How do we usually feel before our well-deserved vacation begins? Usually, we cannot wait for it while days seem to be longer and longer. We are exploring different possible activities near our vacation destination and imagine how we will be gazing at the waves with a drink in our hand.

The other side of the medal

Unfortunately, such expectations often bring the other side of the medal. Last two weeks at the job we often want to totally finish all our tasks so that we will not be drowning in the work when we return. We are accumulating all our forces because "we will have a break soon anyway". We are not allowing ourselves to rest in this moment and we have not allowed ourselves to rest for the last two months. Every day after the work we commit ourselves to many other obligations, because "we will anyway have a break soon". Instead of lying down at the sofa we run for our exhausting aerobic lesson  because "we will have a break soon anyway".

And what happens next? The day before this "break" we get ill. The body responds to all the efforts in its own way and we can hardly believe that this has just happened to us; that we are sick right before the holidays, that we will not carelessly lie on the beach. That we did not make it through the last two days.

Another option with which we are often coping is not that we get sick (and maybe we do not even try to leave all our resources at the workplace before vacation) but that we do not prepare for the holidays until we are forced to do so in the last day before the travel.

Then we need to take care of the home and clothes, check the tires on the car, pack everything for children, leave the cat with our grandmother, buy some magazines, /.../ while we remember that our library deadline for returning 5 books has just passed and that our health insurance card has expired one month ago. We start travelling with full head of everything while in the car we argue with our partner for three times in one hour because we were sleeping only 5 hours (of course we were packing our last things at 11 pm).

We can ask ourselves: Do we really want to live like this? Do we want to act in a way that harms our physical and mental health? Do we wish that we settle in a new destination in  a bad mood and that we go to the beach without any inner energy?  

How can it be better?

In all working months, we can remember that we need to take care of ourselves. Vacations on the amazing beach can be some kind of a reward, but let it be an upgrade of our general relationship to ourselves and to others. Through all the months we can take time for ourselves because everything depends on our priorities. Let's take time when we do nothing. That hour every week, when we lay on the sofa and read our favorite book, listen to music or simply - sleep.

If we are sometimes alone with ourselves, we will be better prepared to cooperate with others. If we do not force ourselves into an extremely hard and busy working week before a vacation, we can actually recharge our batteries in these free days (at least to 80% instead of 40%). Let's organize the work and let's work effectively, but let's also take some breaks. Make sure that the week before you leave for a vacation is almost equal to the res of your working weeks.

Preparations for vacation that can be (as described above) very stressful can also be expanded through more days.

If we do not like to pack the last day when there are still many things to be done, we can pack the day before - why not? Already on Monday, we can make a list of what needs to be done until Saturday morning when we will leave for a vacation. In this way, we can actually start our holidays with a pleasant expectation, a smile on our face and without stress. We would actually be happy with our first visit to a new beautiful beach.

With the right behaviour we can make vacations a real break, not the time which represents some kind of an SOS escape. We do not need to transform this nice time into something that puts us under stress. Let vacations really be just vacations.