Why You Need A Mental Vacation: How To Really Relax

May 7, 2021

Dr. Ashley Margeson

Dr. Ashley Margeson


These are the perfect vacations. They require no pre-planning, no expenses, and no travel. This is a vacation that isn’t just easy, it’s also very important for your mental health. These are called mental vacations; kind of like day dreams. But not quite.

Why are mental vacations so important?

You give rest to your brain and mind. It calms down your mind and helps you focus better. It gives you a break from work, from studies, and from tasks, and also makes you forget for a while your problems, obstacles and difficulties, just like a true vacation. Going on a vacation means to empty your life from the obligations and the tasks of daily life. It is important to recharge yourself and calm your nerves, mind and body once in a while, and a mental vacation helps you do just that.

What could a mental vacation look like?



Reading a book in bed. This is a great escape and can leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to face whatever is outside your bedroom door. Your bed is warm, cozy, comfortable, and a peaceful place for you. It feels luxurious, and getting lost in a good book is a perfect way to forget, then refocus, your own thoughts.


Visualize relaxation. Steal a few quiet moments to close your eyes and think of an image that relaxes you — such as the warm sun on your skin and the sound of the ocean, a big country field sprinkled with flowers, or a trickling stream. Think back to a time when you felt peaceful and relaxed, and focus on releasing the tension from your toes to your head.


Look out a window. Distract yourself by focusing on something other than what’s stressing you. Grab a steaming cup of coffee or tea, close the door, and take a mental break. Do a little people watching, appreciate any birds within view, or enjoy some fluffy clouds rolling by. Allow yourself to daydream for a few minutes.


Listen to a relaxation playlist. Find a good spotify playlist, and save it. You may like to hear chirping birds, rolling waves, or gentle rain — whatever your choice, closing your eyes and listening to these soothing sounds while doing some deep breathing can help you relax and de-stress.


Take a walk. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress because it’s a great escape for your mind. Head out for a quiet early morning walk or lace up your sneakers on your lunch break. Walking along a trail, waterfront, or other peaceful place when possible may offer even more relaxation.


Treat yourself to a 5-, 10-, or 20-minute mental vacation each day and train your body to relax and reduce stress — you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after taking just a few luxurious moments all to yourself.


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