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Vacation Time is Over — Or is It? How to bring a little vacation into everyday life.

We spend a good part of our year dreaming about, planning, and counting the days till a vacation time that flies by all too quickly. Research shows that the effects of a successful vacation can linger weeks after the time away has passed. But why settle for a few weeks of afterglow when there are ways to extend that vacation feeling well into the year? Instead of waiting a month or longer till that next extended break, here are 7 surefire ways to re-create that vacation feeling all year-round.

1. Carve out some time every day for yourself

You'd be surprised how rejuvenating it can be to set aside just 30 minutes a day and curl up with a favorite novel, take a hot bubble bath in a candlelit bathroom, write in a gratitude journal, or give yourself a facial. Sometimes it's the small things in life that make all the difference.

2. Set aside one weekend day for a special activity or event

Instead of getting bogged down with chores, be sure the weekend has some fun too. Whether it's going out on the town for a movie or dinner, planning a picnic in the park or movie night at home with freshly popped popcorn, or just getting outside to enjoy the sunset, there are countless ways to make a day or even an afternoon or evening into an anticipated event no matter what your budget.

3. Get into the excitement of Autumn

The end of Summer may feel bittersweet, but there's an undeniable excitement as the air turns crisp and a new cycle begins. Enhance that feeling by doing something totally new, like subscribing to a concert or theater series or a sporting event, joining a book club or a cooking class, or taking up a new hobby. Fall is a great time to try something new that can last the whole year.

4. Get out and walk

Long walks are the perfect time to relax and take some time for yourself, expand your attention to the world around you, or listen to that podcast you've been meaning to get to for months. Walking is also one of the best ways to get your heart rate up and burn some calories. What's more, recent studies show that walking is one of the best exercises for your all-around health and it's good for your brain too.

5. Create a beautiful place in your home that feels like a refuge

Just like carving out some time just for you is essential, so is having a quiet, comfortable place that brings you peace and calm. Add a pretty pillow or super-soft throw that you can cuddle up in and add some mementoes of your loved ones, a favorite place or a memorable vacation to reconnect to cherished moments.

6. Explore a new city or take an excursion into the countryside

There's nothing like discovery to bring that vacation feeling back again, and you don't have to go far. Is there a historic village or site near your home? You may be surprised what a little research can uncover that's been right under your nose all along! Taking time for a country drive to see the fall leaves, enjoy a lake or the seaside can feel like a mini-vacation.

7. Do a gratitude practice

Studies have shown that practicing gratitude is a powerful way to infuse your life with positive feelings. There's no faster or less expensive way to improve mental health than to take just five minutes a day, whether before bed, when you wake up in the morning, or driving in your car to appreciate all ways you've been blessed, both big and small.

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