Take a Summer vacation… for your mental health!
The Forty-hour work week paired with a busy schedule tends to be a recipe for stress and burn out. While practicing daily self-care in small increments is an important piece to preventing burn out, periodically taking a prolonged break from our responsibilities and stressors is equally as important. According to Dr. Krauss of Psychology Today, a vacation well-done can inspire self-reflection and rejuvenation, allowing us to seize the day upon return to our regular lives.
Experiencing high levels of stress on a daily basis can diminish a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Dr. Krauss points out that consequences include depression and a weakened immune system. Balancing our lives and setting boundaries for ourselves is important. Additionally, taking time off to simply enjoy life, explore, and step outside our comfort zones, are all crucial to staying healthy. Planning a successful vacation takes time, energy, and focus, but the reward is priceless. And, if you are taking a family trip then there is no better way to strengthen bonds than sharing time abroad or on a great American road trip.
Preparation is everything!
No one wants to find themselves scrambling for answers and information after their trip has begun. So prepare yourself by reviewing helpful information prior to starting your travels. This may include looking into air carrier rules if you are flying or checking your travel route for road work and tolls if you are driving.
Let go of the guilt!
Dr. Krauss sheds her wisdom when she points out that we need to let ourselves off the hook about feeling guilty about going vacation just because other people we care about aren’t going on their own vacation. Remember that you are autonomous from family, friends, or coworkers that won’t be traveling and it is more than okay for you to enjoy your vacation.
Staying connected is okay
Yes, you are on vacation to step away from your daily life. However, for everyone back home, life is not on hold. So, if you need to check in with the sitter or review a flight notification on your email then do so. Psychology Today supports taking this peace of mind.
There is a time when you are on vacation to sit back and relax. However, there is also a time to take a leap of faith and venture outside of what is easy. Challenge yourself to try new things and make an effort to have experiences that you may not usually pursue. Within these unexpected moments and unforeseen plans, an opportunity to truly experience being alive arises. So, if you really want to turn off auto-pilot, take this approach by getting in touch with the local scenery of your destination or booking an activity that you find slightly intimidating. This approach is an excellent way to build your confidence and prove to yourself that you may be capable of more than you ever realized.
Make lists and check those lists off when packing for your vacation. Wasting spending money on things that you forgot at home or didn’t foresee needing is not a smart way to travel. To help keep organized, try categorizing your lists. Also, remember what you may need that is specific to your travel destination. Additionally, pack for unexpected events like losing your passport or catching a cold. Anything can happen while traveling and being prepared for the unexpected is the difference between being inconvenienced or put in a crisis. While no amount of planning or preparing can prevent the inevitable, it can make life easier if things turn sour. Additionally, pack a list of emergency phone numbers and resources.