We know how to get away from home and we really look forward to that break at the beach, a cabin, or the happiest place on earth. But your brain goes with you. In today’s episode, I’m sharing how to calm your mind so you can enjoy your time away and come back home refreshed instead of exhausted. To schedule a free consult call, click HERE
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I am headed out on vacation this week. I am so excited and also a little bit stressed, getting ready to go, but I wanted to talk about this subject today of taking a brain vacation when you go on vacation. I know it was just spring break. We’re going into summer. There’s a lot going on. You need a vacation for your brain.
But first I wanna tell you a little bit about another kind of brain vacation that you can take, which is coming and coaching with me. I have a three month program. I have some spots open right now, and I know we’re going into summer and things are crazy and it seems like I can’t commit to that right now.
But I want you to know that meeting with me once a week for 45 minutes is the best thing you can do for your brain. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, for your family, for everyone around you. Because when you take care of your mental health, everything in your life gets better, and it’s not gonna just get better by continuing to do the same thing you have been doing.
I want to encourage you to go in the show notes, sign up for a consult call, come and talk to me. Tell me what’s going on with your grief. Tell me what’s going on with your life, what you need help with, what goals you have. Really what I want to help you with is finding yourself and coming back into that center of who you are, and I think that gets so mixed up.
When we have losses and or we’re pregnant after loss, it just, we get so disconnected from ourselves and our lives and the things that we really want, and maybe grief tells you that you don’t deserve to have that thing or that you’re not ready. You’re totally ready. If you’ve been thinking about coaching, come and talk to me.
I’m really, really nice. I’m not even scary. I know people get nervous, but you don’t need to be nervous. It’s just you, me, and Zoom. It’s a good time. I love meeting you and talking to you and helping you. Give yourself a brain vacation of getting coaching. It is the best investment you’ll ever make. A lot of people spend a lot of money on vacations and come back home and they are still just feeling terrible.
Everything went wrong. They’re still stressed, like they come home and all the problems they’re trying to escape are still there. This happens a lot, right? But we don’t think twice about spending money on vacations because everyone tells us like, that is the way to recharge. That is the way to feel better.
That is the way to enjoy our lives. But our brain comes with us. And so a lot of times we just have the same problems, except we have the same problems in a different location. But when you come and clean up your mind, That’s a true vacation, that’s relief. That is like living on the beach permanently. So that’s what I want for you and but we’re gonna dive into today’s topic because we are talking about vacation, because I gotta tell you, my husband and I, Have been married for almost 20 years and we are gonna go on vacation coming up this week.
I’m so excited. We’re gonna go to South Carolina, we’re gonna see some historic sites. We’re gonna go to the beach. It’s gonna be so fun. I am hoping. Like everyone else. I think you get a little nervous that our flights aren’t gonna get canceled, that we’re gonna have pilots that, um, everything’s gonna go smoothly.
But I think it’s a beautiful thing to celebrate our marriage. We have been through a lot of ups and downs. It has not always been easy, but we have had a lot of fun together. I think because we just, we have a lot in common. We have a lot of the same values. We like to do the same things and. He’s just my favorite person.
I don’t talk a lot about him on here because I like to keep like my family things private. But I’m really grateful to my husband for sticking it out with me this long, and I look forward to the next 20, and I am excited to just get a break and, and go relax. Like I said, we have this problem where we take our brains on vacation or vacations can be really stressful.
There’s a lot going on and you come home and you’re like, I need a vacation from my vacation. Have you ever felt like this? I think especially as the mom, it can feel like this because we’re managing all the things on the vacation and, and it can be exhausting. Why do we even go on vacation? Well, the answer is the same reason we do anything in our lives.
It’s because of how we think it will make us feel. So we think it will help us relax. We think it will help us de-stress. We think it will bring us fun, right? Like sometimes we just go to the amusement park type of vacations where we’re going for the fun and to make memories and, and we believe that.
