Do you ever find yourself withdrawing?
You are tired, overworked and have nothing left to give.
Don’t sweat it.
This happens to all of us….
Maybe you just need a vacation?
A vacation is customarily thought of as an extended period of leisure and recreation. It is typically something we have to plan ahead of time because we are busy. On top of planning, we have to also consider making preparations and decisions. Is the whole family coming? Who will watch the kids? The list is endless.
The first day of vacation (the travel day) is typically stressful. You can almost always count on it. Often there is an airport involved. So, you are already preparing for the inevitable cold that will hit in 5-6 days. Usually relaxation doesn’t set in until 24 hours after you have arrived at the destination. It’s usually during this time I ask myself…why didn’t we just do a staycation?
Sometimes, I wonder if vacations are more stressful than they have to be because we just don’t PRACTICE them enough! Practice makes perfect. So, if we are not practicing, how can we improve our vacation skills?
Practice Vacation??? Interesting, but does this seem possible?
Practicing vacation would involve taking more of them!! But, there are many factors that prevent you from taking the vacation plunge.
Let’s say you are considering a vacation with just your significant other. Here are just a few of the thoughts that may discourage you from going:
“I just don’t have the money.” This is a thought that makes us feel discouraged and also strengthens the belief that money is tight.
“I just don’t have the time.” This is a thought that makes us feel busy and suspect there is something wrong with our lifestyle.
“My family needs me 24/7.” This is a thought that makes us feel guilty and will encourage us to avoid alone time. It is this alone time that is often very neglected.
“I don’t feel good about myself.” This is a thought we adopt often, making us feel inadequate and suggesting we have to feel our best to actually go on vacation. We don’t consider that we can actually use vacation to regroup and feel better about ourselves.
“I will be tempted by food and alcohol and gain weight.” This is a thought we have when we are already struggling with willpower. It causes us to focus on vacation food rather than vacation fun and excitement not involving food and drink.
“I can’t miss work- people depend on me.” This is a thought that will get us every time. This thought implies we are needed 24/7 at our jobs, and frequently leads to feelings of being trapped.
So, what can we do?
There is so much we can do!!!
We can start with changing our thoughts without changing the circumstance. The circumstance will remain a vacation with just your significant other.
Let’s consider the following alternative thoughts:
“I just don’t have the funds,” can change into, “I can allocate certain funds to invest in this time for us.”
“I just don’t have the time,” can change into, “If I plan ahead, I can use my time effectively.”
“My family needs me 24/7,” can change into, “I have given my family a strong foundation. So, I know they can function beautifully without me present 24/7.”
“I don’t feel good about myself,” can change into, “I am so thankful my vibrant health will allow me to enjoy an amazing trip.”
“I will be tempted by food and alcohol and gain weight,” can change into, “I am in control, and can fuel my body with amazing things that will allow me to explore our destination.”
“I can’t miss work- people depend on me,” can change into, “I will return to my job with energy that will improve my productivity.”
Say what????? Keep reading…
Here’s my vacation hierarchy. Choose what you want to incorporate.
A daily vacation is what Dr. Sasha Shillcutt, MD, CEO and Founder of Brave Enough, describes as your hour of power. This is a time each day that is dedicated to just you!! It is your hour to to recharge. You might be thinking, “how in the heck am I going to find this time?” I promise you it is available with some strategic planning. Try the thought, “everyone will benefit with you being cool, calm and collected.”
A weekly vacation is when you give yourself a minimum of 2 hours to relax and enjoy. It could be coffee with a friend, a date with your significant other or a long walk followed by a soothing bath. You can plan something special to give yourself a weekly vacation.
A monthly vacation is when you give yourself one full day per month, all to yourself. If you are willing to be extra daring, consider an overnight trip somewhere once a month. Do you have grandparents or a trusty sitter nearby? Consider dropping off the kids and/or pets and enjoying your home in a whole new way.
Quarterly Vacation - with or without the whole family.
This can range from a long weekend to a week or longer vacation. This is something you can plan ahead of time. There are 4 quarters in a year. Imagine what 4 long weekends away would feel like every year?! I prefer to reserve my quarterly vacations for relaxing retreats. This year, I will be attending The Brave Enough Retreat with Dr. Sasha Shillcutt. This is a true investment in my well-being.
This is the vacation I like to call, the family vacation. This is the vacation that will likely take the most planning and preparation, and could possibly add a bit of additional stress. The whole idea is that, by practicing vacation for just you, a family vacation can be enjoyed thoroughly. You aren’t trying to focus on alone time because you have already had your fill with your daily, weekly, and monthly vacations.
Vacations are designed for you to recharge. So, I encourage you to practice your vacationing. Just remember - you and everyone you love deserves this!!!