Summertime means vacation, right? If you’re apprehensive about or reluctant to entertain the idea of taking a trip right now with family or friends, we get it. Considering the effects of the pandemic, it’s completely understandable that a relaxing trip might be anything but. For those who would like to get out and get away, The Calli Institute is here to offer some ideas for a stress-less vacation this summer.

Pack Your Bags – without the Baggage

With things opening up after more than a year of social distancing and sticking close to home, many people are ready to get out and do… well, everything. Some precautions are still in place here and there to keep communities and visitors safe. But right now, we’re certainly able to venture farther and experience more than at this time last year. Taking a vacation can create its own set of stressors, however. And getting away for a weekend or longer can frazzle the mind with so much planning and execution. Your trip may not be completely void of stress but there are ways to lessen the effects.

Wait until you’re ready. Do you panic at the thought of taking a trip? Are you avoiding calls and texts from family or friends because they want to plan a vacation but you’re just not ready? If this is you, don’t even worry. So many of us are still learning to transition out of pandemic survival mode, and that’s completely acceptable. You’ll know when you’re ready. Let others know your comfort levels and make sure you’re the one who determines when and how those change.

Your pace is the right tempo. We previously discussed getting back to what’s familiar post-pandemic, and the biggest takeaway is that you’re in control. If you’re concerned about being around other people, maybe start small. Invite a few friends over or go out for coffee. Make sure you’re okay. Grab a table outside so you don’t feel confined. Try getting used to being around other people in settings outside of home but do so at a pace with which you’re comfortable. And if you’re not yet comfortable, then wait until you’re ready.

Control only what you can. Again, you have control over your actions and reactions. As much as we’d probably like to, we cannot manage other people or certain circumstances. And once we come to terms with relinquishing control over things we cannot control, we need to be willing to let go of the anxiety it brings. When it comes to vacations, so many factors are unknown. So, learn to shrug your shoulders and control what you can. And do your best to be okay with leaving the rest to shake out however it will.

Have a plan – for your trip and yourself. For most things – and especially for a vacation – having a plan can help ease stress. Rushing to get things booked or packed or ready at the last minute creates emotional chaos that takes away from the fun of going on a trip. Get the essentials squared away, such as destination and budget and accommodations. And don’t forget to iron out the little things, like who will look after your pets or collect your mail while you’re gone.

When it comes to planning for yourself, consider the things that put your mind at ease. Bring along your favorite music or a good book. Practice breathing techniques to help calm your nerves if they start to feel on edge. If you need some quiet time to yourself, take it without feeling guilty. You have every right to enjoy your vacation and inhibiting stress can help you do exactly that.

Ready, Set, Go!

Once you feel comfortable enough to venture out again, you want your vacation to be as fun and stress-less as possible. Again, planning plays a big role but there are other factors to consider when outlining your ideal summer respite.

What are you after? Figure out what you and your family, friends, or other traveling companion(s) want from your trip. Are you looking for relaxation? Adventure? To learn something new? Determine what you want from your vacation to help identify the ideal destination.

Make a plan – but not for everything. Have some idea of things you’d like to do and see, but don’t overload your schedule. You may stumble upon something new you want to further explore, or you may need some time to laze and unwind. Make plans but maybe not all the plans.

Manage your time by allowing for more. Things on vacation seem to happen in their own time, so allow for things to take longer than you think they might. Whether it’s drive time, stopping for a bite to eat, or catching a flight. Give yourself extra time so you don’t feel rushed – and stressed.

Expect the unexpected. All the planning you’ve done for your trip may not go exactly how you predict. Expect the occasional hiccup or detour so that you’re not upset when such an instance arises. Do your best to adjust to the situation and see it as an opportunity to try something new or exciting or to create an unforgettable memory.

Pack light. The more things you bring along, the more decisions you’ll have to make regarding those things. Don’t let those things weigh you down. Save yourself the hassle by bringing only what you absolutely need. You can always purchase things along the way.

Take a day. Upon your return, take an extra day to unpack, unwind, recover, and relax before heading back to work. Diving back into life after a little break can be stressful, so ease your way into it with an extra day off.

Your summertime trip shouldn’t cause anxiety. And the good news is, it doesn’t have to. Once you feel comfortable venturing out again, these ideas for a stress-less vacation can help you make the most of your summer getaway. The Calli Institute can help you work through other uncertain feelings, too. Our balanced approach to overall wellness is unique to you. Reach out to us today to learn more.