Making the memories is gonna help us feel a certain way, right? Like it’s gonna make us feel like a strong family. It’s gonna bring us a lot of warmth and, and good things, and those are great reasons to go. But the reality is the anticipation of the vacation can actually feel better than the vacation because you’re looking forward to it.
You’re planning for it. It’s all excitement, right? All your thoughts are about how amazing the trip is gonna be, and you don’t have any other reality of how trips usually end up having a few bumps in the road, right? So, Enjoy that anticipation. If you are planning a vacation or you’re thinking about a vacation, be present in that.
Don’t think that the destination like getting there is gonna bring you the joy. You can relish that anticipation. And really, really enjoy it. If you’re being mindful, right? If you’re aware of your thoughts and your feelings, you can be like, oh yeah, this is the good stuff. This is where I get to enjoy anticipating this vacation.
I get to enjoy planning. I don’t know about you, but I love if you’ve been here for a minute. You know, I love to research things, so I’m like looking on all the websites, like reading all the reviews, like finding all the cool things to do that is creating. Like you’re doing that because you’re so excited and it’s fun to be excited.
So enjoy that. And don’t, don’t think that the fun part is the vacation, cuz that pre-trip anticipation is powerful. But the reality is, like I said before, Vacations are going to be 50 50 like everything else in our life. And when I say 50 50, I mean it’s gonna be half positive emotions, half negative emotions, half fun, half frustrating, half good, half, bad, half.
Everything goes to plan, and half we have to adapt. So what happens though, is it. Feels really worse when we’re on the vacation because we have all these expectations, right? The best example, of course, is the Mickey Mouse Ears Place, and it’s the happiest place on earth, right? You’re supposed to be happy there, and we have all these things that come up, like kids who are crying, kids who forgot their shoes, kids who.
You know, the lines are long, it’s hot, it’s raining. You don’t get a ticket to the ride you wanted to go on, or people are tired, the feet hurt. All kinds of things happen, but you have these really high expectations and so it seems even worse cuz you’re thinking, why is this so frustrating? We’re supposed to be happy.
So really be aware when you have those expectations of how things are supposed to go. That can be really dangerous when you’re on vacation. You have to pay attention and you gotta watch for those. You gotta catch them. They’re gonna happen. For sure. Just like one of my expectations that I’ve had to let go of when I go to places with children like that is just like, kids are gross and they are definitely gonna like pick their nose and touch all over the railings and like lick the railings and.
And you just, I’ve decided I have to just believe they’re building their immune system and it’s gonna be fine. And just drop that expectation that kids in general and my own kids will not be gross and will not touch any germs. Because in when you’re in an enclosed space with a lot of kids, There are going to be germs.
There’s also always going to be, like I said, people are tired. If you’re traveling, you are changing time zones. You’re in airports, you’re dehydrated. You know, they take your water bottle away and or you’re driving a long, long distance and you’re in other beds and everything’s outta whack, and so you’re gonna be tired.
There could be delays, there could be uncertainty, traffic. All kinds of troubles that change what happens. I had a couple examples. I recently had a friend who went to a country and they had a drone, and they got charged hundreds and hundreds of dollars for bringing that drone in. They were not aware of that.
They were very upset about that. They also had a friend who was in an accident and ended up in the hospital and it was not. Fun for them. Dealing with hospital in another country. Um, really, really difficult. Really expensive, really scary. There are lots of flights canceled. I recently just flew to. Texas for a Mastermind with the life coach school, and I was praying because I had to get back from my son’s baptism, praying that my flight wouldn’t be canceled, there wouldn’t be any drama, and I was so grateful.
Everything went pretty smoothly. But I had so many friends who had their flights canceled, who just pilots didn’t show up or whatever happened, and they just got their flight canceled and they were there for an extra day, extra hours a couple of days. One lady was just, Stuck there. That happens. And then there’s just humans.
When we’re on vacation, we kind of want everyone to behave themselves, but humans. Don’t generally, and that can be something like, for me, I, I love efficiency. So even stuff like boarding the plane when it’s kind of out of order and you always have that one person that can’t get their bag up in the, in the bin and, and everyone’s waiting behind them, that can bring up a lot of frustrations because you’re thinking, I just wanna get to my seat.
