More Vacation Stress Strategies

Jerry Kennard Health Pro
  • Yes, it's another set of tips as we build up to Christmas vacation:


    Fix a time frame. If you're not someone who can let events wash over them the chances are you are prone to stress. Vacation stress is a major culprit. It's sometimes helpful to contain a stressful experience within certain confines. In this way you can break the time into as many compartments as you need and tick of the days, half days, or even hours as they go. Having a picture in your head about where your efforts are leading is useful. Without this, the vacation period becomes something of a blur and you become the victim of it.

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    Related to first point. Try not to view stress in terms of ‘the vacation'. All problems can be broken down into smaller components but it's often the case that people don't know where or how to start. I've often found that when I ask people what makes them stressed they say "everything". In fact this isn't ever the case, but it is the way they feel. There are ways of managing this. Listing the issues can be useful. Sometimes the list isn't all that long and sometimes certain things are bigger than others. A visit by a relative may be a particularly sore point, in which case it may be helpful to articulate the actual problems as opposed to your emotional reactions. This can be an important step and isn't one to rush off while you're grabbing a coffee. Take your time, maybe over two or three evenings, and focus.


    It's rarely all that bad: so remember to think of the positives. Ruminating leaves very little time for other things and simply fuels anxiety and anger even more. So, what are the positives? Is there a friend or relative you are looking forward to seeing? Are there points you will have to yourself? Will you be going somewhere interesting? Will you have time to do something you enjoy?


    Have faith in yourself. All these self-help and tips guides have a common goal and that is for you to discover or develop faith in yourself. You can't be another person and you can't wish things away. Then again, you're only human so you don't have to be the perfect person to be at ease with yourself.


    The solution to your vacation stress isn't here. All I can do is offer up some general ideas to spark thoughts about your own situation. The top 10 tips approach to life and its muddles would be great if things were that simple and predictable. But, as you already know, it's up to you to organize things in your mind and, if practicable, maybe enlist the help of people around you.


    Vacation stress is often a symptom of deeper issues. If you find vacation periods stressful the chances are you feel stress in other areas of your life. However if a vacation is to do with time away from work it may be a chance for you to look inside yourself. Might this be a time when you can find moments to stand back from your emotional reactions and consider what it is that helps to maintain your stress? To be effective this really requires time, honesty and self-awareness, so it will extend well beyond the vacation. However, every journey starts with a single step.


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    Don't be harsh on yourself. Quite a lot of what happens in your life is well outside of your control. Stuff will always happen that will put you under stress and make you anxious. The real issue is finding ways to manage this and not internalize it to a point where it gnaws away at you and causes damage.


Published On: December 18, 2011