The 5-Minute Vacation

Escape your office–without notifying the boss
By Alison Granell, Men’s Health

1. Turn off your phone and leave the office for your lunch break

“Our bodies are designed to deal with stress intermittently, not 24 hours a day,” says David Posen, M.D., the author of The Little Book of Stress Relief. “Removing the source of stress, even for a short time, allows your body to recover, restore, and relax.” Brooks Gump, Ph.D., who found that taking more vacations cuts heart-attack risk, says we need to grab chances to be safe from stressors. “And that may mean going out to lunch and not telling anyone where you go.”

2. Load vacation photos onto your work computer

Many vacation researchers practice this trick themselves. “Viewing pictures of a restful scene allows you to recapture the feelings associated with the image,” says Posen. Make them your screen saver or upload them to a free site like Flickr or Picasa for less frequent revisiting.

3. Talk about your trip with coworkers, and relive it with the people who went with you

Psychologists call this “rehearsal”–the more (and sooner) you talk about an experience, the better it lodges in your memory, says George Loewenstein, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. “You may think it’s cheesy to give a slideshow,” he says, “but the benefit of boring your friends and neighbors is that you’re more likely to retain the experience yourself.”

4. Go back outside
Chances are, you spent much of your trip outdoors. Keep it up when you return home. Columbia University researchers found that exposure to the negative air ions created when air molecules are exposed to sunlight, radiation, moving air, and water generated feelings of alertness, mental clarity, and elevated mood. Tip: Those ions exist outside your office, too.

5. Re-create the sounds that lulled you on vacation

The steady, calming sound of waves, for instance: “The natural rhythm of the waves’ ebb and flow helps slow the mind and relax the body,” says Alan Keck, Psy.D., a psychologist with a private practice in Altamonte Springs, Florida, whose specialties include clinical hypnosis. Slip on your earphones and download a 15-minute nature-sound mp3 for $2 at soundsleeping.com.

6. Breathe deeply, as you did on vacation

(And as you probably don’t, hunched over your keyboard). Close your eyes, place both feet on the floor, and breathe deeply through your nose for 5 to 10 minutes. This is an example of body-focused meditation. “Deep breaths stretch out muscles in your chest and diaphragm and alert your mind that you’re ready to relax,” says Peg Baim, clinical director of the training center at the Bensen-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

7. Keep a vacation scent in an office drawer

Like that resort soap you swiped, the sunscreen you used at the beach, a sachetof Provençal herbs, or an envelope you stashed with pine needles. “Scent becomes strongly connected to whatever you felt when you first came into contact with it,” says Rachel Herz, Ph.D., author of The Scent of Desire. The parts of the brain that regulate emotion, memory, and smell are close neighbors; they’ll transport you back even when the vacation seems far off.

Is this possible even in naija??????


17 comments on “The 5-Minute Vacation

  1. wow…wettin chase u come back?

  2. me doubts oh…if you talk about ur trip in naija too much they will say u r boasting, if u go out to relive the peace na trailer horn go wake u…deep breath? try deep fumes…screen saver? cant work when customers are yelling left right and centre….

  3. lolllll why not??????

  4. d only advise dia dat made sense 2 me is d first one. being one dat takes my lunch @ d office kitchen, i know just how refreshed i feel wen i go outside 4 my lunch & put my phone on silence. heaven!

  5. It’s possible. Putting once mind to it is all it takes

  6. hahaha, the first suggestion is one I wish I could somehow replicate in my house in the mornings when the kids wake me up. What is the equivalent?Anyway, how body nah? Its been a while.

  7. Babe, you dissappear for a whole month and when you get back you drop a five minutes vacation post for us? Common, will you give us a proper update? lol. All im trying to say is we missed you on blogsville, welcome back

  8. i think it is possible.. whether or not it is effective is what i’m worried about. i mean, how many times can you re-smell old soap without it becoming sickening?

  9. @afrobabe:norin ooo i jus dey miss blogsville…@afrobabe:lololololol i seeeeee……….@lg:i concur@florida:hmmmmmmmmm……..@standtall:exactri exactri@solomonsydelle:er.me not know…I been good…I see u and d kids are havin a blast;-)@twix:no worry proper update go soon show@geisha.song:lololol abiiiiiii u no go too inhale…na small small(lol)

  10. For those who have not gone on vacation, does this apply? (LOL).These are really beautiful suggests and I think I have to start applying them like yesterday.I like your blog and I am putting it on my blog list. Don’t know why I haven’t been here before. Have a beautiful day.

  11. couldnt really read into this post because the title made me prejudge it…..I CANT GO ON A VACATION IN 5 MINUTES!!!!!Where I go for vacationing…takes me 16 hours. So there is not a vacation that I can take in 5 minutes….LOLBut I will go back and read your post, dont be a stranger.

  12. Thank you for this. I can only hope my boss won’t come here.

  13. Onome dis your faif minit facashun don dey long ohh… Haba…Abeg come tell us how u bin dey biko…

  14. lol @ Afrobabe’s comment. trailer horn and fumes…Onome, pls we need a proper update. wetin now? lol

  15. not even remotely!where u don dey sef???

  16. *CLEAR THROAT*o gal’ as u don abandon ur blog, abeg borrow me ur ‘password” make i take ovaaaaaaaaa :-)hope all is wellllllllohowz abj????

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