How to Beat Travel Stress
By Nika Fesler, MA, LPC
It’s hard to believe that July is already here! The summer months are often times for family vacations, beach days, camping and all sorts of fun. So often I hear people talk about recovering from their family vacations and trips and sometimes even feeling more exhausted than before they left. There is so much planning that goes into a vacation and sometimes there can be unintentional stress added if we don’t cope ahead!
Here are some quick tips on what coping ahead for a vacation might look like:
- Take a day or half day off before and after the vacation so that there is extra time to pack and unpack both your suitcase and your emotions.
- Create some space during your vacation for free time so that individuals who need extra alone time or value solitude can recharge their batteries.
- Be mindful of the amount of activities that are planned in one day, overfilling a day can generate anxiety when schedules become tight.
Set expectations with your travel group for needs such as:
- Unstructured time -Hygiene (is it important that our campsite has electricity or running water?)
- Activities that individuals are hoping to do on vacation
- Frequency of meals and dietary restrictions
- For parents: maintaining the routines of home life can be hard on vacation, coping ahead might include planning for how to manage some of the meltdowns that occur when there is a diversion from the regular schedule and bedtimes and feeding times are hard to be consistent with. Plan to give yourself and your co-parent some extra grace and encouragement!
Remember, you will not be able to cope ahead for every single contingency, doing your best is enough.
We hope everyone is enjoying their summer and gets to have some type of special time with friends and/or family.
Nika Fesler, MA, LLPC