Holiday blues - on reconnecting with a stranger (that's you!)
You waited for this a long time; finally some time off. Possibly with a gorgeous beach and all the trimmings, or that exciting city, that glorious mountain range, or just your balcony. And now you sit there, not knowing what to do. Trying hard to resist to play with that phone again. You are on holiday. You should be loving this. And somehow you don't, at least not as much as you thought.
Take it easy. You were likely running a mile a minute all the way to the airport/train station or in your car. Your usual routines don't apply any more (and you didn't like half of them anyway), so things can feel a bit wobbly. Your sleep cycle might be completely out of whack and you might have built up a ginormous caffeine habit since your last break that you are now hoping to cut back on and your head hurts. You might be in awful shape, or you might have prepped for this like for a proper mission with all that energy needing to find an outlet now.
Wherever you are right now with yourself - be gentle. Reacquaint yourself with yourself, and with the people near you. Do things you remember liking (lie-ins with brunch? An early morning walk?) and deliberately reconnect. With yourself, and with the person you might be with. Take it slow. The first few days might well feel a bit stilted, and that is ok. It is also ok to talk about it; the other person is likely going to feel similar. Get to know your holiday selves a bit more. You might find the one doing all the organising in your daily life might be quite glad to kick back (but then the other one might have to step up). You might discover some completely new sides to each other. You might have plenty of reminders why you appreciate that person with their sense of humour coming back in full force, and you might finally have some proper couples time.
You might also have some reminders where your ways diverge. Or, some discussions will pop to the surface that you kept sweeping under the rug, so you might be fighting quite a bit at the start. This can also happen with thoughts, memories, and feelings popping back when you are holidaying by yourself, so the fights might well be on the inside. That is ok, too. You are catching up, and this means a few things might catch up with you, and now there is space to address some of these. In the frenzy of our daily lives, we sometimes let things (and relationships) slip a bit, and then we carry a bit of a backlog until we can restore that balance. You are currently restoring that balance.
If you can (and your holiday is still coming), take a quiet moment and have some conversations ahead of time how you want to ease into your holidays, back into yourself. Take a day or two to decompress (that is a great excuse to check out the local spa etc...). Don't overschedule yourself. You might be all temple-d out or museum-ed out after a few days; you might just want to go for a wander, or just sit there and look at the view. Or do some of the things that need doing and have some of the conversations that need having. Keep that space as open as you can.
This is meant to be fun. There are no performance goals, so resist the urge of your old work self to sneak them back in. This is your holiday. This is a whole lot more 'being' than 'doing'. Then, you might want to plan how to ease back into your day-to-day, keeping some of the rediscovered magic and sparkles, and how to create these protected spaces in your day-to-day. Look at what sorts of spaces or things you enjoyed. Culture, magnificent views, wandering around taking pictures, being close to water, or just certain qualities of being you rediscovered in your holidays. And rope those near to you into that planning as well. Your allies and supporters are right there with you.
Don’t overthink it. Make it fun. Leave space for all the magnificent things that just wanted to emerge. Be gentle, and enjoy. You deserve it.
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About Christine Locher
•Experience in high-pressure business environments and in international leadership roles (top five consulting).
•High "BS-o-meter" paired with deep compassion.
•Book author (2018) “The Decisive Edge – how exceptional leaders act on their values, intuition and integrity to make better decisions and increase impact”.… Read more
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