It’s the season for watermelon, umbrellas, beach, and vacation! I know many people (myself included) who work their entire year in the hopes to enjoy a hard earned holiday. You’re looking forward to it for months! You’ve even bought a new outfit (or 2), and if you plan on visiting somewhere tropical, you’ve certainly been frequenting the gym much more often to be sure you’re ‘swim ready’ for your fantastic time in the sun.
And I would claim it’s safe to say that majority of us go on vacation to regroup, relax, unwind, and spend much needed quality time with our loved ones. But, have you ever noticed that something very interesting happens right before we leave for our relaxing trip? We hoist ourselves into a pre-vacation panic that consists of cleaning the house, folding the laundry, making a list of everything you need (and can’t live without), packing suitcases, printing (and then reprinting) your boarding pass just in case you left it at home. Remembering to eat everything in your fridge so you’re not returning home to rotten fruit and spoiled veggies, did we pack enough dog food? Should I leave my keys at home? (It’s not like I’m going to need them anyway) Are you sure we’re going the right way? And then my personal favorite, the overwhelming feeling of doom that you left something extremely important behind.
And then, when we finally reach our glorious destination we collapse in exhaustion because we realize exactly how tired we really are. Sound familiar?
I remember how I felt before and during my vacations some years ago. I had a nervous and nauseating feeling in my stomach, cramps in my stomach and sometimes, serious headaches. This made me irritable, which I tried to suppress (because I’m on vacation, I should be feeling fabulous!), which made me even more irritable that led to an intense discomfort in my entire body.
But as my experiences grew over time, I discovered that the majority of my stress was not created by the circumstances surrounding me, but by the fact that my fixed expectations (the painted image in my mind that told me how the vacation was supposed to be or else it wasn’t a successful trip otherwise), were not in harmony with the reality of the moment. Because of this, I denied myself the permission to let the vacation unfold spontaneously and surprise me. Because isn’t that the point of vacation? To explore, create and discover new things we normally wouldn’t experience in our daily lives. Our job as vacationers is to do just that, vacation! If you relieve yourself from the daunting task of trying to create the best vacation that ever existed, you’ll learn to truly FEEL the benefits of taking a break.
To vacations, freedom and feeling alive,