mentally de-coupling my physical activities from my vacation time altogether. Perhaps exercise is the vacation from work, regardless of whether I am off on holidays or not.
Do you notice a difference in your levels of activity transitioning between vacation to work time? How do you manage that transition? What works for you?