Relax with a Mini-Vacation

Need a few weeks on a beach to relax and unwind but can barely afford to take a day off? No problem. Here are some quick and inexpensive ways to relax with a mini-vacation.

Have a Pajama Day!

Whether you live alone or with a family, choose a day and declare it Pajama Day. The rules are easy. Just clear your calendar and spend the day in your jammies. Think you're too important and will be missed? Remember that even the most powerful leader in the free world takes time off to hang out at Camp David. President Bush may even do it in his pajamas, but we try not to think about that.

So, sleep in (as long as the kids will let you), eat pancakes, watch movies, read and laugh. If you have kids, we bet they'll love having your undivided attention. You'll be amazed at how an unstructured day with no responsibilities can turn down your stress level.

Enjoy Your Own Private Spa.

Day spas are lovely, but expensive and you still have to get dressed and face traffic to get there. Why not create an oasis of peace in your own home? No commute time and you don't have to worry about how much to tip!

The key to transforming your bathroom into your personal spa is to set the mood. Put on a tape of your favorite soothing music. Light some candles, with a delicate fragrance. Lay out fluffy towels and your favorite bath salts and lotions. Turn off the phone, lock the draw and sink into a soothing tub.

Think you don't have time for a long bath? Even five minutes in a hot tub in a soothing environment will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Spend The Night In A Hotel.

You'll be amazed at how a change of scene and routine will help reduce your stress level. Pack an overnight bag, choose an affordable room near either home or office and stay there one night during the week. Even a one-night stay in a hotel has the feel of a vacation, especially if you use hotel amenities like an indoor pool and Jacuzzi.

If you don't have little ones, treat yourself to room service and enjoy a glass of wine while reading the book that's been languishing on your nightstand or just a peaceful conversation. Enjoy the quiet - you deserve it!

Taking the kids along? Take advantage of the pool and then a casual dinner out. Keep the conversation focused on favorite vacation moments, past and future.

Take a Mental Vacation.

Don't have the time or money for a full day off or a hotel room? No problem, just take a mental vacation. First, find a place where you can have five interrupted minutes. Having trouble finding a place? Remember that there's a reason they put locks on bathroom doors. Next, get comfortable. Slip your shoes off, loosen tight clothing and sit in a relaxing position. Now, close your eyes (finish reading this first, though) and imagination a favorite moment from your past. Perhaps it was at the beach or star-gazing or sitting by a fire.

Concentrate on the smells, sights and sounds at that moment. How the sun felt on your skin at the beach, or the smell of wood smoke from a campfire. Focus on how you felt at that moment. Relaxed, filled with a sense of well-being, at peace.

After a few minutes enjoying that special moment, concentrate on bringing those feelings of peace and well-being to the present. Open your eyes, stretch and let yourself enjoy the new, relaxed you. Head on back to the real world, knowing that you can go to that special, peaceful place anytime, anywhere.

The key to a good vacation isn't where you go, how long it is or how much you spend. It's how you feel during the vacation. You have the ability to conjure that relaxed, happy you anytime. It just takes a bit of concentration and being willing to let go of your current stresses, even if it's just a day or a moment. Go on, take a mini-vacation and relax.

Relax with a Mini-Vacation

Vacation Spa Guide

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