Definitions are the best. Not only do they inform but they also remind us of the real meaning of a word; the literal meaning. Let’s take the word vacation. According to Wikipedia vacation is:

…a specific trip or journey, usually for the purpose of recreation or tourism. People often take a vacation during specific holiday observances, or for specific festivals or celebrations. Vacations are often spent with friends or family.

How idealistic, no? The notion of going on a specific trip or journey just to enjoy a little recreation. The misconception with vacation though is that it requires physically leaving your everyday life and flying off to a tropical island or visiting magic kingdoms. That simply isn’t true.  A true vacation transcends luggage and destination. Rather, it relaxes you, brings back your focus, restores your sense of purpose, and eliminates daily stress. But what is best about a true vacation is that it is often free or quite inexpensive. A real vacation can be found by slowing down your daily grind or by spending time with your family, friends or even by yourself in your own backyard!

But I have recently discovered a few things that can help you regain focus, retain purpose, and revisit hope, all without going much of anywhere.

Lose the electronics. That’s right friends. You heard it here first. To have a true vacation you need to lose the electronics. If an emergency comes up it will either be dealt with by the persons in the situation or they will find you. I have oft said, “I wonder what past generations did without cell phones?” Well, they survived. They learned to cope. So leave it all behind. Hang up that cell phone. Leave the laptop behind. Don’t be afraid to disconnect in order to reconnect. Take a vacation.

Fuzzy channels. I know that in my life I can get enough of the news. If I am not careful I begin to take on the frustrations of the world and carry the weight of the media on my own shoulders. I even lost track of reality as I become engrossed in reality TV and the authenticity it never quite achieves. And music channels in their misguided programming do nothing more than cause me to lose the tune of my own drummer. So let those channels go fuzzy. Turn off the set. Quiet down the boob tube. Take a vacation.

Social silence. Five years ago we couldn’t have cared less about playing Farmville with 23 of our closest kindergarten friends. We scoffed at the idea of comparing nanny stories with complete strangers. And we were terrified of posting pictures of bad ’80s haircuts. Yet somehow, now, we find it to be most fascinating and time consuming. Many of us haven’t made an actual phone call or visit in over a year. So log out. Let this Tweet be your last. Go dark on the social networks. Take a vacation.

Singin’ in the Rain. No matter what the thermostat reads. No matter how many raindrops fall from the sky. No matter how gust the wind. Enjoy it. Take it all in. Give thanks for a life lived in such dynamic conditions. Bask in the sunshine and sip tea in a rainstorm. But by all means, take a vacation.

Hibernation sounds welcoming. There is no doubt that while humans supposedly need 8.5 hours of sleep a night many of us get 5 or less. While at first this may not take a toll on us it will ultimately lead to declining health, irritable attitudes, and lack of clarity. So take a nap. Sleep in. Turn off your alarm one morning. Go to bed early. Kill the lights. Face the clock backwards. Just take a vacation.

Wherever your vacation takes you, whatever it allows you to do, keep these in mind. Don’t be one of those that returns needing a vacation from their vacation. Live free, live fun, but above all. TAKE A VACATION!