I just wanna get everyone settled. I just want to, You know, get going and you’re stuck behind the really slow person. That’s always gonna happen. But when we expect that it won’t, we’re gonna feel frustrated. So I wanna give you some tips to help you on your vacation to really unwind, right? Because that’s what most of us want.
We go on vacation cuz we wanna unwind, relax, de-stress. Have fun. But we gotta do this before, during, and after. So before, before your trip, I wanna remind you, worry is never useful. We just talked about all the things that can go wrong on a vacation. Our brain is gonna come up with all those things to worry about.
Like, what if this happens? What if that happens? Remember that is not helping you because really you can’t control a lot of those variables. You need to. Understand what you can control. Like maybe you’re worried about getting a flat tire. Well, why don’t you check your tires, you know, check your air pressure, check your tread.
Do what you can do to mitigate issues, and then move forward and make a contingency plan. Have a backup plan. Have extra things to do if your flight gets delayed. Have a plan in place for anything that you’re worrying about that’s coming up, that you’re, you’re thinking, well, what if this happens? Or what if that happens?
Make a contingency plan that really helps your brain be focused on solving the problem instead of worrying about the problem. Cuz worrying really solves nothing. Uh, it just makes you miserable before the trip. Another thing that’s really, really important is self coaching, and that’s what I teach you here is your mind is the most important thing, so you wanna be self coaching and something that can be really helpful before a trip is saying, what is my goal?
And being really aware, my goal is probably how I want to feel. And so what is the feeling you want? What are the emotions you want to create? And then how are you gonna create them? Now we create them with our thoughts. We don’t create them with a vacation. So you have to work on your thoughts, have intentional thoughts that are gonna help you prepare and be excited and be ready for anything that happens.
A few years ago we went, we rented an RV and drove across the entire United States stopping all along the way at all these, um, sites. And I remember before that trip being really worried because we’d never driven an RV and I wasn’t sure how it was gonna go, or like how grouchy the kids were gonna be, or my husband, like trying to pull into these camping spots and potentially having to back up the rv, which, I mean, people joke about the backing up the trailer, you know.
It can be tricky. Tempers can get high. And I actually got coached by my coach on this and she was like, why would you even wanna think about those things? You know, just decide what you wanna do and believe that that’s gonna happen. And really, Create the feeling you want. Like if I don’t wanna be annoyed, I can coach myself ahead of time so I’m not annoyed on the trip.
And so I can be calm and I can be in control of my emotions and the circumstances around me are not gonna control my emotions. That is so important. I also want you to plan ahead for grief waves. If you feel like going on this trip, which whatever you’re planning is going to be, emotional plan for that, what are you gonna do?
How are you gonna handle it? How are you gonna open up to it? I think that sometimes you know these places, maybe you’re going on a trip where you thought you were gonna have a baby and you had it all planned out in your head, bringing the baby along and the baby isn’t there. Or maybe you’re going to see family and you know that somebody else is pregnant in your family or whatever is going to remind you of your baby and your grief.
It’s okay to plan for that. It’s okay to take deep breaths. It’s okay to decide on purpose how you’re gonna deal with that, because if we don’t, our brain is just gonna worry about it. Again, we’re just gonna dread or worry that we might get upset or we might cry, or we might act out on our grief and not be able to handle something.
But you can totally handle it. Make it easier by planning ahead. All right, during your vacation, stay present. We gotta be where we are, you guys. This is like so hard for people these days. We are just all over the place. We’re on our phones. We’re, we’re doing all the things. We’re not being present. Be there, breathe it in.
Smell, taste, look, look around you. Enjoy where you are. Don’t be thinking about the next thing you have to do or what’s coming up, or if you’re behind schedule, all of those things. Just roll with it. Be where you are. Feel your feelings. If you’re frustrated, it’s okay. Let yourself be frustrated for a minute and know that it will pass.
