A company called Fierce Incorporated sent out a survey which over 1,000 employees and bosses filled out. They found that 41.6% percent of workers checked in with their office at least every other day, 6.5% checked in multiple times a day, and less than 25% did not check in at all while vacationing. What may be even more stressful than being in the office is being away and getting emails or phone messages of things going on at work that you have no ability to fix because you are on vacation. This leads to feeling frustrated, anxious and short tempered with the people with whom you are on vacation. This sabotages the whole concept of getting away with the ones you love on vacation.
If you are on your way out of town, and you want to share a wonderful vacation with your family, it is best to begin prior to leaving. Since so many of us are attached to our phones, the Internet and laptops, if you take a couple of days to prepare for your shutting down while away, you may return from your vacation feeling more rested and ready to dig in at work. The following are a few ideas to help you prepare for your next family get away:
Prepare what you are leaving behind for your trip. Prior to going out of town, tell the people in your immediate circle at work that you are not taking your work with you. Preparing them helps them understand that you need to escape, and it can also boost their confidence if you tell them you are leaving them in charge. Most of us tell the people we work with that if we are needed, to call, and then we become upset when they call. Tell them up front and directly calls will not be answered.
Have something you can do when you shut everything down on your vacation. If you follow through and you don’t take your laptop, iPad, or phone for work, your vacation world can feel lonely and boring. This is part of the de-stressing. You should feel totally empty and then after that feeling subsides you will begin seeing and appreciating the “more valuable sides of your life…your family.”
What would you do if you weren’t working? Do you have a book, jewelry beading, wood carving, or knitting project that you never have time for? Doing these types of things on your vacation can be relaxing while providing a feeling of completion with something you value.
Whether you are a single parent or dual income couple, vacationing with the kids can be exhausting if you are used to having child care. It’s so easy to lose touch with the people in our home, and it takes us all a period of adjustment to wake up without distraction and spend day after day together. Knowing this, let the little things go, and since you don’t have to do anything, allow yourself the options of pillow fights, long walks at night, and sleeping until noon if you want to. Board games, computer games, as well as hiking and fishing can all be done if there is nothing else to do.
The more complicated and technical our societies become, the more we are working wherever we go. This may be good for our income, but it takes a toll on our relationships and families. If you only have one week a year to be with the people who share your name, make the time to be completely present. You cannot do that if you keep your work cubicle in your pocket. Some of the best memories come from a summer vacation. –Mary Jo Rapini
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