Holidays are essential for a healthy mind and a healthy body. Studies have shown that doing the exact same things over and over again numb your brain and lower your moral. The monotony and the routine are the greatest enemies of happiness. We all need to take some time off from our stressing jobs, from our daily chores and from the tiresome lack of variety.
Unfortunately we are all destined to work more and party less. That is why we should spend very carefully the little time we have for recreation and to try to get the best out of it.
I have made a list of things that make a short holiday (let's say a three-day weekend) seem longer. This is an opened list so please feel free to add from your own experience any other piece of advice.
1. Force yourself out of bed one hour earlier than usual: this will not only give you an extra hour of fun but it will also change a bit your perception of time.
2. Dismiss all the bad thoughts (like problems at work or unpaid bills) and forgive all the mistakes your spouse/friend/child makes or at least postpone dealing with them until after the holiday is over.
3. Shower, dress casual, eat a good meal and go.
4. If you travel by car, stop whenever you see something you like and enjoy it. Don't speed, you are supposed to have fun not be there exactly on time.
5. Once you arrive at destination do not settle with lying lazy in the sand or on a chair. Instead choose to do a lot a 'exhausting' activities like swimming, hiking and climbing, horseback riding or anything else you can possibly do.
6. Buy souvenirs but spend little enough not to regret the money.
7. Get your serious/indifferent/big-city mask off and be friendly with everybody. Do talk to strangers.
8. Observe and take part in the local events and traditions, be it a public pillow fight or listening the fanfare in the park.
9. Eat the region's specific food, listen to the local music, learn the local legends and myths.
10. Sleep well.