If you’re enjoying it, let yourself enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty for that. I fully plan to sit on the beach and just breathe it in and be quiet and really calm my mind to not think about my kids at home and what they’re doing and like leave my phone somewhere else and just be there and breathe it all in.
All right. Be confident that you’ll figure out any bumps. This goes along with the pre-planning dread. Trust yourself. Believe this thought. I will handle any variations that happen on the strip. I can handle any bumps in the road. No problem. This and this includes dealing with other humans, dealing with other people’s decisions, and dealing with your family or whoever you’re traveling with.
You will handle whatever comes up. It’s all gonna be okay. Trust yourself. It will feel a lot better to just be really confident. So we gotta drop the expectations of the people around us to really, really let the humans be human. It is the most freeing thing. And the other thing I want you to do during your trip is execute your plan for grief waves.
You planned ahead and you, and you kind of have a plan of what you’re gonna do. If grief comes up, now, you gotta execute it right, instead of letting it take you over, instead of letting it take down your whole day or the whole trip. Take a minute to cry. Find a quiet corner. You know, breathe ground yourself.
Do whatever you plan to do to help calm your nervous system. Help calm your grief wave, or just let it be there. We’re not trying to get rid of grief. If you’re reminded of your baby on your trip, that’s fine. You got this, you can handle this. It’s not a problem at all. Something that really helps me. Like we went to Disneyland when I was pregnant with Lauren, and then we went to Disneyland the next time and after she had passed and.
I, you know, it was like I missed her. I, I wish she was there, but she wasn’t. But we went shopping for souvenirs and I found her name on a necklace and I was like, I’m just gonna get this. And I got this little thing I think it cost, it was not that expensive, even for Disneyland, you know, I under $10, just got a little necklace with her name on it and kept on moving on with my day.
And I just let myself believe, you know, she’s with us, not the way I wanted, but she’s here, you know, it was a really beautiful thing and I love it. I still have it. And don’t forget to take mental pictures again with being present. Let’s put our phones down. If you’re on vacation, be on vacation. The emails can wait.
Work can wait. Whatever’s happening can wait. I know for a fact that I’m gonna be getting. Texts and emails from the schools or with questions, but I’m making a plan to put down my kids’ schedules and give it to my in-laws, and then I’m gonna let it go. And if I miss a call, like I know they’ll figure it out.
So it’s gonna be okay. All right. After the trip, this is the part where people say, oh my gosh, I’m exhausted. The trip was so exhausting. Oh. I need a vacation from my vacation. We don’t wanna do that. We want you to take care of yourself before, during, and then after, so that it can be a pleasurable experience for you, which is the point I want you to use this phrase.
This is the part where, this is the part where I have to unpack and do lots of laundry. This is the part where nobody helps me. This is the part where the car is trashed. This is the part where somebody got sick on the trip and now I have to deal with that. Plus putting the trip all the stuff away, build in some rest, plan to rest.
I think we think that the vacation should be the restful part and we don’t plan to rest when we get home. And then we start saying to ourselves, I should be relaxed. I just went on a vacation. There’s a lot of shoulds. I want you to drop. All the shoulds. Traveling is taxing on your body. It’s taxing on your nervous system, right?
There are a lot of unknowns and variables you need to be watching for. That takes emotional energy. That’s okay. Plan ahead to take care of you. How are you gonna decompress before, during, and after? Maybe it’s a bubble bath. Maybe it’s. Like going out to lunch with your friends when you get back who, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, it’s that you’re doing it intentionally to relax and rest your mind and your body after a vacation.
Another tip is to schedule blocks of time. Like I’m gonna unpack for 45 minutes and then I’m gonna take a break, or I’m going to get this suitcase. Put away by the end of the day. Whatever it is, schedule those blocks of time and then don’t let it weigh on your mind and procrastinate, and then evaluate your grief.
