Art of Vacationing: Psychological Secrets Behind How to Fully Recharge

Published 30. 4. 2024

Are you looking forward to your vacation? I am! Here’s how to use this time to your benefit and get as much rest as possible. What to do before stepping out of the office, what are no-gos during your trip, and how to get back on track smoothly.


Vacation, what a lovely word. Did you catch yourself dreaming for a moment of that place you want to visit as soon as you put the vacay days in the working calendar? Well, I did. I was immersed in my thoughts immediately after typing the word in my notes.

Vacation, feels like seeing the daylight, doesn’t it?

But why is it so? Why do we love vacationing so much? And why do we tend to travel to foreign countries? Places we don’t know. Why are we so obsessed with the thought of escaping our everyday reality? That’s the behavior that fascinates me.

Besides being only curious, let’s dive into facts. Psychology, and everything else that is connected to our stereotypical vacay behavior.


Table of contents:
Panic at the Workplace
Traveling to Foreign Countries as a Kind of Escapism
The Real Flex is Being Able to Relax
Avoid Stepping into the Blues of Everydayness
Vacation Should Not Be the Only Liberation


Panic at the Workplace

The days right before going on a vacation are swift and often stressful.

The reason is simple. Before closing the door of the office, we need and want to have all our work marked as completed.

Cleaning our desks helps us to have clean minds on our vacay. Also, by managing our tasks we make sure none of our colleagues struggle without us the following days or weeks.

No work left prevents us from jumping into a ton of work right after coming back from our dreamland.

But should it be this way? Should we give it 110% just a few hours before turning ourselves off?

The answer is YES but there’s a catch.

You can push yourself and give it your best. But make sure you work smartly.

When having a plan and working cleverly, which often requires a system, you prevent putting too much pressure on yourself. Therefore, well-planned tasks will prevent you from being stressed.


How to Stop the Panic at the Workplace:

  1. Create a To-Do list - Put out the biggest fires first. And only include those with the burning deadlines. Let all the things that can wait wait.

To create a To-Do list, you can use apps such as Microsoft Planner, CRM, Microsoft To Do, Google Tasks, or Apple Reminders.

  1. Focus on delivering the best performance - Evaluate each of the tasks and think of how well you can complete them that day. And only do those that will be handled properly.
  1. Meet with the team - It’s always a good idea to meet with your team before taking time off. Especially, if they build up on your work. Therefore, if it’s necessary to discuss anything with your colleagues, do so!
  1. Delegate - Usually, before leaving for a vacation, we have our calendars full of tasks. To be as productive as possible, we should not only decide which task is of bigger priority than other ones but also delegate them to our colleagues.

Thanks to that we save time, stay calm, and make sure our projects are going to be handled properly.


panika na pracovišti


Traveling to Foreign Countries as a Kind of Escapism

Why is traveling so tempting for us? That’s the question.

The answer is fairly simple, it has always been in our veins.

Human beings have always traveled. In the past, it was because we had to. If our ancestors wanted to survive, they had to move from one place to another: to get food, survive invasions, live in a better environment (due to weather changes), and others.

You might think “Oh but nowadays we don’t have to travel to survive! We do it to relax.” Well, yes and no.

Let’s forget the climate and politics for now and focus only on the traveling of our choice - that is vacation. We don’t need to go to foreign countries and experience new cultures to survive physically. But we do to improve our mental health.


So there is this psychological level of traveling with the benefits of:


In general, many people feel like going to an unknown place is an escape from their stressful realities.

Their homes and workplaces are filled with duties and boring routines. But “there” we are someone else. We live a different life for a couple of days, weeks, or months.

No one knows us “there”. Therefore, we can be anyone. The dream of who we would like to be is suddenly within our arm’s reach.

Also, being away from home gives us a feeling we are away from our issues and struggles. From all the things that give us anxiety or need our attention to resolve them.

There in a foreign country, we can explore new selves. And give ourselves time to rethink not only who we are but sometimes also what we want in life and from life. We can get new ideas of how we would like to continue living our lives.

For some people, it is enough to just cross the border. They don’t care much where they’re going.

Others love to come back. They can visit Greece a hundred times. Book the same hotel, sunbathe on the same beach, and eat the same food and they’re completely happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. But does this kind of traveling count, too? And what benefits does it have?

Well, since there is a lot of stress at the workplace, traveling to the same place can be very calming for one’s nerves. The fact that you know what to expect, and what you can look forward to in that place is why people revisit the destinations all over again. So yes, do what is comfortable for you.



The Real Flex is Being Able to Relax

The reason you go on a vacation is primarily to relax. And that’s why you should keep that in mind.

It should be your priority to recharge. Do you feel like it’s too difficult for you?


Here are tips that will help you to enjoy your vacay stress-free during the stay:

  1. Prepare a workplace and home for your arrival - Clean your household before leaving. And make everything ready for your arrival. Then, when lying on a beach, you won’t have to think about all the stuff you have to do when coming back.

Do the same with your workload. Try to prepare everything so the projects go smoothly after you sit at your desk again.

