With the arrival of spring and preview of summer, many families are planning their vacation activities. A change in routine can bring adults, parents, kids and teachers some much needed relief. It will also bring conflict.
Remember that there is both good and bad stress associated with vacation time. The good stress (known as eu-stress) is the kind that keeps you from sleeping the night before a trip; it motivates us to plan ahead and reconfirm all of our arrangements. The other stress happens when things don’t go as planned or negative events occur…such as car trouble or discord with a relative or longtime friend.
Here is our simple R-E-L-I-E-F plan (a jump start to brainstorming) to make your next vacation more like a true vacation: R- Realistic: Be realistic in your summer and vacation planning. Try not to take on too many activities. If this is a pattern for you, cut back your schedule by one third to one half.
E- Expect some conflict: Talk with your family or travel mates in advance about how you can manage differences on your trip. Remind folks along the way to stop and brainstorm solutions when they get stuck. With a little creativity, everyone can have more fun.
L- Lighten up: Vacations and summer breaks are supposed to be fun, right? Many folks find themselves trying to pack in way too many activities. If you catch yourself thinking of more things to get done during your break, STOP. You may be putting unnecessary stress on you and those around you. In order to lighten up and have FUN, you’ll need to go back to the first point: be realistic.
I- Intentional: Make your time away from work (and with others) intentional. Think of simple ways to make your time special rather than exhausting. Plan down time to balance activity time. Completing a restful vacation will feel much more rewarding than a “try to pack it all in” vacation.
E- Eliminate Overlap: We’re talking about establishing healthy boundaries between you and your job. Do you really need that laptop or cell phone during your family time? Although folks may not say anything, it may actually cause conflict between you and your family or friends. This is a good time to let go and let someone else handle work stress for a while.
F- Fall Back Early: Transition time after a vacation and before returning to work is critical. It can reduce conflict within yourself, with family members and with friends. Plan to return at least a day early to ensure you have time to rest from traveling, catch-up on laundry and prepare to start back to work. Post vacation blues are normal for everyone. Build in a little down time for reflection and transition.Tweet