How was it on the trip? What worked? What was hard? What surprised you? What could you do differently next time to help take care of you and your emotions, and then give yourself a pat on the back. I always highly recommend this. You did it. You went on vacation, you made it home, and you handled your grief and all the things that came up.
Congratulate yourself for that. Congratulate yourself for the good things that you did and that you created. Vacations are gonna be 50 50. As soon as you stop expecting them to be magical, they get a lot more fun. Coming home is also 50 50. Maybe your vacation was magical. Maybe that was the the best thing ever.
And you’re at home and you’re. In the snow. I remember like I’m from Canada, and so we would go somewhere warm and then when you would come back it was just so, so cold. It was just miserable and you’re wishing you were still at the beach or wherever. That’s okay too. It’s okay if home is not as fun as vacation.
I think that’s pretty normal, but just understand that there’s pros and cons to everything. So I have a challenge for you as we finish up this episode. I want to challenge you to think what is a trip you’ve been wanting to go on, but you’ve been putting it off, or a place you wanna go or people you wanna visit, or even something around locally like this doesn’t have to be a big fancy vacation.
Where’s somewhere you’ve wanted to go? That you just haven’t write down where you wanna go and then write down why you haven’t gone yet. All the excuses. Then find one step you can take to make it happen. Now, a lot of times we don’t travel because of money. If money is the issue, Start saving. When my husband and I celebrated our eighth anniversary, we were like, we wanna do a, a cruise or something big for our 10th anniversary.
And so we put a little automatic savings thing on our bank and so every time my husband got paid, it just put a little bit of money into a separate account. And I think most banks will do this. And honestly, we didn’t even notice it. It just automatically happened every other week. It just puts a little bit of money into this account.
Well, we have kept that going since then, and we paid for our, we went on a cruise. It was amazing and we’ve just kept that going. And then when we go on family vacations, we have that money and it’s just always there. And so you can start building it up, or you can start using your brain to think of ways to move forward with taking that vacation instead of like all the reasons you can’t do it, figure out how you can make it happen if it’s babysitters.
A lot of times this keeps us from going places. If you wanna go somewhere with your partner. And you wanna leave your kids, but you’re like terrified to leave your kids, or you don’t have anyone you trust, or you know there’s no family around that can help you or whatever it is, or you’re worried about who, who you’re gonna leave them with.
You really need to start putting feelers out there. Start thinking outside the box. What are some ways you can make this happen? And also get coaching on leaving your kids again, always in the show notes link to my consult call. But I know a lot of lost moms are really scared to leave their kids, and they feel like they can’t let go of that control, that they would not be able to enjoy being away from their kids.
But then they end up being so burned out that it’s not healthy for anyone. It’s okay to leave your kids. Like most of the time they’re gonna be just fine. And if they’re not just fine, you are gonna handle it. We only have this one life. And tomorrow is not guaranteed. We know that. So if you wanna travel, make it happen.
Know that it’s 50 50 and go have some fun. I really wanna encourage you, I really want you to know that life after loss does not have to be miserable. It can be amazing. It’s really just about being aware of what’s going on. And making intentional decisions and following through. This is something I help my clients with all the time, and you’d be amazed what can change when you sign up for coaching and learn how to do these things, how to coach yourself around all of these things and H and get support from someone who understands.
I understand. I literally think about what is gonna happen if my husband and I both die and leave our kids every time we go somewhere, even out to dinner. I think about that. But you know what? It doesn’t paralyze me. I’m fine cuz I know. Yep. That’s just my brain thinking about things that might happen and solving problems that probably aren’t gonna come true.
And then I just tell myself, yeah, it’s gonna be fine. Like everything will be fine if we both die in a car crash on our date. So I really, really thank you for being here. Uh, I love you guys and go do something fun, even if it’s just for the afternoon. Do something fun and come over to Instagram. Tell me all about it At Amy Smooth Stones Coaching, we’re gonna be talking about vacations all week, and I will be posting a little bit for my vacation, but I am trying to stay off my phone, but definitely come follow me over there.
We’ll see you next time.