The holiday we hope for, and the one we experience can be two very different things.

The highlight of our year comes with the invisible fine print of enjoyment and relaxation. Yet the truth is it can be more disruptive to our inner balance than we’d ever see coming.

Anyone who’s holidayed with anyone ever, will know it’s a dance of compromise and giving.

The more people going on the holiday, the more needs, preferences and desires to consider.

  • Some don’t relax the whole time. Others, not until at least a few days in or right before it’s time to leave.
  • Some relax too much, leaving others feeling they’re copping for a rough deal as they pick up the slack.
  • Some are fun all the way; they love ALL the activities! And others still, can’t understand why people don’t want to chill all day.

All the above without any kids in the equation… which as you may know, brings in a whooooole other set of factors, needs and curveballs into the mix.

At home, you have the relative certainty of routine and other life boundaries. On holiday you don’t. One person’s ‘hell yeah’, is anothers ‘hell no’!

Packing bags and taking off to a place where everyone’s supposed to get along and enjoy can be a challenge. If you’re headed on holiday, here are a few considerations.

– The best and worst in people tend to come out on holiday.  Things that don’t surface at home just seem to surface when we’re in the company of others.  Recognising it happens means we can make allowances for it both in others and ourselves!

– The wellbeing of a group is determined by everyone in it.  Finding time to connect to what centers you is important.  If you make sure everyone else has a great time but return home unfulfilled yourself, it’s not ideal. What smallest thing could you do to make sure you appreciate every day?

– Realistic expectations go a long way.  If you have small children you’ll know your ‘holiday’ revolves around them!  You do everything and more that you do at home – just in a different setting.  It looks like that for a few years and doesn’t last forever.

Take advantage of any help offered. If kid’s clubs appeal, don’t hold back on making use to give yourselves a break. If you can frame it as a time to embrace the crazy, you’ll be able to make time for relaxation at other points in the year.

– We all need a degree of routine.  It makes us feel certain and in control.  Without the roles and boundaries of home, we can feel disoriented on a holiday. This goes for both adults and kids.  The idea of kicking back and taking life as it comes, is wonderful but usually benefits from a little structure too.

– Know when to quit, or more gently, when someone needs time-out. Too much of anything becomes too much.  When you are aware of your own energy dynamics, you can be mindful of other peoples’.  It’s knowing when a child needs some time by them self or a partner needs to be released to have a few hours to them self.

Our holiday selves can always benefit from a bit of fine-tuning.  It’s by no means a science and for one-off trips, perhaps matters less. But where you think you’re likely to spend many holidays together it’s definitely worth the effort – happy people make happy memories.

Wishing you great holidays!

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