Summer is here, and it’s time to enjoy fun in the sun! But do we really enjoy summer vacations?

My husband and I just returned from the mountains, and let me just say that I really needed that break. But I didn’t know how much I needed the break until we got there. The peace of being in the mountains and listening to the river flow was so energizing!

I actually slowed down. My friend and I went shopping, and I noticed I was not rushing. I realized that my life is one big rush. I run to this meeting or that meeting or this church event or this game or this errand. WHEW! It had become to be quite overwhelming.

But while in the mountains, I practiced my yoga with the beautiful sound of waterfalls in the background. I meditated with the whisper of a faint breeze in my ear. I barely had any “busy” thoughts. That was definitely different, because my brain constantly has thoughts. All I did was rest and cook. My husband and I sat by the river and listened to nature. We rarely get to those opportunities, and we enjoyed and appreciated every moment.

Upon my return, I chatted with a few friends, and many of them were worn out from their vacations. I looked perplexed, because vacations, I thought, were designed to get away from the pressures of life and rest. Well, many of them went to amusement parks or other adventure places. But the phrase that grabbed my attention was “I need a vacation from my vacation.”

What? Why?

Are we really taking care of ourselves during our getaways? I am guilty, too. My husband told me that he used to hate when the kids were small and we were on family vacations, because I would have itineraries. Now I go with the flow. I just appreciate the much-needed rest and relaxation.

The goal is always to spend quality time with our families and create memories. But we cannot forget ourselves, the parents who take of families. There are several pressures that happen throughout the year, and we must take advantage of the design of vacation. It is a time to put aside those pressures and do the things that are important to us.

As caregivers, we tend to put the needs of everyone before ourselves. Even vacations are about making sure everyone else has fun!

For next year’s vacation, plan a day of your vacation for you! Schedule spa days or walks on the beach. Or even plan moments of complete stillness.

The goal is not to return home with an attitude, “I need a vacation from the vacation,” but to feel rejuvenated for the next tasks.

Happy summer!

Jennifer Robinson is a wife and mother of three. She enjoys traveling, writing, and spending time with family and friends. Jennifer can be reached at empoweredtoheal@gmail.com.