Maintaining that Post-Vacation (bye summertime) PeaceOct 06, 2021
You guys, when I married Chad, in my vows, I wrote.
“I will try to be vacation Kelley every day of the year.”
Well, yes, I’ve been TRYING, but before that break from Instagram, I was definitely not succeeding. If you’ve heard me on stories and why I needed that break, I was more anxious than I had been in years, overwhelmed, and thought everything was a priority, including being on social media. Even with my meditation practice, I was snappy and reactive and just not “Vacation Kelley.”
Who is “Vacation Kelley”?
She’s calm, she sleeps in, she doesn’t check email or social media as much, she’s going with the flow, doesn’t need a plan.
So going into this social media break over the summer. At the same time, I had a major intention of building back my health physically. Becoming more like the me who I love so much on vacation was a priority that was on the top of my list.
One thing that really gets me in a cozy laid back vibe. Cooking. I cooked a ton of new fall recipes: pumpkin Mac and cheese, a new white bean soup, matcha chocolate muffins. I can’t wait to share them all. Taking time away from social media allowed people to do more things that put me at peace. Yes, cooking. But also, reading, writing and decorating (we finally started on our new house!). But I always thought those things were CHOICES… and that things like email, social media (because of my business), and responding to people ASAP weren’t a choice. Every day I would think, “I have to do all of this for my business. I’m on here (email/ text/ social) because I have to be.” I’ve been telling myself I have to have this presence, so I don’t let anyone down for the last few YEARS.
But when my mental health was really suffering, I decided to take inventory of what was going on and what mindsets I may need to change. I knew I had to make a sacrifice and take some time off social that I could really take stock, without any outside noise, about what I wanted and how I would be more like myself on vacation ALL THE TIME. During my time off, I felt more at peace, more present, less frazzled, and less overwhelmed.
But the biggest thing I realized is that even though I’m running my own business… social media, email, and how quickly I reply to texts and calls… it’s all a CHOICE.
It’s definitely a choice I want to continue to make to connect with everyone in my community. I’m sharing this because I want you to take some time to reflect with yourself… what in your life is something you feel like you “have to” do that’s actually a CHOICE? It might be social media/ emails/ texts… but it might also be
- feeling like you have to say yes to every outing/ dinner/ event even if you’re exhausted
- feeling like you have to do everything on your own
- constantly dieting to fit into a size that isn’t your set point
So often make these choices where we don’t even realize that we have the freedom to not make them. If you feel like there are things in your life you “have to” do, get curious, not judgmental.
… and here are just a few more tips I can offer to you guys so that you can keep the peace as we move into the fall season. So you stay relaxed and refreshed.
- Set boundaries and take control of how you spend your time.
This has a lot to do with what we talked about above, making sure that you know your options, priorities, and when to say no.
This requires you to look at what felt good about your time off:
- Was it because I got more sleep on vacation? How can I prioritize sleep more in my day today?
How can I cut the negative people out of my life? •Did I spend more time around people I really enjoy? How can I create space for more meals and activities with these people?
- Did I have time alone? How can I make time for quiet reflection at home?
- Calendar breaks into your day.
We’re not meant to be “on” all the time. I like to set 15-minute breaks between clients and have a nice break in the morning between my work to walk around the block or do a breathing exercise or just watch TV. These breaks give me a sense of being centered, but I also feel. More in control because my life is more balanced.
- Set clear boundaries with tech.
For example, after the office is closed, so is your phone. So on weekends or after hours, make your home more like time off on vacation again. When you’re home, be home. Work time and home time get blurred with texts, emails, social media, and other screen time and I’ve found this is the biggest cause of overwhelming for me.
- Take a vacation from the things that make you feel stressed.
If being a caretaker/mom makes you feel stressed, try hard to find someone you can rely on occasionally to relieve you. Taking time for yourself will help you be more present for others when they do need you. You deserve a break. And use it to do something not on your phone or laptop… something rejuvenating 😉
- Take time for the things you love.
We often give ourselves permission to do things we wouldn’t normally do when we’re on vacation, like eating foods we’re craving or not having plans. Try to incorporate things that make you feel good, whether reading by the pool, seeing your friends more, or even having some French fries more often. You deserve it.
- Spend more time outdoors.
Most of us feel more relaxed on vacation because we spend more time outdoors in refreshing natural settings. Can you grab a work lunch at a table outside? Or maybe if you work from home, work in the backyard! Just 15 minutes outdoors will reduce your cortisol and most people notice a difference in their mood, sleep, and energy levels when they’re consistent!
Hope all of this brings you more peace this season