Squeezing rest into your summer

by Kathy Kuhl

A trip is not always a vacation. Whether you’re taking the kids to Grandma’s, driving the family to the mountains, or  going to a conference, it can be hard to find time to rest.

And you need it even more! Just like at home, if you don’t snatch a few moments here and there to rest, it’s harder to deal well with the pressures of travel.

Even travel to a beautiful place you love can be stressful. Maybe at your family reunion,  Aunt Kate just doesn’t get that your child really has dyslexia and wants to drill her on spelling words each afternoon. Maybe the camping trip you’ve looked forward to for weeks has not only beautiful views, but pollen that you didn’t know you and your son are allergic to.

And that’s assuming all goes well with logistics, meals, and transportation.

So look to make mini-vacations on each trip or vacation. For example, last month, I had the privilege of attending the SCORRE conference in Orlando–four long, intense excellent days of training in public speaking at a pleasant hotel with great food.

I was glad to be there, but it was no vacation. And I needed to pace myself. So I went outside during the coffee break. (Fresh air helps.)  I found a spot next to the pool (that I didn’t have time to go in) next to the fake waterfall by the jacuzzi (that I didn’t have time to soak in). I turned a chair so that I could see as much green and as little concrete as possible, and I could hear the waterfall. I put my feet up and had the most refreshing ten minutes of the day.

When our kids were small, and we traveled across the country to visit grandparents, I treated myself to a new, small needlecraft project to work on while we adults chatted in the evenings. I’d bring favorite books (always too many, but I like have choices) and keep them handy to snatch up when I had a few minutes.

The first time we took our first child to the beach, she loved it. But she also loved the white gravel driveway where we stayed. So I let her stop and play with the white gravel.

Stop and enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a gorgeous Hawaiian sunset, a breathtaking view of the lake at dawn. Enjoy the fireweed growing along the trail.

What’s your favorite way to get a mini-break while traveling?

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