Picture this: you just sat down in your uncomfortable middle seat on the return flight from a beach getaway. That pit in your stomach -- your "vacation scaries" -- immediately sets in. You fidget in your seat, realizing that in 12 short hours you'll be back behind your desk at work. And the plane is, like, eight degrees too hot.
Despite this familiar feeling, the vacation buzz doesn't have to end when you board your return flight. Life should have its balance of city and island ways -- hard work and new experiences, adventure and serene moments, hustle and happy places. Pull from the bliss you have at the beach and bring back a slice of that perspective to your everyday life. Here are seven ways to mix the hustle with the happy and take on the city life with an island mentality:
1. Know how to attain vacation mode without actually going anywhere.
Everyone has their island - the one place or activity that makes them feel most alive. You need to be able to go there sometimes. For some people, it's a morning run. For others, it's mastering a new hobby. Doing something for yourself that interests you will keep you inspired and spill into other areas of your life as well.
2. Realize you can't always get what you want.
The conveniences of living in or close to a city are hard to beat. It's easy to become complacent when everything is smart phone-controlled and delivered to your door within an hour. But despite this (or maybe because of it) we often lose our cool when the little things don't go as planned. Sometimes there's no wi-fi. Sometimes your neighbor throws a rager on a Monday. Instead of letting these things get under your skin, learn to adjust, be resourceful, and have patience. If it's not going to affect you in a year, don't let it affect you now.
3. Slow it down.
Losing track of time isn't something that most people can afford to do in their day-to-day, but one byproduct you feel when on vacation--an enhanced appreciation for important people in your life and the small moments you share with them--should be. Scheduling every minute of the day will make you wonder where the years went. Slow down and be present (and thankful) for this moment.
4. Be kind to people around you.
Grand gestures get all the attention. But tiny gestures can add up to something incredibly meaningful...like respect. For example, greetings are important to the island culture (you pick the island) -- when you encounter someone, anyone, always greet them even if you don't know them. And show compassion. Everyone has their struggles that they are dealing with that you may be unaware of. A bad day could easily be misunderstood for rudeness.
5. Behold the power of salt water.
Isak Dinesen once said, "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." So cry it out. Sweat it out. Surf it out. You'll feel so much better. Additionally, the ocean is a great and powerful reminder that there are things in this world bigger than you. Ever stand in front of a roaring ocean? The power of nature will make you realize fast how small you really are.
6. Learn to co-exist.
Island life can mean living with a million creatures and animals walking the same enclosed space as you. And you may hate the creepy crawlers but it won't change the fact that they have a right to be there too. So similarly, accept that there are millions of different personalities in the world and you're not going to get along with all of them. The moment you do, the more manageable certain situations magically become.
7. Honor your surroundings.
It's easy to love the 'aina when you've got beautiful blue waters and lush landscapes around you, but learning to appreciate wherever you are (no matter where that is), will liberate you from wondering whose grass is greener.
Life is too extraordinary to just live for the next vacation. More times than not, it's not another trip that we need, but a new mindset shift to live a balance of both city and island ways. And integrating a few reminders into your every day just might be enough to induce it.