Strategies for a Stress Free Vacation
by Anne Chambers, LCSW, Director Missouri Lawyers' Assistance Program
Summer is officially here. It has been argued that we in the USA don't vacation often enough, long enough, or well enough. In fact, we often try to work even while on vacation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33% of attorneys work 50 or more hours a week on average. As you make plan your vacations, here are some strategies to consider in an effort to relax and make the most of your precious time off work.
Tips for maintaining sobriety during your vacation include looking up meetings you can attend during your trip, bringing along your sponsor's phone number and having a backup plan.
Remember to pack some travel snacks and drinks, especially when traveling with small children or taking a long road trip. This can help reduce costs and crankiness.
Consider reducing your level of technology exposure on vacation and leaving your laptop at home. We are still getting used to our use of technology. Twenty years from now, this will become part of our backdrop, but for now, multitasking still feels like work and puts us in that mindset. Set up buffers between yourself and work while on vacation. Watch out for that slippery slope of checking work related e-mail. Be aware that if you respond to one work e-mail, folks will presume you are ready to work, opening the floodgates. For gadgets that you bring on vacation, consider making up rules that you can live by before you head out on vacation. Some examples might include:
- Checking your peson e-mail and financial accounts once per day each evening, then signing off,
- Playing computer games for 30 minutes a day, then turning off the device or passing it along to someone else in the family,
- Leaving your laptop at home this time
If you would like to discuss additional strategies for stress management, feel free to contact MOLAP at 1-800-688-6879.
1. Drews, Toby Rice. "Tips for Dealing with Holidays/Vacations for Families of Alcoholics. Getting Them Sober Newsletter, 6/20/12.
2. Gross, Doug. "Vacation Tips on How to Truly Unplug." CNN Tech, 5/25/11.