Tips for a vacation with maximum rejuvenation

What is a vacation if we cannot feel refreshed, to perhaps see things with a new sparkle or walk with an unexpected spring in our step?

Now there’s new research that can help those who can afford to get away, for at least a few days, from the routine and responsibilities of work.

According to sociologist Sabine Sonnentag of Germany’s University of Konstanz, there are four major factors that contribute to a vacation that offers recovery / rejuvenation:

  1. relaxation
  2. control
  3. mastery experiences
  4. mental detachment from work


Engage in activities that are pleasant and undemanding.

Relaxation does not have to be totally passive, it just shouldn’t feel like work or require much effort.


Decide how you want to spend your time. Unlike the demands at work, paying attention to your leisure interests and creating an agenda to suit your particular desires can be liberating. At the very least it can be more fun than the duties of your daily work schedule.

Doing nothing or very little can be a radical departure from your regular routine and maybe this type of control — to tame the urge to do something — might be worth considering as well.

Mastery experiences:

Engage in activities you already do well. These mentally absorbing moments may create what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow experiences: a temporary suspension of the passage of time and extreme satisfaction with successfully doing the things you are excellent at.

Mental detachment from work:

Escaping work-related interruptions can be a challenge, but they are essential when taking a much-deserved respite.

Do what you can to notify co-workers that you will not be available during your scheduled vacation period.

Try not to worry about work. It will undo some of the rejuvenation and recovery that you obtained during your time off.


It may seem like a part-time job to accomplish the list of four factors discussed above. While its true that your working life helps define who you are, its also important to remember that your emotional and psychological resilience when faced with the trials and tribulations of the daily grind require proper refueling.

Getting the most out of your vacation may require a bit more effort than taking a “chill pill” and vegetating at the hotel pool. And making a list of must-see cultural / tourist sites may also need re-thinking. But if you’re up for the personal challenge, the rewards of factoring in this new research may be what you’ve been working towards all along.

Week #14

This week we were able to get most of the forms and beams in place to pour the first floor of the residential side of the building. In addition, all of the columns for the first floor of the guest side of the building have been set in concrete.

We also set two 70 centimeter concrete platforms for planter boxes directly above the basement and will have two more levels of planter boxes as we go vertical (between floor one and two, as well as the rooftop).

Off the rear of the building we set a platform for a concrete landing for steps that will lead to a rear corridor. From there guests can climb to two bedrooms and bathrooms above our living area or continue to the rooftop bar.

(The red arrow shows the concrete platform that will lead guests to a rear corridor.)

We also set two septic tanks in place but had to lift one back up 15 centimeters in order to create a gravity feed from the tanks to the rear waterway that feeds off of rice field overflows.

Week #13

Not every week is dramatic visually. Sometimes the preparations seemingly slow down construction, but in reality the project still moves along in a timely manner.

This week the framing of the first floor (above the basement) of the residential side of the structure was laid out.

First the base of the support beams gets nailed from column to column. Then vertical stands bamboo are placed under the base of the beams, to withstand the upcoming weight of the concrete. Then wooden slats are laid from beam to beam, also supported by bamboo. Plywood is placed on the wooden slats and nailed into place, with space allowances for the cross beams (see photo). Finally two sets of wire mesh will be placed into the poured concrete that will become the first floor. A finished concrete coat will be applied right before we move in.

It’s an involved process to set up concrete flooring. It has been a mystery to me, with stands of bamboo seemingly in random places and the idea that eventually the concrete will harden and the bamboo removed.

But now I understand each step and of course there’s nothing random about it.

In addition the shallow pool extention was built. Two chaise lounge chairs will be placed in the shallow section, for relaxing pool use and also as a play area for little kids.

Finally, a large hole was started for two future septic tanks.

We were told that we should be able to move in by December, which would allow us to open to the public by Valentine’s Day. Hopefully!