by Liz Curran, Katz JCC Wellness Lifestyle Coach
Vacation. Many of us spend all year day-dreaming and planning our next vacation. It’s a time to relax, have fun and disconnect from the daily grind as much as possible.
But, what if the thought of a vacation gives you “every day anxiety”? Is it too hard to leave work behind in the hands of someone else? Is the coordination of getting the whole family away falling on your shoulders? Sometimes “vacations” seem to be more hassle to plan than they’re worth.
Here are 6 tips to get ahead and beat the vacation anxiety this summer!
- Know Before You Go: Once you have your destination, it is extremely beneficial to know what’s in your immediate environment. A quick search can help you figure out which stores, restaurants, and attractions are nearby. Knowing this will help you figure out what activities you’ll plan and foods you’ll eat while you’re there. Having a plan will ease the stress of the unknown AND it will help you when you pack.
- Make Lists: It can be easy to under or overpack without having an idea of what you need or what you’ll be doing. Having a list for each family member’s clothes and necessities ensures that you don’t forget anything you can’t get once you’ve arrived. A toothbrush or sunscreen can be purchased at a local convenience store, but it can be difficult to fill medications while away and nothing can replace your little one’s special blankie or lovey (which can leave you all up at night).
- Bring Snacks: Avoid getting “hangry.” If you’re the kind of person who gets angry when you’re hungry (aka hangry), definitely pack some snacks. Trips can be unpredictable and you never know how long something will take or if you will get held up due to an unforeseen circumstances. Snacks can always hold everyone over for a short time if the hanger starts to rear its ugly head. If you have any dietary restrictions, always bring along some extra snacks or your favorite go-to to make sure you can have some of your comfort foods while traveling.
- Pack a Few Days Ahead: Even though we make lists to be prepared, packing early gives you a few days of going through the routine to make sure you have everything you need. Start thinking through what clothing you will bring based on where you are going and what you’re doing. You may realize your favorite dress needs to be washed or you’re traveling to a cold destination in the middle of summer and need to pull out off season clothing from storage. Taking a few days to pack ahead takes the pressure off of making all the decisions at one time.
- Work Ahead to Crash Later: When you get back from vacation, the last thing you’re going to want to do is jump back into the work that you missed. As you are able, try to delegate or get ahead on as much as possible so when you return, your vacation glow isn’t instantly ruined by how much work you have waiting for you. Leaving your work in hands of a trusted colleague will allow you to mentally check out while you are on your trip.
- Straighten Up: What could be better than coming back to a nice clean house after your trip by getting your house together before you leave? It’ll make it easier for you to transition back from vacation mode to your normal schedule. If it seems like a lot, don’t go crazy – a quick tidy-up session by running the vacuum or washing the dishes can get you by. One of my favorite treats to myself is to take all vacation laundry to a local laundromat for their wash and fold service for a fresh start when returning home.
By following these few steps and planning ahead, you can help take the edge off of your vacation anxiety and truly enjoy the trip you deserve! If you still feel stressed and want to meet to discuss ways to decompress and make healthy lifestyle choices, we’ve got you covered. For more information about our Wellness Center or Wellness Lifestyle Coaching programs at the Katz JCC, please contact Liz Curran at [email protected] or 856.424.4444 x1236.