Lifestyle detox before starting Dream Job
July 21, 2011 7:35 AM   Subscribe

I have three weeks of between-job vacation. All I really have to do is go to a few meetings and do an in-state move. I haven't had this sort of vacation in years. I'd like to take this time to recharge and nourish my poor, battered, stressed-out body, mind and soul. Any suggestions?

I am leaving a very stressful It's my last day. In the last three years I have been sleeping and eating poorly, losing track of friends, spending too much time inside/on the internet and too little time outside, spent too much time obsessing about work, and not enough time taking care of myself. If I were to meet myself from five years ago, I wouldn't recognize "me now". It's been that stressful of an experience.

I am moving to my Dream Location and will have Dream Job. The job is similar to what I do now but it's on a much smaller scale, requires fewer hours, and pays a bit more. It's damn near perfect.

So...all I HAVE to do in the next three weeks is go to a few meetings in the beginning of August...and move from my current place to my new place. I have both places through the month of August, so there isn't even going to be a "move-out-on-the-31st-move-in-on-the-first" rush.

I'm thinking about making some serious changes to my diet - no crazy cleanses or anything like that, but actually spending time cooking and not eating the fast food I've been living off of.

I'm going to go for at least an hour long walk a day.

I'm going to write letters to friends who I have missed in the last few years.

I'm going to read some books for fun.

I'm going to create a budget with my new salary so that I have more control over my finances than I do right now.

I'm going to go through my belongings before moving, and decide upon what I love/need and what I am just dragging along with me for no reason (or harmful reasons).

What else should I do? How should I use the next three weeks to detox from the old job and lifestyle and prepare myself for a new job (similar responsibilities, smaller scale) and the lifestyle that I used to have (healthier, more diverse interests, more fun!)?
posted by Elly Vortex to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Congrats on a new start!

Remember to schedule in some unscheduled time.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 7:55 AM on July 21, 2011

Make a budget with your existing salary. Take any extra and put it away - immediately. Like, if you can have yoru direct-deposit go to two different places.

I always find a trip to the desert to be purifying. Go out to southern Utah and get a little lost.
posted by notsnot at 8:01 AM on July 21, 2011

Honestly I think you should do as little as possible. Find a nice shady spot under a tree and read a book, sit and dream, go get a nice haircut, mani/pedi or a massage (I'm assuming your female, but hey guys can get them too). Basically find some time to reconnect with yourself and get used to being in your own skin again instead of running around like a chook* with its head cut off.

Just throwing out some ideas here but maybe got to a museum or an art gallery if you like that sort of thing, or maybe a show or a band or whatever it is that you liked to do. get reexpose yourself to things you used to love to do but didn't have time for. I love going to Tai Chi classes as they always make me feel very in my body and present not lost in a crazy busy life. Yoga is also great for this.

posted by wwax at 8:01 AM on July 21, 2011

Congrats! :-) If it were me, I'd still try to get the moving part out of the way as quickly as possible and do most of the relaxing and recharging in the new place, which would give me lots of time to set up the new place and go out and do things in the new city. Take some walks, find cool places to hang out in your new neighbourhood and maybe you'll also meet some cool people as well.
posted by Kurichina at 8:03 AM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

It is summertime, have some fun!

Some ideas:
Have a BBQ, invite everybody you know
Go to the beach
Hike in the woods
Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle through local waters
Swim outdoors (preferably in a lake)
Lie in a hammock
Go to the farmers market, buy some hippie organic vegetables you barely know what to do with, eat those
Buy fresh raspberries by the half flat and eat them out of hand
Ride your bike
Go to street fairs or festivals
Go camping

I am so jealous, I never have time for a proper summer any more...
posted by crazycanuck at 8:13 AM on July 21, 2011

Move as early as possible, so you can spend the better part of those three weeks unpacking and relaxing and settling in at your new place.
posted by Zophi at 8:15 AM on July 21, 2011

At least a week before the new job starts: Get into a regular sleep cycle, arranged so you'll be getting up around the same time you'll want to get up when the job starts. That way, you're well rested and don't have to wrench your sleep around.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:16 AM on July 21, 2011

Massage, meditation, silent reflection. Do some relaxing things each day to cleanse your mind & body. I wish I made the time for these things.
posted by Falwless at 8:24 AM on July 21, 2011

Have you ever lived in the new city? If not, spend some time there exploring all of its cool features, especially places to swim if it's as hot there as it is here. If you can afford it, pay someone to clean your old place once you're out of it. I just moved, and even though I'm fairly clean, I still spent a day cleaning the old place.

Walking is a great way to explore your new neighborhood, say hello to everyone, and if people seem like people you might want to know ask them about coffee shops or markets. Find a gym and/or take some exercise classes.
posted by mareli at 8:45 AM on July 21, 2011

Seems to me like you've already set up a good plan for your vacation time. Keeping it open and minimal is a good choice. Relaxing and catching up with friends and your own health should be key. I'm sorry to hear that your job has hindered on your your health. One of your main goals for your next job should be to make sure you don't lose control of your health again. Beyond that, take your vacation on a day to day basis. Do what you'd like. Enjoy.
posted by ljs30 at 9:03 AM on July 21, 2011

Sounds awesome!

In addition to the above encouragement to scedule unscheduled time, I suggest you to make dinner, picnic and Skype dates as appropriate with friends.

Oh, and identify / experiment with an exercise routine you could sustain in your new location.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 9:20 AM on July 21, 2011

Move as early as possible, so you can spend the better part of those three weeks unpacking and relaxing and settling in at your new place.

Yes. Moving is much more stressful than anything else on your list - it's not really a vacation if you are moving. I'd knock that out as early as you can and then enjoy the rest of your vacation.

It really sounds like you are doing a lot! I think the three weeks will go by incredibly quickly with all of those activities.

I would suggest taking it easy and prioritizing the things you really enjoy over the things you "should" do - you don't need to fix everything in your life over the next three weeks, because now you have a job with less hours! yay!

Schedule some time to literally do nothing. And socialize as mentioned above.
posted by rainydayfilms at 9:25 AM on July 21, 2011

Get a massage, at least 60 minutes, at a salon or spa you trust and where you feel comfortable. Soooo relaxing, and extremely healing as well!
posted by Boogiechild at 11:39 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm not usually a spa person, but a day of massage, manicure, pedicure, haircut, etc., feels like a tuneup. A lot of your list sounds task-driven. Is there anything you've always wanted to try? Get paints and go paint, attend the opera, go for a river-rafting trip? Doing something adventurous is fun and energizing.
posted by theora55 at 11:59 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Those 3 weeks will go fast so I'd say get outta town! (for part of that vacation at least) Nothing refreshes you more than a real vacation--I know people have been suggesting more of the take long walks/lie in a hammock kind of vacation at at home, but can you do that somewhere new? If it were me, I'd be checking for deals in the Yucatan. You can get healthy food, take longs swims in warm water, read, get massages, come back refreshed!
posted by hellochula at 9:34 PM on July 23, 2011

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