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It can be easy to get caught up in the stress of every day life, even in the summer. Maybe your family is driving you crazy or your work is strenuous, even during the warm months. It can be hard to anticipate a vacation when you still have so much on your plate, even if the vacation has been in the works for months! How do you transition from a stress-inducing life to lying by the pool, relaxing in the sun, and putting everything on hold? It’s difficult to get into the right mindset, but you can prepare yourself for fun in the sun if you know a few simple steps:

1. Put your stressful thoughts to rest. If you’re constantly worrying about stuff that’s going on in your life, where’s there time for you to be excited about your upcoming break? Nothing is too stressful that you can’t put it away for a short vacation. It’s important to remember that sometimes, space is all you need to reassure yourself that any worrying is in vain. By being able to reorganize your thoughts and see your vacation as a welcome break from your every day life, then you can relax and enjoy your time off effectively!

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2. Start making a mental list of all the relaxing things you’ll soon be doing. What does your vacation entail that will make it a good catharsis for you? Will you be biking down a beach or drinking cocktails by the pool? Perhaps all you’re planning on is getting a good tan and finishing a favorite book. Whatever relaxing moments are on your agenda, it’s good to remind yourself about them a week in advance in order to prepare your mind for the good times that are coming! It can be hard to get into “vacation-mode” when you’re still very busy on the home-front, but starting to get yourself to a relaxing place while under stress is a great way to prepare yourself for a break in your routine!

3. Prepare your living space for your departure. It might sound silly to clean your house while you’re packing up for a vacation, but if you leave your house in disarray, you’ll only be more stressed when you get home! Make sure to clean up after yourself as you’re packing up your clothes and vacation-related items (ie. don’t leave clothes on the floor), as well as make sure the garbage and recycling are done before you leave. If everything’s spotless when you leave, then you’ll have less of a reason to worry about things when you return!

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4. Pack in advance. This might sound like a daunting task, since you’re already stressed and still trying to get into the vacation mindset. However, it’s important to remember to work toward your goal of relaxation in advance or you might never get there! By getting together your beach volleyball, for example, and sun-bathing essentials, you’re getting yourself into a mode where you can just sit back and read a book on the beach once you get there. You’re not running around like crazy the night before trying to get your vacation items into a suitcase and you’re able to have time to spare to catch the plane or load the car. De-stressing is a difficult task sometimes, but by being prepared for your relaxation catharsis, you’ll be able to release any negative energy more easily and have fun in the process!

5. Make sure you leave nothing undone before you leave. Never bring work on vacation unless it’s absolutely necessary. It doesn’t make for a relaxing vacation if you’re still attached to your Blackberry or anticipating a meeting that’s more than a week away – and you’re at the beach! Get everything you need to get done BEFORE you get in the car or catch the plane. How are you supposed to unwind if you’re thinking about all that you have to get done AFTER you get back? Traveling stress-free involves being industrious before you leave and then changing your mindset completely once you get to your new destination. Don’t leave anything undone – get everything together before you leave and you’ll thank yourself later!

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing times, so make sure you’re prepared to just lie back and take in the scenery while you’re there! Soak up the sun, girls, and make sure you do the activities that relax you while you’re away. You can come back to the office or your home relaxed, tan, and happier than you previously were. Sisters, we have to keep ourselves healthy, so de-stress and enjoy the rest of your summer in style!