“Parents don’t really go on vacation. They just take care of their kids in a different city”
– author unknown
I came across this quote recently and it was very relatable. Maybe you can relate too?
As this came to me and I felt so heard it made me think about our past family summer vacations. As an HSP it’s easy for me to jump back into these memories and now that I know myself more I can tap into how I was feeling back then and why.
So, as I’m jumping into these memories I can recall how much time and energy I would spend making sure that the kid’s needs were taken care of and that they had many activities and experiences that created joyous memories.
Yes, we cannot deny that when we pull off that perfect time for them the faces of happiness and the excited squeals bring us happiness! But, as much as having fun with the kids brought me happiness, I would often return from vacation feeling exhausted and sometimes resentful.
I never understood why that was until recently.
Being an HSP
When I learned about my high sensitivity and being an HSP (highly sensitive person), it all made sense as to why I was so drained. I would go home and feel the need to sit down and just relax and take time but low and behold it would be back to regular household activities. Cleaning from the day out, getting the laundry done, if we packed food all those containers need to be washed up and then washing myself up and this is even before I can hit the hay. Then you have the activity hangover…. literally, I am tired, irritable, feeling so draggy with my body and my mind can barely keep it together.
Now I know that as an HSP I needed the time to recover afterwards.
What is an HSP?
Being an HSP means that we tend to get overstimulated due to our heightened nervous system. The challenges can include heightened sensitivity to loud noises, large crowds, etc.
Let’s be honest, most of the places we take the famjam is loaded down with all the stimulation creating chaos all around us.
How to summer plan as an HSP
So here I am knowing myself more as an HSP and understanding why all these things happen to me. If you are looking for more information on being an HSP make sure to check out my previous blogs and hit me up on social media where I talk about it loads!
In learning more about HSP and who I am, I discovered that I would need to do some things before, during and after the vacation to help maintain my energy and prevent that ultimate crashing.
Here’s how I do it
First thing first, when I plan my summer vacation, I think more about my needs and what elements tend to be overwhelming for me. As I am the one planning and doing all the footwork to make this whole thing happen, I am already becoming overwhelmed. So, I come up with a plan that ensures there is some downtime/relaxation time sprinkled in and that I give myself a day or two of free time before and after vacation with a little extra self-care.
- I Prioritize sleep. Changes in routine, overstimulation and increased activity can lead to fatigue because HSPs process things more deeply. I prioritize this before and after.
- I always let my partner know I might need some downtime. Explaining to them (and your kids if they are old enough to understand) that you need a little quiet time after having a busy day of activities can do wonders.
- I keep some of the routines similar to the home routine. If you’re used to eating at certain times, stick to those as much as possible. If you read in bed at night to help wind you down, then make sure to stick to that. Especially when we do not stick to our wind-down routine we can become seriously anxious and overworked, still leading to a crash
- If your vacation spot is surrounded by nature, try to set aside some time to be in nature so that you can feel energized and restored. Grounding yourself is something that helps you to bring in some fresh energy and this could be as simple as taking off your shoes and feeling the earth below you.
- So vacation is done and you killed it with the before during and after. I have learned that I need to take the last day or two for just me. No work, no stress just for me. I try to do simple things for myself that help me relax like reading, I will draw, I maybe even take a swim in the pool. It is whatever YOU need to help you restore your energy.
As much as you input these self-care tools it is inevitable that we are 100% top-notch as an HSP. We have still been overstimulated and we are still going to process and feel these events deeply.
When it comes to summer vacation, how much time do you spend relaxing? If you are thinking back on those past summers you might be questioning it hard. But, the easy fact about this is that for this summer you now know what and how to implement to make sure you do that the time for you to relax
Get out there, relax and take that vacation for you just as much as for the family! And to get yourself in the mood for some summer trip planning check out the meditation I have available over on iTunes.
xox Megan J Law