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If work is becoming too stressful, your home life seems overwhelming and you’re desperate for a change, then consider getting away from it all for a few days (or even a few hours) and trying something completely new. If you plan carefully, budget well and commit to taking the time, you might find yourself refreshed and better able to meet the challenges of your life.

A Big Vacation

Perhaps you’ve reached a time in your life where you can afford to take a big vacation. Then pursue that dream with enthusiasm. Set a budget, and plan meticulously, but then dive into this adventure. You might choose a tropical Bahamas cruise from Miami for days of fun in the sun or schedule a journey across parts of Europe. Alternatively, you might travel to a part of the U.S. that you’ve never explored before and spend your time learning all about the area’s history and culture. Whatever you decide to do, truly immerse yourself for the best possible experience.

A Few Days to Yourself

On the other hand, you might only be able to sneak in a few days to yourself. But this, too, can make for an enjoyable get-away. You could choose a nearby city, book a hotel room and spend your time getting to know and enjoy all the city has to offer. Again, plan ahead so that you know at least a few of the places you want to visit, whether they are stores, historic sites or museums. Leave some time for spontaneity, though, for you might come across interesting little places that aren’t on your itinerary, and these could turn out to be the best part of your trip.

A Day All Your Own

If even a get-away of a few days is just not going to work for you, see if you can at least take one day all to yourself. Then make the most of it. If you want to catch up on your sleep that morning, do so. If you want to lounge with your coffee and a good book for most of the morning, that’s perfect. Maybe you want a spa day or lunch at a favorite restaurant or some shopping or several hours on your favorite hobby. The opportunities are endless. Just make sure that work doesn’t interfere. Turn off you cell phone, and refuse to check your email. Everything can wait until tomorrow.

An Evening Out or In

There may be times when even a full day off isn’t in the cards for you. Then reserve an evening. You might go out on the town with your spouse or a friend and take in a play or concert and a nice dinner. Or you can snuggle up with a book or movie, make some popcorn and just relax. Again, avoid interruptions as much as possible. This is time for you to wind down and enjoy yourself.

Plans for Your Get-Away

Finally, your get-away, whether large or small, will likely require some planning. Well in advance, set up your get-away. Decide on a day or days, and pencil them into your calendar. Then make a commitment to sticking with that time slot unless there is a major emergency of some sort. If you’re taking a big vacation, you should be planning weeks or even months in advance, setting up your travel and accommodations, setting aside money and doing your research. Start planning in advance for an adventure of a few days as well.

As your get-away approaches, let everyone know that you’ll be “off line” for a while. Set up a way for people to contact you in case of emergencies, but carefully define “emergency,” and set limits. When the day arrives for your get-away, immerse yourself in the enjoyment of your time off. Set your worries aside, and truly relax into whatever you’ve decided to do. You’ll come out refreshed and renewed.

Taking some downtime is critical for everyone, so make sure that you can capture at least an evening for yourself once in a while, if not a day, a few days or even a big vacation.