7 tips to help you enjoy your summer vacation

August 5, 2013 by

This advice from Imago therapist Carolyn Daitch was recently sent to this Bend, Oregon Marriage Counselor. These are great tips for enjoying your summer vacation so I am sending them on to you.

As we approach the month of August when many of my clients schedule their summer getaways, the topic of travel-related anxiety comes up frequently. On that theme, I wanted to share a list of tips with you that I often give my clients to help them take the stress out of their vacations:

  1. Calm your nervous system with a relaxation technique. It's hard to think reasonably when your body is anxious. Listen to a meditation CD, or practice slow breathing to lower your baseline anxiety level
  2. Write down your worries. The mere act of writing creates some detachment from your concerns that will help you achieve some objectivity
  3. Mind the mind with Cognitive Therapy. Take your list of worried thoughts and, for each item, ask yourself the question: how likely is it that the outcome I'm fearing will really happen? This evaluation is intended to help you acknowledge that there may be very little evidence that your worries will come to fruition
  4. Acknowledge inner resources. You've encountered and lived through many new situations, eg. starting a new job,  moving to a different home, even  going on (and even enjoying) previous vacations.  Say to yourself:  "I survived that challenge and I know I can survive this one"
  5. Remember that there are stores where you are going.  It's not a disaster if you forget to pack everything
  6. If flying is a fear, bring this topic into your personal therapy.  There are therapeutic interventions that can help! And, be sure to take a good book or a tablet on which you can watch a film, listen to music, or play a game.  It's good to have something to keep your mind busy while you're in the air.
  7. Embrace uncertainty.  Let's face it: life is uncertain and travel is even more so.  Say a self-statement:  "I accept uncertainty.  I may not like it, but I can handle it."  Please feel free to copy, paste, re-print, etc. this material as you'd like.  I hope this finds you well, enjoying the summer, and maybe even looking forward to a vacation of your own!

This Bend, Oregon marriage Counselor wishes you a stress-free vacation. If you would like more specific help with any of the above suggestions, feel free to contact me.