Many of us are trying to figure out how summer vacation is going to work this year, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend so much of life. Try a Safecation this summer.
COVID-19 has melted our concept of normalcy and turned our traditional vacations and leisure activities into a high-risk proposition. Seeking a Safecation begins with our desire to reinvigorate our spirit and recharge our soul, and this can happen anywhere we are.
The emotional toll of the pandemic and the mix of powerful emotions it is triggering – such as fear, guilt, worry caused by the loss of life, financial vulnerability and job insecurity – are like a psychological Molotov cocktail. Add to these worries the responsibility of homeschooling, daily house tasks, adapting to new technologies and the demands of virtual work, and – you need a break.
We’ve lost our sense of stability, and the demarcations between home life and work life are blurred. We’ve been working in overdrive with no transitions and decompression time from work to our home. Here are some principles to keep in mind for your Safecation:
Flatten the curve, not your dreams. Indulging your fear initiates a cycle of unproductive worry. Worry exists in our imagination through images and narratives of something going wrong. We can channel that energy and gain a sense of control if we change the images to desired positive outcomes. Planning a vacation gives us permission to dream, and its details give us a sense of control and something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement.
Put yourself on digital quarantine. Disengage from stressful activities and place your needs at the top of your list of priorities. Reduce the overstimulation and bombardment of information brought to us by social media. Disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself.
View the world through the eyes of a traveler. Recalibrate your perspective and appreciate the moment with mindfulness. Traveling forces us to see differences among things that are similar or familiar. We can accomplish the same by looking at our surroundings through the eyes of a traveler. Changing your patterns and performing your routine in a different room in the house can help in creating a modified experience in your habitual setting.
Creating a modified vacation experience must be done with a sense of optimism, embracing the possibilities of your surroundings and most importantly trusting your resiliency to adapt and derive joy from it.
Break up your routines: explore nature, read books not related to work, take on new physical fitness challenges, rearrange the furniture in your house – give it a new look, or engage the family in fun and interactive activities.
While this summer will be different that others in the past, it is still important to take that time off. Plan your Safecation now.
An earlier version of this article appeared in Smith Brain Trust, May 20, 2020.