With it being in the middle of the summer holiday season, I wanted to discuss the problems and some coping methods for stress, anxiety, depression and even relationships during this period.
When you are feeling in a bad place the feelings don’t just disappear because you are spending time by the sea or resting more. Whilst it can be helpful, allowing you to unwind more than usual and having a change of scenery can be very refreshing for the mind, holidays can create new difficulties.
These are some of the triggers to watch out for and ideas on how to help yourself through them:
Loneliness – holidays may be a reminder of this, but there are specialised holidays for the solo traveller that could be considered. Also, you can feel lonely whilst with others, sometimes spending more time than you would usually with family or friends can create anxiety and tension. Compromise is helpful here, and having some time apart from your nearest and dearest to pursue your own interest may be something to consider. There’s nothing to say you can not do your own thing whilst away as well as being together as relationship and couple counselling often suggests.
The pressure of perception – the hyped up media images of holidays, everybody having the time of their lives, can seem rather daunting to those not feeling so good or suffering with depression, disability or financial problems. There is also a worry that you may spoil the time away for others, or just not feeling the excitement can cause extra worry. Again, taking some you time each day will help and remember the media is largely made up and many people find holidays stressful in some ways. Also remind yourself that this holiday does not have to be perfect, it is about relaxing and enjoying yourself as opposed to living up to some great expectation.
Financial pressure – can you actually afford the holiday you are going on? Or have you added it to mounting credit card debt? Debt counselling suggests some pre planning here would be useful, find ways to budget ahead and holidays can be achieved on most budgets. Self catering and last minute deals can be a more affordable option.
Food and alcohol consumption – if you are already struggling with issues with eating and drinking, then the “all inclusive” options and cheap prices abroad can be very daunting. As are buffet, help yourself, eat and drink as much as you want services. Some ahead of the time thinking would be beneficial, what can you do to make wiser choices? Think about what coping strategies you use in your everyday life and apply these also whilst away.
Away from routine – this can really throw some people out, especially if you get very anxious or have obsessive rituals. Making time to relax is very important and you can use techniques such as mindfulness very easily in any situation. Apps can be downloaded and used on your phone. If this is especially problematic for you, plan ahead, so that you know what you will be doing and when which should help to reduce feelings of panic. Maybe treat yourself to a massage whilst away? Many hotels and apartments provide this service.
Remember if you really struggle whilst away, it won’t last forever and you will be back on home ground soon and the holiday will soon be a distant memory. There are always emergency helplines like Samaritans that can be used if necessary. Hopefully these won’t be needed and you will enjoy spending some time away and come back feeling more refreshed. You can always speak to use here at Leicestershire Counselling.