Take a vacation from your problems.

Taking a “mental break” from your professional, personal, work related, family related, financial, medical or psychological problem may be the best thing you can do for yourself.

Who today does not have a problem? 

Merriam-Webster defines a problem as “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.”

The two types of problems:

Common problems – are problems that most people deal with at some point, or multiple points, in their lives.

For many of us a common problem may be our jobs.  Others common problem may be their kids, and with Americans’ debt hitting a new high of $13 trillion last year, almost every one of us is dealing with a common problem of personal debt.

Uncommon problems – are problems that many people deal with, but not an overwhelming majority.  Examples of an uncommon problem include a medical diagnosis such as cancer or diabetes, a disability, an addiction, or even a life changing event such as a sudden death of a child or lover, or even the pain of a divorce.

The effects of problems on you.

Problems can lead to worry and worry can lead to stress.  They can all lead to a wide-ranging impact on your life.

Sleepless nights, loss of appetite, increased appetite, irritability, depression, an increase in blood pressure or other more serious health problems.

A problem can have a minor to major impact on your life – it is your choice.

As Bobby McFerrin said in his song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. “When you worry, your face will frown and that will bring everybody down” and “in every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double”.

What should you do when your problems are overwhelming you and wearing you down?

Take the advice of Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) in the movie What About Bob when he gave Bob Wiley (Bill Murry) a prescription that read “Take a vacation from your problems.”

6 ways to take a vacation from your problem.

  • Take an actual vacation. When you are packing your suitcase, take everything you will need for the trip, but do not leave any room for your problems to join you on the trip.
  • Take a stay-cation. These are all the rage now as many people are trying to pay down debt or save money.  Find something local to do that you have not done before to escape from your problems.  Try a park, or a museum, most are free.
  • Give yourself a relaxing weekend – if time and/or budget are obstacles to a full-blown vacation, then treat yourself to a relaxing weekend or a quick (and affordable) getaway.
  • Take a long drive – there is no better way to clear your mind than just driving somewhere that you have not been before. A different view of the world can give you a new perspective for your life.  If you get lost that could be the best thing for you.  It will force you to stop thinking about your problem because you will have a new problem – finding a way home!  (Tip: tale a GPS system or someone who is good at reading maps with you.)
  • Escape in the beauty of the world. Wake up early and enjoy the sights and sounds of the day beginning.  Lose yourself in the sounds of the birds chirping and the world waking up.  If you are not a morning person, sit outside and watch the sunset.  Again, lose yourself in the spectacular light show that illuminates the sky each evening when the rays from the setting sun are constantly changing the colors of the clouds and sky.  Go to a park and watch young children, who are not troubled by the problems of the world, play innocently on the slides and swings.  During a thunderstorm watch out the window at the spectacular light show that dances across the sky from each flash of lightning.
  • Volunteer in your community. There is nothing better to do to get your mind off your problems than helping other people.

Choose your escape wisely.

Taking a vacation, regardless if it is for a few weeks or a few hours, can be very bifacial.  I caution you to be wise own how you choose your “time off” from your problems.  Remember your problems will be there when you return.  If you vacation correctly you will have a new outlook on the problem.  If you make a proper choice for a vacation from your problems: drugs, alcohol, spending a lot of money when you are in debt, you may not be taking a vacation from your problems – you may be making them worse.