Everyone loves going on vacation. I know I do. The feelings of excitement as you plan your trip, book your adventures and order new clothes and shoes on Amazon (I love ordering new things!)...Counting down the workdays until you get on a plane or drive away in the car becomes a ritual to look forward to.
But what about all of the stress, the overwhelmed feelings and the extra work we do to get ready? Prior to leaving for my trip, I was working too late, too much and burning the candle at both ends. I was so overwhelmed because I was leaving that I reverted right back to my old perfectionist, overachiever mode.
When I finally got on the plane, I was too tired to be excited. It took me several days to finally be relaxed enough to enjoy what I was doing. My recent trip was six weeks long, so I could afford to lose a few days to decompressing, but most people don't go away for that long. So, they lose part of their magnificent vacation unwinding from the storm they created before they left.
This makes no sense!
When I got home from my trip a little less than a month ago, the madness began almost instantly. The overwhelming feeling crept in, and all at once everyone wanted something from me. I had so many tasks on my plate and not enough time. I jumped in and immediately began drowning. I was exhausted, mentally and physically, and my heart has been going in and out of arrhythmia like crazy.
After a few weeks of feeling like I was barely going to make it, I gave myself time to reflect. What a great idea!
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we fall back into destructive habits so quickly? Is there a better system we can put in place to make going on vacation more fun and less stressful on both ends? Something we can do OR not do before we leave and when we get back?
I'm not sure, but there has to be. Perhaps the first step is realizing it. Then making a plan. I need to stay calm and remember I have put systems in place for when I am out of the office that will work. I need to be confident in what I have built. To know that if not everything gets done on my list it is okay.
Then, when I return home, I do not need to set up a zillion meetings the week I get back. I don't need to book every single hour of my day with patients. I need to make sure I get enough sleep and remind myself to stop and pause. To go to yoga instead of squeezing in another meeting.
What about you: What things do you need to avoid when you get back from vacation? What are your unhealthy tendencies? If you have a plan you use when planning a vacation, please share! There is no need to reinvent the wheel. I want to enjoy my vacations and not be overwhelmed on either end anymore!