16 Jul How to Avoid Vacation Stress
Do you have one last getaway planned before summer comes to an end? With school and fall right around the corner, now is a great time to get away for one last break. However, easy-going vacations can turn stressful in the blink of an eye. One minute you are enjoying yourself by the beach or pool and the next you have had a bought of vacation stress. If this has happened to you, know you’re not alone.
Vacation can be both relaxing and anxiety-inducing for some people. Especially for those who work in stressful environments, taking time off can be a source of anxiety and frustration. In fact, more than half of Americans may not be taking their allotted vacation days at work because of the stress of leaving, according to a 2012 report. But, vacation doesn’t have to be stressful. Use these tips next time you’re planning a getaway to help reduce vacation stress.
Try packing comforting items and reduce unnecessary items
Do you write in a journal every day? Or, maybe you find adult coloring books relaxing? Well, be sure to pack these items! Vacation can be a wonderful, relaxing time. But, the stress of forgetting a beloved item can cause frustration. Think through your packing list. What can you do without? What do you absolutely need? Make sure you are packing the items you truly need f0r a relaxing time. If you’re a chronic over-packer, try to think through your list and determine if you can do without some clothes or items that you know you won’t need. Having too much with you can cause you frustration, especially if you have unneeded items but have left behind something meaningful. Besides, no one wants to haul around heavy luggage with unnecessary items in it.
Remember that this time is for you
If you are taking time off from your job or just planning a weekend getaway to recharge, remember that this time is for you. It’s okay to step away every once in a while to relax and enjoy some time with yourself or family and friends. Understanding that you are allowed to take time for yourself is an important first step in cultivating a self-care routine. This can include relaxing activities like yoga, meditation or whatever helps you unwind–including a vacation. You don’t have to feel guilty for needing a break; everyone needs one occasionally. However, if you feel like you can’t relax, have severe anxiety or depression or feel stress is affecting your everyday life, be sure to seek medical attention.
Don’t make an unrealistic plan
It can be fun to plan vacations. Depending on your style, you might be the type with a detailed itinerary or prefer to go with the flow. Either way, make sure that you aren’t planning an unrealistic time. If you’re taking a road trip, make sure that your mileage is doable and that you’ve given yourself room to breathe.
It’s also important to make sure that your expectations are realistic. Being excited about a vacation or weekend getaway is perfectly normal. However, making sure your expectations are reasonable can help you avoid stress. Are you expecting this trip to change your life? Are you thinking it will eliminate your problems? Your vacation may do these things for you, which is great! But, don’t let yourself get bogged down in unrealistic expectations.
Step away from work
Taking time away from work can be difficult. An increasing number of people find work a source of stress and anxiety. Whether you have vacation days or not, leaving work for any period of time may make you nervous. However, it’s important to remember that everyone needs time to step away from their job and unplug every now and then. If you’re able, maybe traveling without access to your email is a good way to allow yourself some true time off. Practicing mindfulness on your trip can help you take a mental break from thinking through problems at work or your return to work.
LEAVE VACATION STRESS BEHIND
These tips can help set you up for a stress-free getaway to enjoy the last bits of summer. So, are you ready for your relaxing vacation? If not, don’t worry. You might benefit from talking to a Behavioral Health Specialist, who can help you understand and manage your anxiety or stress. Remember, if you feel you cannot control your feelings or anxiety, talk to your doctor right away.