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5 Ways to Reduce Vacation Anxiety

Eileen Bailey Jun 20th, 2014 (updated May 29th, 2015)
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Vacations are supposed to be fun and enjoyable. They are supposed to renew and rejuvenate you. But unfortunately, your anxiety doesn’t always cooperate. Instead, it comes with you, packed inside your suitcase. Despite telling yourself to stop, you worry over every detail—about whether your family is having a good time, whether your children are okay when they’re off on their own, whether  you have enough money, whether your pets at home are alright. Here are some ways to ditch the anxiety and have a good time.

 

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Bring the comforts of home
Bring the comforts of home

Think about what you do and where you go when anxiety takes over at home. Do you retreat to a safe space? Do you sit and listen to calming music?  Whatever you do at home, bring a piece of that on vacation. You might use an app for relaxation, or bring along your favorite pillow. Having your comfort items with you can help you feel more in control and better able to handle the stress.

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Plan some down time
Plan some down time

You might want to fill every day of your vacation with fun or exciting activities, but remember to plan some down time as well. Vacations are great times to sit and do nothing, read a book or listen to music. Plan at least an hour each day for quiet activities where everyone can recharge.

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Eat right
Eat right

A week on vacation, consuming junk food can take its toll. If you have the ability to prepare your own meals, plan so you and your family are eating healthy most of the week. That way, the occasional ice cream or pizza isn’t going to hurt. If you aren’t preparing your own meals, take time before the vacation to check out local restaurants and choose those with healthy options. That can help keep you from being tempted to grab unhealthy junk food all week.

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Be your own friend
Be your own friend

It’s easy to fall into the pattern of being anxious and then feeling guilty for not creating the perfect vacation. Think of yourself as your best friend. What would you say if your friend was in your position? Practice self-compassion and give yourself the advice you would give a friend.

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Stop and be thankful
Stop and be thankful

Start each morning with a thought of gratitude. Write down one or two things you are thankful for in your life and on your vacation. End your day the same way. Expressing gratitude can change your entire outlook on the upcoming day.