Here’s to vacation

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By Susan Mikula, social work technician

Vacations are an important part of good mental health. It is an opportunity to have a break from the everyday routine, to have the opportunity for a change and to try or see something new.

A vacation has different meanings to different people. It can imply leaving town and travelling by plane or car, for long periods of time, or short, taking mini-getaways and/or day trips. A vacation can also mean staying at home and being able to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of it, perhaps to even “catch up” on things.

Nonetheless we all need it. We asked the kids for their thoughts on it.

My daughter said, “Because it will be a sleepover somewhere new, it’ll be fun, nice, and beautiful. There will be different toys and we’ll try not to be too loud.” Interestingly, she then walked over to her brother and rubbed his head. He acknowledged it and reciprocated her sentiments with a smile. Interestingly, her good feeling had rippled over to her brother and then to mommy, who enjoyed their interaction and good behaviour. We can see the impact that our mood and emotions have on others.

Then we asked my son for his thoughts on vacation, he said, “Better than the weather here. It’ll be fun. We’ll get to do lots of stuff, play in the sand. There’ll be new stuff to do and new people to meet.”

Both have voiced vacation time as being an adventure, something exciting and fun. It seems that thoughts of it generated positive attitudes and energy, as they continued to play harmoniously.

Any downside? The downside to a vacation, my daughter said, “Maybe we’ll be bored.” My son said, “The arguing in the car and that’s really the only thing, Mom.” Yes, the bickering would be bothersome and annoying but the change and vacation spirit can also reduce it, as I saw while they played well together while discussing the topic of vacation. For many the downside to a vacation would be financial concerns. It does not have to cost too much; it’s more about your mindset. A vacation can be defined as you choose it. Maybe a trip down to a tropical island isn’t feasible, but there are various vacation options. Try talking to others for ideas and be creative. The other downside would be our expectations that things “should be a certain way; of course perfect, and great.” Life is full of challenges to learn from and keeping in mind our good mental health, how about trying to “go with the flow,” remembering to be flexible as things can change on short notice? Make the most of it, realizing certain things are out of our control, no matter what. Take the opportunity to indulge in the experience. Enjoy the opportunity to rejuvenate, whenever and wherever you go, and with whatever you choose to do.

Tri-County Mental Health Services

For more information or to receive the French version of this article, or to seek professional advice, please call 613-932-9940 or 1-800-465-8061. Free, confidential services are available in French and English to residents of Dundas, Stormont and Glengarry through their offices in Winchester, Cornwall and Alexandria.

Keeping Health in Mind is a monthly newspaper column made possible with the help of Seaway News and the clinical staff of Tri-County Mental Health Services, a community program of the Cornwall Community Hospital/Hôpital Communautaire de Cornwall.

Organizations: Tri-County Mental Health Services, Seaway News, Cornwall Community Hospital/Hôpital Communautaire de Cornwall

Geographic location: Dundas, Winchester, Alexandria

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