1. Struggling to shift gears from a fast paced life to holiday-mode

What can help you let go of the fast pace and shift into a frame of mind that will help you enjoy your vacation? Are there any rituals that can help you do so? For example, through being mindful when setting your automated office reply. Or choosing a holiday song that you listen to when planning, preparing, packing and so on. Perhaps it would also help to make a list of things you know you will be dealing with when returning to work after your vacation as a way of giving yourself the permission to postpone these tasks until you are back. While we may try our best to close off any tasks in order to not leave anything pending, this is not always very realistic. You can also think about handing over some responsibilities to people you trust and who could support you with taking some things off your mind. 

2. Managing dynamics with the family or friends that you are traveling with

Are you worried that there will be conflict during your holiday? Or perhaps that being on holiday with someone you’ve never spent a long stretch of time with will test your friendship or relationship? Perhaps experience has also taught you that your family members have a tendency to complain a lot when on holiday? I guess when possible, one can consider going abroad with people who share some commonalities in what they look for when going on holiday. However, this is not always a possibility and it might not always be the solution either.

In such cases, if you think it might help, you could discuss with the other persons what your concerns are and come up with solutions together. For example, if you are concerned because one person enjoys being spontaneous and the other enjoys structured and planned holidays, you could agree to have the presence of both elements on different days. You could also decide to have some days apart from one another so that you could do the things that only you enjoy doing. 

3. Expectations vs. reality

You may have waited to go on your vacation for months if not years especially since some may have postponed previous plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This might have built up a lot of anticipation and excitement around this holiday, but these feelings of anticipation and excitement can sometimes turn into stress and anxiety.

This is because some may have set very high expectations for this holiday (for example, thinking that ‘I have no guarantee when I will be able to go on holiday again after this one, so I have to keep up with all that I have planned irrelevant of whether I feel tired’- ‘I would regret it if I slowed down and missed something’- or ‘Everything has to go as planned’.) Be aware of such thoughts, of how they impact you in your attempts to enjoy yourself, and of how you carry disappointment when something does not work out the way you wanted it to… Would it ruin your day? Or would you choose to still find things that you can enjoy doing?

If you think you can benefit from professional support on this issue, you can book an appointment here
Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.