As soon as Christmas is over it seems, we’re inundated with holiday adverts on TV and in the media to entice us away.
The lure of a holiday, to ‘get away from it all’, is so appealing, especially after the pandemic. We all could do with a break after the two years of disruption we’ve had. But if you’re constantly thinking “I need a holiday”, there may be a lot more going on under the surface.
Before you dash off and book that break in the sun, it might be worth taking a look at what else might be going on. There may be things in your life that are getting you down, that no expensive holiday can fix. It might be worth asking yourself a few questions, to reflect on what’s really happening in your life.
By digging a little deeper, you might find some surprising things you didn’t know about yourself. Things that help you see the real reason you’re yearning for a holiday.
So you keep thinking “I need a holiday”.
Well, what’s really going on in your life that you need a break from?
Try reflecting on the following questions:
1. Do you feel exhausted in your everyday life?
Maybe your lifestyle is exhausting you. Too little sleep, too much junk food or alcohol, not enough exercise. It’s hard to make positive choices if you’re feeling weighed down by life itself. Too many responsibilities, and not enough support, can mean we feel exhausted before the day has even begun.
2. Are you unhappy at work?
Have you been taking on too much at work – doing extra hours just to keep up. Perhaps you’re new in the job and you’ve been trying extra hard to impress, but still feeling unappreciated.
Maybe your colleagues are being mean to you. People can be very insensitive and sometimes cruel, and office ‘banter’ can quickly feel toxic. If you don’t have backup or support in place, even to help you process your feelings, you might dread going in to work.
Perhaps you deserve a promotion, but you’ve been let down time after time as other people (less qualified than you) climb that career ladder ahead of you.
3. Are you bored with your life?
If you’re doing the same thing day in and day out, with very little fun or excitement, that can become boring very quickly. Your responsibilities might mean you have limited time or resources to do anything different.
Perhaps you’ve been doing the same job for so many years that it no longer holds interest or challenge for you. Maybe you’ve stopped doing hobbies that you used to enjoy, which has stripped the vitality and meaning out of your life.
4. Are your children making unreasonable demands on you?
As your children grow up, their demands seem to increase rather than decrease. If your teenage children expect you to be on hand at all times, being a taxi service and general ‘gofer’, that can be exhausting.
If they’re going through a difficult time, they might ‘act out’, or have emotional outbursts. Dealing with those can be very draining if you’re the one left to pick up the pieces. It can be hard enough to manage your own ‘stuff’ without theirs adding to your burden.
Your young adult children might need more of you than you’re able to give. They might need your time or energy that’s a big squeeze on your available resources. Being available to support their emotional needs can be a big strain on you, especially if you find it hard to set limits.
5. Are your caring responsibilities becoming too much?
When your ageing parents are needing more of your attention, it can be a huge strain on your time, energy and resources. Apart from the logistical challenges of helping out, there’s an emotional burden too. If you’ve had a difficult relationship with them, or if they were critical or manipulative, their influence may still be taking its toll on you.
If you’re the only one helping out then that’s an extra burden. You may have siblings who theoretically could help out. But if you’ve traditionally been the one who steps in to help, it can be hard to break that habit.
6. Is your relationship stressing you out?
You might be feeling unseen, unappreciated, and the one who is putting in all the effort. If you’ve been in the relationship for a while you might be getting tired of having your boundaries broken time after time. Living with a partner who takes you for granted, who breaks promises, who doesn’t meet your needs, who refuses to change and adapt. Pretending everything is ok and denying your needs is exhausting.
7. Are you lonely?
Sometimes the idea of a holiday is enticing because it’s an opportunity to meet new people. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, we still need the support of friends to fulfil our emotional and social needs. If your social circle is small or unfulfilling, you might secretly yearn for more, or deeper, connections with people. Loneliness can creep up on you without you realising it.
What “I need a holiday” really means for you.
Whatever answers you found, there are probably things in your life that need to change. Ways you might be sabotaging yourself, boundaries you need to enforce, new hobbies or experiences you want to have.
It might be time to re-evaluate your life, and make some changes, so you can be happier and more fulfilled (and really feel the benefits of your next holiday!)
If you need help figuring this out, I might be able to help. Let’s have a conversation and find out if coaching would be a good next step for you.