If you are anything like me.. you probably have already sabotaged your own vacation. Sabotaging one´s own vacation is obviously a horrible thing since vacation time is meant to be the happy time – time to rest, time to relax, time to play, time to (re)connect and get inspired. Undoubtedly it is meant to be the time to recharge one´s batteries.

[Krabi, Phuket, Thailand, 2015]
Unfortunately when we leave for vacation in the middle of busy times or with too many unsettled issues in mind, we tend to struggle with getting into the right mood for some serious relaxing and resting. Have you ever experienced during your time off any of the following feelings: guilt, urgent need to solve ongoing issues, and fear of post-vacation time.

  • Guilt. Depending on one´s specific life situation, we might feel guilty to take time off during busy times or in the middle of unsettled circumstances. We might feel such guilt in front of our co-workers, clients or people surrounding us. Or we might feel some sort of innate guilt as if we humans are not allowed to rest until we have all figured out.
  • Urgent need to solve ongoing issues. It might not be easy to stop our minds and send away the thoughts about any urgent matters, thus urging us ongoing to find solutions, be connected and take action.
  • Fear of post-vacation time. When experiencing during one´s time off the feeling of guilt and an ongoing sense of work or life-related urgency, it is very likely to develop fear of post-vacation time. It becomes almost inevitable to imagine that after all this time off and all these unsettled matters, one can expect easy times ahead.

So how to approach these feelings? How to manage to enjoy your holidays to the last drop? How to really savour the days off and indulge in resting and relaxation? Probably the first step on the way would be taking on some “proper preparation” for your vacations. I used not to understand why people invest so much effort and money into holiday preparations. Why somebody acquires special holiday clothes, summer cottages etc. just because of the 3-4 weeks off per year. With years passing I am starting to understand so much better the importance of proper holidays foreplay. Not only do we need an occasional push to get into the holiday mood, but as research shows, the pre-vacation period might be even the most enjoyable phase of the whole “pre-during-post-vacation cycle”!

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[Chalong, Phuket, Thailand, 2015]
Said all that smart stuff.. in reality I am currently on holidays with my family. And, unfortunately as always, I did not prepare that well “my holiday mood”.. However, this time I am trying out a new approach. No guilt. Nt urgency. No fear. But a combination of denial & mindfulness! That´s right.. I have this big project to complete and many smaller ones on the way. Meaning that I could easily practice all these aforementioned approaches. Just to make things simple, I am choosing denial. I am pretending I have nothing really relevant or complicated to do at home, so no need for extra worrying 😉 And instead, I try to focus on current events (including street smells, disciplining (too much) my children, being non stop staring at the huge buildings & windows of Hong Kong..)

Well so far it has been working. Fake it, until you make it!

Hong Kong, April of 2017

What about you? Did you ever sabotage your own vacation time? What is your secret recipe…?

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