  1. Stay offline - Turn off notifications from the platforms you use for work communication. Don’t “have a quick look” in your inbox. Don’t check who texted you on Slack or MS Teams. This will help you to really forget about all the duties of your working life. And will enable you to clear your mind.

Even Tomáš Baťa did that. When he was vacationing, he made sure his staff wouldn’t bother him on any account. He told them they had to take care of all the issues that would arise themselves. To be able to do this, he had to have a reliable team.

If you’re a boss or a manager, always make sure you have someone in your workplace you can rely on. Someone who can handle the projects without your presence. Only then you’ll you be able to live your personal life unbothered. And enjoy your vacations stress-free, which is crucial to prevent burnout.

  1. Be in the moment - This goes hand in hand with staying offline of your working platforms. Enjoy the activities you do. Fully taste the food you’re eating. Focus on the loved ones you travel with. All of these will help you to relax and forget all your worries.
  1. Stop overplanning - When on a vacation, and especially visiting a new destination, we want to experience it all.

But when having a busy schedule with all the sightseeing, restaurants, cafés, and museums, we tend to forget to relax. We do quite the opposite, run around like crazy.

And after a busy day, we fall into bed like dead. And this repeats every day because we want to keep the pace. Do you see yourself now?

Be careful here. And while getting to know new cultures and their beauties, think of yourself. Be excited about experiencing something new. Take photos of that beautiful cathedral and taste the best dish on the menu but don’t rush it. Don’t take the exploration as a list of tasks but rather as something you really want to do.


Make sure your clients and partners are taken care of when you’re enjoying the time of your life. And create an effective out-of-office message in Outlook. Not only will it inform your clients that you are not currently available, but it will advise them who else they should reach out to.
In our quick guide, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to set a perfect out-of-office message.




Avoid Stepping into the Blues of Everydayness

The post-vacation blues is a common thing. The majority, if not all of us, face it after coming back to work.

It gets more overwhelming when we come from a longer vacation than from a shorter one. It’s all about acclimating. When arriving at the destination, we forget about our everyday reality. And usually after a couple of days, we get used to a new environment.

If the vacation is shorter than 2 weeks, it is difficult for us to handle the emotions connected to leaving, exciting new experiences, and coming back.


When you feel your foot is above the ground and you become scared of stepping into the blues of everydayness, it’s important to give yourself some time. Breathe, and follow these:

  • A weekend for recovery - Make the coming back to reality slow. After being back home, give yourself a day or two to take care of the basics - unpacking things, getting ready for the office, and reflecting on what happened in the past couple of days. Your brain must catch up. And it takes some time. Be sure you come back to the office in good humor, not the blueish one.


  • Create s simple To-do list - Write down what you should do after your arrival. Both personal things and work-related stuff. Thanks to it, your mind will stay clear, and it will help you to be organized.


  • Let it linger - You’re full of everything during this time. Don’t try to stop your thoughts. Let them flow. And enjoy recalling the nice memories.


  • Self-care is everything - Treat yourself well when not feeling the best. This can include ordering your favorite takeaway, meeting your family or friends, watching that one movie, or doing some wellness activity. Just enjoy yourself.


  • Socialize - Because you might still feel one foot on a beach even though standing in the office, it might help you to share your experience with your colleagues.

Not only will it help you to bond with your team, but it will also give you space to let off the emotions of sorrow connected to leaving.

  • Season your life with the new seasoning - Often, we try something new on our trips. Something that makes us step out of our comfort zone and make us a little bit more alive. Why not bring that into our everyday life? Spice your days with a new skill you learned!


  • Start planning your next trip - Planning the next trip helps to overcome all the blues that might get close to you. This doesn’t mean you have to book a flight right after opening the doors of your flat. But why not start working on the next bullet on your bucket list?


pochmurné město


Vacation Should Not Be the Only Liberation

The main aim of going on a vacation is to recharge.

But getting refreshed only once a year and only on a vacay is not enough for you to stay focused, healthy, and productive in the long term.

Relaxing should be incorporated into your everyday routine. And you can achieve it in various ways. For some to relax is to meditate, or sleep. For others to exercise.

Especially those under big pressure, such as leaders (CEOs and managers) should pay attention to their stress levels. And keep them under control.

Studies show that exercising regularly has a positive impact on one’s job performance, consistency, and company’s success in general. Keep this in mind when feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you must finish.

I would also like to give an idea on another note…

Since the liberation of vacation gives some people the time to reflect and rethink their work-life steps, you can also use this period to give yourself space for new ideas on how to approach your business or career.

I want to stress that you shouldn’t push this. And do it only if you feel comfortable occupying your mind with it.

For example, Steve Jobs loved to use his vacay time to step back and think of the new possibilities of Apple. As his engineer Tony Fadell says, “He used that vacation as a time to expand his thinking and get outside of the Apple day-to-day and the projects we all knew and loved.”

If you should keep in mind one thing from this article, it is to not be afraid to get some rest. It will not make you less productive, quite the opposite. It will give you the energy to continue and give it 100%!