The Need For Down Time During Transitions

The saying that we all need a “vacation from a vacation” is true!

My family and I took a few days off on Independence Day weekend for a road trip to Toronto.  It was a fun 5 day trip but since returning, I’ve had a hard time getting back to my normal routine. It is said that the result of a good vacation is coming back disoriented with regular life. Although I agree with the sentiment, that was not it for me.

My disorientation was very bothersome because I had SO MUCH to do. After a week of feeling overwhelmed and grumpy, I find the culprit to my problem: I had not given myself and my kids time to transition back. We left for our trip right after the regular school year ended and as soon as we came back from our trip, the kids had to go to their summer camp the next morning. It was a lot to get used to in a short time. I came back to an ever growing list of “to-do”, while at the same time needing to quickly adapt to a new family schedule.

I LOVE to travel and I get greedy with it. I would always book my return flight to arrive the night before I had to go back to work. I like to stretch out my time away as much as possible.  Now that I am older, have two young kids, and understandably more tired, my old travel ways no longer works.

After some reevaluating, I decided to do the following to help me get back into the groove:

  • I went to bed early instead of staying up late working
  • As much as possible, I ate healthier and cut out caffeine
  • Be OK with not meeting my own set deadlines. I am trying to grow my website and portfolio for my business but I am not helping myself nor anyone by being overwhelmed, tired and grumpy
  • I did what gave me energy and motivation: praying, reading and organizing
  • Being a introvert, I allowed some alone ‘me’ time to recharge

I can say that I feel better and am finding my rhythm again after doing the above for 2 days.

Although I did not enjoy feeling disoriented and overwhelmed, I was thankful to have experienced it. It led me to reevaluate and change my flawed approach to scheduling. Vacations and summer activities are fun but can quickly become overwhelming and torturous if not approached sensibly with our limits in mind.

In the world of organization and minimalism, empty spaces between items is considered beautiful. It brings balance and calmness to a space. In just the same way, there’s beauty with empty schedules to give our minds time and space to think. Having days with nothing scheduled during times of transition is an essential need.

As I type this post, I realize the wisdom of the Lord when He told us to remember and keep the sabbath day.

With all that said, I need to now change the return date of our end of summer family vacation 😥.

Travel vlogs of our Toronto trip and recommended family friendly activities to come next on my other personal website: www.lifeofyen.com.

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