Vacation burnout is a real thing.
Just ask anyone who has ever gone on vacation.
Here’s what happens:
You’re all pumped for vacation. Since you only have a limited amount of time, you want to do #allthethings so you immediately start to make detailed lists and plans of how you will fill every minute of every hour of every day you have on vacation.
That sounds like fun, right?
Vacation becomes the salvation you’ve been waiting too long for. All of your hopes and dreams are pinned on these one or two weeks of getting away from it all.
What could possibly go wrong?
In Ayurveda, we call these “Pitta problems.”
Here’s how to break that idea down a bit:
Pitta season is when the elements of fire and water are most prominent. It’s when we have the most intensity and heat, plus a burning desire to do as much as possible because it’s the most “optimal time.” It’s also when schedules are a little more fluid than the rest of the year, especially if you have kids.
This is summer in a nutshell.
Many of us feel an immense amount of pressure to “make the most of the summer” which can lead to feelings of overwhelm and burnout. Either you try to do everything and wear yourself out or you feel so incapacitated by everything you could do that you end up doing nothing.
I want to make it easier for you to enjoy your summer and avoid vacation burnout.
Here are my top 4 Tips for How to Avoid Vacation Burnout:
Don’t Ditch All of Your Routines
The idea when we’re on vacation is that all of the rules and routines that govern our non-vacation life can and should be thrown out the window. “Who needs them when you’re on vacation, am I right?”
The thing is, when you ditch your routines, you have no touchstones during the day to anchor you. So not only do you throw out the routines that tether you to your work schedule or the daily, exhausting routines of life like laundry or doing dishes, but you also throw out the ones that make you feel good.
“I don’t need to exercise. I’m on vacation!”
“I can eat whatever I want and not feel gross because I am on vacation.”
“Who needs meditation to create calm, when just being on vacation makes me feel super calm?”
Those practices are the ones that give you a little more support and structure, not to mention balance.
Instead of throwing those out, think about how you can incorporate them into your vacation, perhaps on a smaller scale.
Commit to the ones that are really simple so you feel good throughout your vacation and when you’re back home again.
Don’t Try to do All the Things
It’s an easy trap to fall into, wanting to do All the Things. The problem is, it will literally wear you out, which will make your vacation a whole lot less fun.
Going, going, going all day long won’t feel much like a vacation, but a marathon.
Here’s a thought:
Do the most important things instead.
While you could try to do and see everything when you’re on vacation, you might not enjoy them as much if you’re rushing through each one to get to the next. Not to mention the fact that you will likely crash when the day is over.
If you choose to do just few things you’re really excited about instead, you’ll be able to really enjoy them and not feel completely burned out by the end of each day or the end of your vacation.
Make Time for Down Time
This more than just actively choosing not to do everything, this is consciously choosing to do something more mellow instead of running from one thing to the next.
Down time looks and feels different for everyone, but here are a few ideas:
Going to a playground or park to just walk or play
Go back to your hotel or air bnb and nap, read a book, or watch TV.
Start your day a little later and have a leisurely breakfast or brunch.
Go to bed a little earlier to feel deeply rested the next day.
No matter what you choose, downtime can make a huge difference in whether you feel refreshed when your vacation is over, or more exhausted than before you left.
Make Time for Meals
Schedule in your meals. No one likes to be hungry on vacation. I feel like anyone who has ever been hangry feels me on this one.
The truth is, if you don’t know when and where your next meal is going to be, at least one person in your vacation party will be stressed out.
Make sure you have plentiful snacks.
Know where the local grocery store is and where the restaurants you want to go to are.
Don’t wait until you’re an hour past hungry, either. Know these things BEFORE you go on vacation so you have a plan for where and when your meals will happen.
Have any other awesome ideas for how to avoid vacation burnout?
Let me know in the comments below!