When summer vacation time comes around there can be a sense of pressure to create an idyllic experience. When we think of summer getaways, we think of dining alfresco, swimming, long evenings, tons of play time, summer reading and many opportunities to soak up the delicious summer sun.
For many parents, this can feel a bit intense and it can be difficult to disconnect and relax. I find that once I have arrive at my vacation destination, it takes me several days to feel relaxed. My body organically has two modes, off and on and the in-between, is hard to come by, even when I am on vacation.
This year, I decided to push myself to disconnect. While admittedly, I had trouble refraining from social media, I did ignore my email (for the most part) and chose to focus on only things that brought me pleasure and joy.
The result was incredible - my vacation has been filled with fun, laughs and closeness. Here are some tips for creating a vacation that is worth remembering:
- Abandon the schedule: I usually make a plan for myself everyday and this year, I had no plan, choosing to take each day as it came - it was fun and exciting
- Listen to your body: I slept more on this vacation and ate only when I felt hungry. Maybe the slowing down allowed me to be more in tune with what my body needed, but the result was wonderful
- Do things that make you uncomfortable, especially if your kids want you to: I spent a great deal of time swimming on this trip - something I don’t love doing - but my son asked me to and we had a lot of laughs
- Allow for pure downtime: Although we did have adventures every day, we also spent some time, reading, resting, drawing and just chilling out. There are so many fun things to do in the summer, but vacation is about rest, not the pressure to experience.
- Unplug: This is the hardest and the most rewarding. I limited my son’s screen time (and my own) even more on this trip and although he protested, we found things to do and things that we both enjoyed and that brought us closer together.
- Make it multi-generational: Having down time that includes grandparents can bring a richness to the trip. I have been lucky enough to share this trip with my parents and my son and I have treasured the time we have had together.
Vacations are about time. Time to just be together, to enjoy, to make memories and to be present. Savor the time and celebrate the memories you make.