Allow yourself to disconnect and enjoy your vacation to rest

When we schedule a summer vacation, the Sun illuminates our face through an open smile that cannot be dissipated. However, most of the time, when time progresses and brings us the moment to start preparing for the much-deserved period of supposed rest, something happens: anxiety wakes up because the stress that comes with it does the favor of reminding us that, after all, , going on vacation can be a tiring or even a little chaotic time.

The mind, which manages everything, is filled with the most diverse questions and consequent fears. Whether it’s because you’re going on vacation with your spouse and children or because you don’t have children but are going with your in-laws, parents or friends, the concerns can be similar: “Will friend X want to stay at home instead of us going to the beach? Will I be able to share the tasks with my husband this time? Will Y get drunk again every night? Will everything go well this time? How will we be able to tolerate my in-laws for so many days”? These are just some of the many inner questions that can invade our minds whenever we go on a group vacation. In fact, most of the time, these moments outside our “homeland” that should be moments of joy and rest are not. And when they're done, we're ready to go on vacation again – in the truest sense of the word.

However, regardless of whether there are cases in which the family structure itself, or the group, may already be agitated and external advice is of little use, believe that there are some ways to better manage this whole situation and get closer to what you really want and deserves: a peaceful vacation! Therefore, and taking into account that a certain amount of hustle and bustle can start when preparing for them, here are some of the best mindful tips to better manage this period, which includes before, during and after the holidays.

Before the Holidays – Reflect and Plan

Reflection phase

It's important to remember the following: if you've booked a holiday with these people it's because you already know them and like them or, if you don't admire them much and they go in that “group”, it's because someone you like – and is going with you – has a connection with them. Therefore, take a deep breath and try to relax now. It is essential to remain calm at this stage, so as not to create too much or too little expectation. Because what is obvious to some may not be obvious to others. This is why communication is fundamental in any group task, particularly the task of “going on vacation”.

Practices to carry out : get into the habit of taking 3 breaths in and out, several times a day, in a calm and peaceful way, while saying internally: “I'm fine, I'm calm, everything is fine ”. Also listen to our podcast I and II, on Frederica's website , or another meditative moment you like. Similarly, focus on meditative moments of self-compassion or compassion such as “Tonglen”. These exercises help to better manage anxiety, stress , empathy and tolerance. Relativize. Everyone has a common goal: to have fun and rest. For this reason, it is important, first of all, to hold a meeting with them, so that you can talk about how you want to spend these days. This meeting should be held even if you are alone with your partner.

Attention: as much as you feel like it, don't take the opportunity to talk about what “happened last year” in an overly derogatory way. Get together happily and calmly – you can arrange dinner. Try to stay in a good mood and as relaxed as possible, so that your posture serves as an inspiration to everyone. Explain that, this time, you want everyone to have fun and rest and that there is nothing better than talking about what you want from your vacation and what expectations you have, including from each other.

Planning phase

If the group is in harmony (“in a good mood”), start talking about yourself. For example: “This year I would really like to go to the beach every other day. I would like to alternate it with the pool. Do you mind? I don't mind at all if they go to that fair they love so much at night. I am happy with that. I would also like to know if anyone, this time, will be able to share the tasks with me. It would be great! We were all less tired. And you, dear: do you think you can also stay with the boys on the afternoons I go to the pool? I’ll keep them when you go play tennis/golf/ball…”

At this stage you will hear feedback on your intervention, so take a deep breath! It can happen, as you well know, to hear something like: “But we want to help, you’re the one who won’t let us…” or “I’ve always helped! Do not you remember?" , etc. Before responding defensively, consider: are they even a little right? Think a little. It can happen and there is no problem with that. Remember: those who go on vacation are your people and not your egos. This conversation is not intended to turn into a competition with others, or with yourself. If you think that they may even be a little right, say, for example, something like: “Yes, it is likely that, sometimes, I do that. I'll try hard not to do that. Are you going to make an effort to ensure this sharing (or whatever is intended) ?” .

Listen carefully to the expectations of others, even if they are your children, your spouse or your best friend's annoying friend. Do active listening. Listen, truly and with your heart. Try not to judge or criticize. Channel your energy to help manage moments, including some task exchanges and mutual help.

