When was the last time you took a vacation and did not take your business or kids with you? That is not meant to be derogatory. After all, 98% of my trips when the children were younger were with both my husband and children. I loved those trips! But let’s face it, those did not often allow for much parental rest.
Originally, this article was written in 2005 when I ran a company and had a lot of children (mine and others) running around the house. Some things are still the same and some are not. Without down time and mind rest, you cannot keep going forever.
It had been a long time since my husband and I went on a vacation. And what we “thought” were vacations were really just little 2 – 3 day jaunts away that did not give us much mind rest or down time. We spent quite a bit of time driving or walking around which was nice, but I will say it again, not enough mind rest. By the time we got to where we were going and settled in or got into any type of routine, it was time to leave for home.
Vacations are meant to remove you from your current setting and give you a fresh perspective. Most of you are always “on,” especially with the latest in social media and “smart”phones. It is important to unplug. Your mind needs rest as do your senses.
How many times do you experience or read of an experience about getting out with nature? People share over and over again how freeing it is and how much better they feel when they take that time. Don’t believe me?
Read more: Scientific Benefits of Nature Outdoors
In 2005 we went on a “real” vacation with no business plans; only rest and relaxation were on our minds. We made the plans on a Wednesday and flew out on Sunday. It was our first flight over the ocean too. We did not’t think too hard and long or contemplate not spending the money. We just did it!
During that week in Maui, I finally let down. My mind and body had been able to become calm and I was able to rest. I challenged myself by doing things I feared. Can you say Scuba Diving? After coming home I realized that I took my first true blue “vacation”! I had mind rest! It was truly amazing and such a “freeing” experience!
After my husband and I had our vacation, we created a plan for vacations with the kids. One thing lead to another and I started daydreaming back to the phone calls I receive from women all over the world with the same issues.
The common theme was the rushing and no time for building memories. Oh, there are some nice trips here and there or some family gatherings. But most of the time those are exhausting because of the work involved.
I have a friend with many children and a huge extended family. She really has vacations and short trips with the family down to a science. Everyone starts packing as a family on one Saturday so they are ready to leave either the next Friday after school or early the next Saturday morning.
Her extended family members all have tasks to do ahead of time. Some bring craft items, some bring extra snacks, some bring the supplies for crafts and such, like extra trash bags, boxes to put the crafts in, etc. When they all arrive, they have a reunion time of chatting and eating.
Next, the women organize games, crafts, and other activities for the rest of the trip. This way each woman only has one task they are in charge of. This allows them to get to enjoy the rest of the activities. Also, the dads take the kids out for one of the days and at night the moms get to have time alone together. By planning ahead of time, they assure their down time and mind rest.
Read more: Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime
Remember the daydreaming you used to do as a child? I was a real daydreamer. I was able to melt into a book and not hear a sound around me. When did I lose that? How many of you can still daydream? Can you daydream without interruptions? We are living in a world of constant interruptions and distracctions.
It was such a different feeling to experience the down time on that 2005 trip. When I came home and went back to work, I was able to think clearly and finish some tasks I could not finish before. My husband and I felt like we went on a second honeymoon. And…I daydreamed.
1. We allowed finances, the kid’s school and sports, business, or other people to keep us from doing what was best for us.
2. That is not how we want to live our lives.
3. With planning all things are possible.
Building memories that last a lifetime is important. How you go about building those memories is also important. We need to teach our children “now” to set up a life of living! Teach them about setting up a vacation fund and planning ahead. As you get ready for a vacation, talk to your children about the importance of mind rest and down time.
After all, kids learn by example. If we deprive ourselves of vacations, nice things, time with other adults, etc., they will learn by example and emulate our behavior. A study was done years ago about what kids want most from their parents. The top answer was for their parents to be less stressed. Make your vacation list and plan ahead.
Do you need mind rest? I say, “YES, most definitely!” What will it do for you? It will allow you to be the person you were meant to be. It will allow you to try new things and clear your head so you function better at home and work. And most of all, it will give you memories to last a lifetime.
©2005, 2017 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.