Surviving The Long Weekend

Long weekends are supposed to be fun, right?

Long weekends are supposed to be relaxing, right?

Long weekends are supposed to let you recharge, right?

Then how come I get so stressed leading up to it and have such a hard time relaxing once I’m there?

I have a feeling that I’m not alone in this feeling. We spend so much time making lists, gathering supplies, tying up loose ends, aiming to get 5 days of work into 4 and that’s before the packing starts. Throw a couple of toddlers into the mix and instead of leaving at 12 as planned, before you know it, it’s 4pm and you’re still not out the door!

This year has been filled with a lot of jammed packed weekends. We’ve had a lot of out of town markets, single day trips to the lake and a wedding in Banff just last weekend. Over the course of each trip, I’ve been able to get progressively better at finding ways to recharge, relax and have some fun while I’m away. This upcoming long weekend I’m on the road again. So here’s what I’m going to do to make this trip even better than the last.

  1. Stock up on road snacks! We all like to munch on the road but gas station stops are full of garbage that definitely don’t let my body recharge. This last year my go to place for healthy, crunchy snacks is actually Home Sense. The snacks are never consistent but they usually end up having some tired mangos, banana chips, snack bars and chips that have simple, clean ingredients. Even with crazy family allergies, we usually always manage to find more than a few treats and always something new. Being prepared with the right food is huge. I love food and munching but I want to choose wisely and make sure that it’s giving me the satisfaction of road snacks without the physical or mental lag that most traditional snack food gives me. I also find that setting the standard for food with those first snacks always trickles down to how I choose to eat for the rest of the trip.
  2. Schedule phone time and non-phone time. I’m pretty attached to my phone and I can easily spend an entire road trip checking emails, scrolling instagram and wasting time. The thing is, it never actually relaxes me. What relaxes me way more is conversations with my man and staring out the window. The same is true for when we arrive at our destination except instead of staring out the window, I enjoy staring directly into the wilderness. The problem is I still need to check my phone now and then. Instead of totally unplugging, I’ve allotted myself 20min chunks of time to check my phone, send emails, see what’s going on in the Facebook world etc and when it’s up, the phone gets put away for an hour or so.
  3. Laugh and then laugh some more. Having 2 kids, I find myself constantly saying no, threatening time outs and getting frustrated at the fact that no matter where we are they are dirty in 5 min. This never feels good and is totally exhausting. The thing is, they are just kids and yes, I have to tell them not to do certain things to keep them safe but I can also just sit back and be entertained by them just being kids! Kids are funny… really, really funny. When I allow myself to be more relaxed I can have so much more fun watching them and playing with them. Over the last month I’ve been slipping into this mindset a lot more often and it’s amazing how it can help me get to a relaxed, recharged state instead of the typical exhausted, overwhelmed stereotypical parent state.

These three tips are pretty basic and just a glimpse of how I’ve revamped my road trips so that I can come feeling more relaxed and recharged while telling people how much fun I had… even on a work trip. I wrote this blog as a way to get you to think about ways that you can make a small shift in the way you “do” road trips. Nothing that I’ve changed was hard but it did take some self reflection. The first reflection was noticing the low grade stress I was carrying before during and after road trips. The second was a deeper reflection into the simple changes I can make that could drastically improve the feel during and after the trip. So what do you want to do?

Have Fun, Get Some Relaxation In And Come Back Recharged!

Happy August Long!