Sleeping in, resting after lunch, enjoying extra free time or just hanging out with friends… These are just a few of the perks that come with vacation time, perks that offer a little variety to our routines. Simply being able to mix up our routine gives us great pleasure and a sense of freedom. We also feel better rested and happier. When you’re used to having to get up early you may find it a great victory to be able to slowly emerge from bed at 10.

Our routine changes in other ways while on vacation that we should also consider important. Our meals are affected by having extra time. The meals we enjoy on vacation are usually better prepared and more nutritious. Although we do sometimes go out and indulge; Christmas Eve and New Year’s celebrations for example often include hearty heapings of food. Normally however we have more time to cook better and to get away from processed foods and ready-meals that creep into our diet the rest of the year.

Our bodies end up making themselves heard and soon we transform this lack of routine with another routine. We like to eat within certain hours and go to sleep before a certain hour. Supposing that the world that surrounds you, your family for example, doesn’t impose any certain schedule, you quickly find yourself following the routine of your choice, but a routine nevertheless.

This variation in routine, not the elimination of one, is satisfying and self-imposed. That’s why we have what’s called post-vacation syndrome, and getting out of bed the first day back at work is the hardest. But we should be aware of how to use our free time how to get the most out of it. We have to admit, we’re jumping from one routine to another, but knowing that we’re doing it and understanding just what it is that’s giving us pleasure from our vacation-time routine can help us get ideas on how to bring the two routines together as much as possible.

In any case, even if we can’t change anything and we have to stick to the daily grind, we’ll still be able to be happy during the weeks of vacation that we have ahead of us.

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