The Jakarta Post
Tourists sunbathing on the fabled beach of Boracay island on November 9, 2008. (AFP/Jay Directo)
That beach vacation you have been planning might actually end up stressing you out even more, says an expert.
According to wellness tourism expert and member of the Purdue Tourism and Hospitality Research Center, Xinran Lehto, it may be highly tempting to escape your busy life for a week or so to spread out on a beach towel, but in the end, it might have adverse effects.
"Lying on the beach for many, many days is not the best way to recharge yourself. After a while you get bored and anxious, then you start thinking about work and things at home you need to do. That's not healthy for you,” Lehto said.
Instead, Lehto recommends prioritizing “fascination”. Instead of the beach, go somewhere that has always seemed just out of reach, or that has always made you curious.
“Once you are attracted to a particular scene, you rest what we call your directed attention — the kind of focused mental energy that you need on a daily basis in order to function well for work and study — and activate your indirect attention, which is being drawn to things that make you a being of thought,” Lehto said.
Read also: How to use your vacation to relax and unwind
Lehto continued, saying, “The place should have enough variation of interest and activities that have depth for you to be engaged with. The scope and depth of activities is actually more important.”
Of course, Lehto advises against going anywhere that makes you uncomfortable, which would lead to unnecessary anxiety.
Following “fascination” is “orientation” — "Service, signage, and everything that helps you orient yourself is very important... you feel like you have a sense of place” — and “awayness”, both of which are key. By going somewhere physically far away from where you are based allows for a mental disconnect from everyday life.
Finally, Lehto also recommends putting social media and technology on hold while away, allowing for a total sense of awayness. (sul/kes)
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