Also talk about the money each of you intends (or can) spend and what you plan to take in your luggage and have at your holiday home. Take the opportunity to praise those present, remembering the qualities of each one.

During the Holidays – Execute, Deliver & Rest

It goes without saying that, obviously, some of the people who said they will help more or that “this time” they won't do “that thing” that bothers them so much, may not be able to do it as they want. So, don't let your expectations get too high so that you don't end up feeling depressed or irritated later on. Open your heart and relax. Delivered.

Execute phase

On the day you arrive, remind the group (smiling!) of what you agreed to do/have/be on this vacation. It is very important that, on that day, you try to fulfill what you said you would do so that they see you as an example to follow and have more motivation to fulfill your own promises.

Practices to be carried out : Continue to inhale and exhale three times a day, calmly and calmly, while saying internally: “I'm fine, I'm calm, everything is fine ”.

Delivery phase

  • Tolerate. The cliché “no one is perfect” is a reality, just as “we can’t please everyone” is true. Therefore, whatever you can forgive, forgive. Whatever you can say in a friendly way instead of angrily, say it. After trying to do your best, rest, hand the matter over to life, to the universe.
  • Free yourself! In addition to the obvious that is linked to health and/or survival, such as using sunscreen, a hat on your head, constant hydration of the body, etc., disconnect from whatever you can. If you can't tidy the house, don't tidy it; If you can't make a more elaborate meal, don't do it.
  • Detach a little from others, from what they are doing or being and focus on what you want from your vacation, enjoying every moment you have. Treat what goes less well as learning.

Resting phase

You probably don't even remember what it means to rest. Normal. After so many months of working inside and outside the house and wanting to get everywhere, this can be a very difficult part, even if everything is going well with the group. Important : when you stop, you may not be able to disconnect from what is worrying you and you may even feel more depressed or anxious. Here's why: our mind doesn't stop thinking just because. Our mind was made to think and obtain knowledge and it does not stop its activity just because we suddenly decide to do so. Thoughts are a sign that we are alive and that is good. The brain works by substitution. Therefore, if you don't change your thoughts (focus), there is an area of ​​your mind called Default Mode , a standard mode that activates automatically and lets everything that is worry and anxiety come to the top.

Therefore, plan, even if only briefly, what you intend to do in the moments when you can be “doing nothing”: read a book, do a meditation, listen to music or do something else that distracts you. Appreciating the details of a landscape, as if it were the first time you are seeing everything that makes it up, while breathing in and out slowly, being grateful for the fact that you are there, alive, at that moment, can help a lot.

Remember: in general, you always do the best you can, every day of your life. Sometimes that best may not be what you intended. He deserves and needs to rest. So, allow yourself to do it, without tension or guilt. Repeat this phrase as many times as necessary: ​​“ I allow myself to rest. I deserve!". If you don't take good care of yourself, no one will do it for you.

After the Holidays – Reflect & Change

Reflect phase

At this stage it is important to continue relaxing at home. Even if you start working immediately, whether inside or outside your home, don't allow the holiday spirit to suddenly disappear. Continue to do your chores as calmly as possible. Try not to just focus on what went less well. There were certainly peaceful moments (however few they may have been) and even fun. Remember them and smile, relive them in your heart and insert them into your routine for the rest of the year, whenever you can.

As for the less good aspects, ask yourself: “ Could I have done something differently to avoid that situation?” If yes, apply the learning next time. If not, relax and try to forget why at that moment it wasn't possible. Remember that you are human.

Changing phase

Start resting more and applying everything you know you need to do to achieve greater balance. There's no point in reading books or watching self-help videos if you don't start practicing. So, start exercising now (walking counts!) and trying practices such as yoga , mindfulness , reiki , etc. Gain strength so that, next year, you can say: “No, I don’t want to go on vacation with you”. But until then, have fun and love yourself.


This article was originally published in Revista Frederica Nº1.


Vanda do Nascimento is a therapist, trainer and Mindfulness instructor at the Escola de Mindfulness Essencial , which she founded in 2016. She began her career as a teacher in 1997, obtaining a degree in Education . On that same date, he also began his studies in Reiki, Meditation and Mindfulness. Later, he embarked on the path of Psychology and delved even deeper into the topic of Mindfulness, in order to continue his fight to control stress and anxiety.

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