How I spent my summer holidays

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 10 September 2019

As many of you know I took the month of August off.

This is the third year in a row that I have done this and if you want to dive a little deeper into the why behind it, you can read my previous posts on the topic (One way I prioritize my health).

You would think that each year would get easier, but this year was actually the most difficult.

Let me tell you why.

I didn't have a plan.

For someone who is a little type A, very organized, likes to stick to a schedule, likes to accomplish things, and cross things off my list, no plan = uncomfortable.

I wasn't going away on a trip.

That meant I had to learn how to relax and disconnect without leaving town. Lack of distance from work = uncomfortable.

I was alone.

I didn't have a significant other, friends, or family that I was going to be traveling with. Feeling alone = uncomfortable.

I had too many options available to me.

This is a hurdle that plagues us all in many areas of life. In fact, studies have shown that when people have too many choices of a particular product eg. mustard at the grocery store, they end up buying none of them versus if they only had two or three choices. Large number of choices = uncomfortable.

So how did I overcome some of my staycation challenges?

  • I narrowed down my options by making a list of things I might want to do. This allowed me to have a loose plan.
  • I tried to say yes to anyone who invited me to do something with them. In the past I would assume people are just inviting me to be polite, not because they actually want to spend time with me. I realize now how messed up this sounds, but I think we all have these messed up stories running around in our heads, and it's better to identify them than to ignore them. Now I had the opportunity to follow through on an invitation and see how a different action might reduce the feeling of "being alone" and improve my overall happiness.
  • I gave myself permission to be unproductive. This one was really hard and made me feel anxious, but I believe overcoming fear is how we grow.
  • I picked a couple of books that I wanted to read, just like I would if I was going away on vacation. This helped mimic "going away" even though I would be reading on my back deck instead of a hotel pool or Air BnB.
  • I rarely went on my computer.
  • I avoided stopping in at the office.
  • I tried to take a picture of the things I was doing just like I would on a travelling vacation.

Now that my staycation is over I have to say it was a success, but not in the way I thought it would be.

I realized I really enjoy travelling and it's not something that I should deprive myself from. I realized when you say yes to invitations and follow-through it can improve your happiness more than if you just stayed in your comfort zone. I realized that your self-worth should not be derived solely from what you do, but who you are.

Enjoy some of the pics of my staycation below!

Now I would love to hear from you! Have you taken a staycation? What did you do or what did you learn? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!"

4 Replies to “How I spent my summer holidays”

Judy Van Huizen

Thank you for sharing so openly. You put into words a few things I have been feeling.

Jane Prudhomme

Looks like you had fun in the sun. Staying local allows you to take in the beauty of the Quinte and Prince Edward County areas, as well as day-cations. Reading on your back deck allows you to enjoy your home and garden space.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You are welcome Judy 🙂

Arch Williams

Hey Doc I to a staycation all summer in fact I’m on an exstanded staycation on my 100 AC camp where I’m building a new home/hobby farm I love working with my hands especially outdoors I have an excavator for moving earth and a sawmill to cut my own lumber and let me tell you there’s nothing like the smell of freshly cut lumber I truly believe environment play’s a big part in our daily lives try a walk in the forest then imagine living there thanks Doc see you next appointment and K2 u

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