You know the signs of burnout: you're tired all the time. You're frequently irritable, have trouble focusing, and often feel overwhelmed.
A plethora of research shows that taking even a small break can be nourishing to both your body and your mind. When you take time off (especially time away from your device), you give your brain a rest, and this leaves you even more equipped to come back and be more productive, focused, and excited about your job.
It doesn't have to cost a fortune, and travel is an investment in both your personal and professional health. Here are seven unique trips that will leave you relaxed and restored:
If you live in a city on the east coast, it's easy to miss out on pretty, peaceful winter activities. You're in the cold, sure, but all you're doing is negotiating the slush, not enjoying the snow.
Enter a Victorian castle located just 90 miles north of NYC you might never have heard about. Striking distance from both NYC and Boston, Mohonk Mountain house is a National Historic Landmark Resort owned and operated by the Smiley Family (since 1869).
In addition to its lovely grounds, the resort offers a relaxing spa as well as a plethora of winter activities including a charming Skating Pavilion and 85 miles of trails for snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. There are even horse-drawn carriage rides. Get away for a long weekend--you'd be surprised by how rejuvenated you feel after.
2. Natural hot springs
There's nothing quite like soaking in thermal hot springs when it's cold out. If you're on the west coast, there are several natural hot springs where you can take a load off and give your skin and body a revamp with the restorative mineral waters.
Harbin Hot Springs near San Francisco also offers workshops for couples and more. In the Southern California area, Glen Ivy Hot Springs is about an hour and a half from LA and just under two hours from San Diego. Book a spa service at Glen Ivy, and its day passes start at $42 on weekdays and $62 on weekends.
If you're looking for a bit more fun in the sun to get rid of your SAD, this sexy, all-inclusive resort in Cancun is a good option. Its flirty vibe is enhanced by is sleek decor, and its topless-optional pool is enough to heat things up whatever your relationship status is at the moment.
It's also got a number of lovely restaurants to sample from (remember, it's all-inclusive, so you just make a reservation and show up), a sports bar from which to watch big games like the Super Bowl, and nightly dance parties that justify its reputation as a "playground for grown-ups." If you don't yet have Valentine's Day plans, they've also got a cruise for couples.
4. Boutique group trips
Companies like Life Nomading Adventures and Flashpack specialize in putting together small, high-quality group trips for people in their 20s and 30s (Life Nomading) or 30s and 40s (Flashpack) whose friends might not be free when they want to travel.
If you've always wanted to go to Iceland, for example, but your friends don't have the same vacation time as you--or a bunch of your close friends are now married or have children and aren't available--this is worth checking out. You go on epic adventures and make really good friends in the process.
5. Caribbean cruise
If you can get a group of 5 friends together, you can rent a catamaran in the Caribbean for $165-300/night per person (that includes meals). There are several companies that offer chartered cruises on catamarans, meaning it's just you and your crew on the boat, which is a lot of fun.
If you want the feel of a European city without traveling to the continent, don't forget about Montreal and Quebec City--two beautiful cities just a road trip away from NYC and Boston.
One of the more famous hotels in Canada, if you can get up to Quebec City's Le Château Frontenac, you're really in for a treat. It's truly epic. Make sure to get a crêpe nearby. If you want less of a drive, go to the Old City in Montreal. It has gorgeous, historic hotels, excellent restaurants, and fresh-roasted chestnuts sold from outdoor carts on the street.
7. Niagara Falls plus an indoor water park
Fallsview Indoor Water Park is still open in the winter, and if you're craving a summer/winter mashup, this is the perfect option. You can visit the falls in the off-season (which is a lot more relaxing) and still get some swimming in.