Michele Attias Life Coach

The Staycation Debate: Are Vacations Overated?

It seems that all is dictated to us, including when our designated times of holiday should be.

As I watch families get ready for their August holiday break whilst walking through the departure lounge in a busy airport, I notice that most of them look stressed and deep in thought. Children begin to become irritating to have around whilst parents rummage through their bags for their passports and tickets in a stressful fashion 

So is this really a holiday, or just the same stressful thinking albeit in a different location?

In essence, who should dictate when we take our breaks during the year?

If you have no need for a break, should you succumb to the pressure and book a destination during August or December? Or simply decide that we don’t need a break at present and take one when we can either afford it or when it makes sense to.

For instance, this year rather than booking a holiday during the month of August, I decided to stay home during the summer and punctuated this with a couple of brief 3 day breaks to nearby destinations which worked brilliantly. Although I'm working during the summer, for the first time, being home feels like a holiday, since a number of my clients are away and my workload has halved. 

I can enjoy being at home, taking long walks and spending time with my daughters – stress free.

I believe we underestimate how beautiful London can be during the summer months, brisk walks along stunning parks and a number of day trips can be truly relaxing. This also teaches our children that they don’t need to be abroad to be able to enjoy their school break.

Just when did families go away during every summer holiday? I remember clearly spending my summers as a child working in my fathers store. 

Did I feel deprived?

Not at all, I didn't know any different.

In fact I remember those summer months learning the trade in my fathers business as a special time of learning and bonding with my father. Children and teenagers are expected to book onto every camp to keep them occupied and they feel deprived if they're unable to be part of it. This places a huge amount of pressure on parents, some who can ill afford this.

When working with a number of parents in my practice, I notice the tremendous amount of pressure they're under. Often working overtime in order to provide the family with what they think they need otherwise feeling their children might suffer deprivation of some kind.

I'm not referring to the parents who are working so that they can afford to pay the rent, mortgage or put food on the table. I'm referring to parents who are working all hours to afford the latest iPads, iPhones, gadgets, camps and expensive holidays.

The fact is (and I can also be guilty of this) we put layers of pressure onto our existence and demand so much of ourselves and what makes us a good enough parent, that it becomes hard work. We make our own demands and set ourselves up for failure if we don't meet the standard. Constantly feeling that however much we try to keep up, we fall miserably short of our own expectations.

Because ultimately, we judge ourselves the harshest.

There are times when it feels as if we have a parrot on our shoulder prodding us to do more, be more and achieve more.

The illusion is that we are not enough without all the externals that define us. This is where a healthy sense of self comes in. This means resisting the societal pressure (easier said than done, I know) that determines the factors that prove we have finally 'made it' in life.

Whether it be with regards to our job, finances, marriage status or where and when we choose to go on holiday, this should be determined by our needs not society's.

Self Development
Life Coaching
Lifestyle Coaching
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