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Taking a vacation, even a short one, is a great way to recharge your battery to regain the energy needed to tackle life head-on. I just returned from a well needed trip to Pigeon Forge, TN. Although I am extremely busy, I needed the break so that I could boost my morale and get ready for the pressure I am going to be under for at least the next six weeks.

I am in the middle of my final semester of school. In fact, one of my midterms involved six separate essays on the Theories of Criminal Behavior that had to be completed while I was on my trip. I am also preparing for a very intense audit at work and I need to be ready for our own Amelia Island, Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. My graduation, audit and the Shrimp Festival are all happening the first week of May!

A shift in mental attitude and change in routine can be a vacation as well. No matter how busy you are, or what state your finances are in, a vacation is possible even if you don’t actually go anywhere. Here are some ideas to help you escape:

1. Take a vacation from thinking. Periodically, set aside some time to let it all go: perhaps, meditate. Put your thoughts on paper, they’ll be there when you return to them. An added benefit is, by taking a step back, you’ll gain fresh perspective and come back even stronger.

2. Take a day off and plan your favorite activity. If planning a week or two of vacation time is not realistic, plan a day. Clear your schedule of everything and either plan to do nothing, (if that’s heaven to you) or plan a day of “I’ve always wanted to…” and do it.

3. Plan a special weekend. Be a tourist in your own town. Amelia Island is full of wonderful and fun things to do and see. Try new restaurants, explore the Greenway, or attend an event.

4. Spa night. Lock yourself in the bathroom with all your favorite hair and body products and do it up. Light candles, play your favorite music, soak in the tub until you’re wrinkled. Pamper yourself.

5. Change it up. For example: sleep in a different room, take a break from TV and read a book. Create themes around mealtimes; bring Mexico or Italy into your kitchen. Spend a Saturday watching old comedies. As Milton Berle once said, “Laughter is an instant vacation”.

The bottom line is that taking a good amount of time away from the stresses of daily life can give us the break we need so that we can return to our lives refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes along.