Dear HRart Worker,
Can you feel it? The energy of summer is calling. As the most yang or active season of the year, we are invited to make the most of these beautiful days. Culturally, we embrace this season as the perfect opportunity to get away on vacation.
For many of us, we function in our professional lives with the goal to just make it to vacation. Unfortunately, we’ve relied on vacations to be the great catalyst to balance instead of working that balance into each week. We work our butts off thinking that as soon as we put that out-of-office notice up, it will all be okay. This puts an enormous amount of pressure on vacation plans to be that perfect blend of restoration and adventure to nourish you at all levels.
If you aren’t more intentional about caring for your energy on vacation and instead you are relying heavily on a trip to rejuvenate your energetic reserves, you may find yourself returning to work in a few weeks feeling less restored than you anticipated.
Here are three ways to care for your energy on vacation…
#1 Recognize Emotions For What They Are
Stress and anxiety are normal when preparing for a trip and while traveling especially. What you should keep in mind during this time is that those emotions are energy, and that there is an organic magnetic pull that happens between similar energies.
For example, the most common place this comes alive is at the airport. If you have any nerves at all about flying, take special notice to what happens to your anxiety upon entering the airport. What you may be perceiving as your anxiety growing can actually be an accumulation of your nerves combined with those of others around you. This is particularly true for naturally empathic individuals.
Just keep this in mind as you notice these emotions and remind yourself that those energies are not something you need to hold onto.
#2 Schedule In Rest Days
Two years ago while on vacation, I had my first panic attack. It was triggered by a lack of energy and overwhelming demands while on vacation. It’s always a tricky dynamic when visiting family that I rarely get to see because I suddenly struggle to say “no”.
The panic attack hit in the middle of the night and kept me up for hours. By the time morning came, I was an emotional wreck. The only words I could manage to my husband between sobs was, “I can’t go”. He immediately said, “that’s fine, we will all stay here with you.”
Knowing that the day was going to be an amazing opportunity for them and recognizing that I was only going to be barely functional, I encouraged them to go on the bike ride without me. They had an incredible day filled with memories that they still talk about. Meanwhile, I spent the day doing exactly what my body and energy needed, spending time alone, sleeping, and being still.
Packed vacation agendas and packed work schedules have a similar energetic frequency. Vacation agendas are often fueled by excitement, but the energetic burn rate is the same. Therefore, if you enter vacation with low energetic reserves, chances are you won’t have a lot in the tank to tackle those full days of vacation fun.
It took me a while to learn this lesson. Now my family plans our vacations with rest days just like when you’re working out and you need to give your body a day to recover. This rule has made all the difference.
#3 Add An Energy Care Routine To This Season
Adding a Qigong cultivation practice to your routine gives you the tools to build up your energy, establish a healthy boundary of protection, as well as re-establish balance. If you really want to be open and ready for a great vacation, begin taking care of your energy now.
This practice can take as little as 10-minutes a day, and could be as simple as a standing posture, visualization, and some gentle flowing Qigong movements.
If you are new to Qigong or would like to practice with the support of a teacher and community, we run weekly Qigong Community Cultivation Classes at the HRart Center. Join us Tuesdays at 9 AM and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM for a group class where you’ll learn the skills to build your own personal routine, and to continue evolving your practice as you grow and heal. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
For too long, we’ve used vacation as the great balancer in our lives believing that it serves as the reset for our lack of self care. Unfortunately, the act of booking a vacation does not guarantee an intense restorative experience. You have to intentionally create that experience.
My hopes are with these three tips, you’ll be experiencing more incredible vacations and perhaps be closer to bringing balance to the rest of your work and life.