ONE Thing to Remember About Your Vacation

Beach chairs on beach

The 20 ICU nurses and managers chosen to be in my Well-Being Coaching Pilot are bright, high-achieving, and committed to their profession. They are also self-aware and can articulate what they want to improve in their lives, but don’t always know quite how to do it. Self-Leadership coaching is central to the program and provides a different perspective to empower them to make the best decisions for themselves.

Here is a conversation from a recent session:

How was your beach vacation?

“Tasky and tight.”

What do you mean by that?

“Well, it was not the relaxing time at the beach vacation I anticipated. We got a late start and squeezed in a bunch of family visits, so it edged out the down-time I was looking forward to.”

How much time did you spend at the beach?

“I am embarrassed to tell you, we never even got to the beach. I came home exhausted and disappointed.”

A beach vacation without the beach may sound like an extreme example, but I have heard many similar versions of unmet vacation expectations. ONE important thing to remember about a vacation is that visiting family time and vacation time are not the same thing. They both may both involve travel and getting away, but they feel entirely different and when you try to squeeze either one in, you can end up exhausted and disappointed because you can’t fully engage.

Vacations and family visits both require planning, negotiating, and making choices to ensure you return home feeling restored and filled up, but the similarity ends there. Family visits are not about you, they about your family, as you insert yourself into their lives and routines. Vacations are about you (and whoever you are with) and you can plan for and negotiate what you want and need on your own schedule.

At the end of our session, my client said, “I never thought of vacations and family visits that way. My husband and I were just talking about our next beach vacation, already discussing the family we feel obligated to visit. This changes everything!”

How about you? Could you be more intentional about planning your vacation time and family visit time? When I do, it changes everything because I stay engaged in what I have chosen and keep my expectations realistic. I return home refreshed and rejuvenated because I got to the beach.

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