When I was younger, I couldn’t understand why I got so irritable and fussy when I would come back from a vacation. I love to travel and to vacation so why the blues?? And then one day the light bulb came on and I realized that I was “re-entering”! I was coming back into real life: unpacking suitcases, washing multiple loads of laundry, restocking the pantry and refrigerator, answering phone messages, and getting back to work. It makes a woman wonder why she went on vacation in the first place!
When I can understand my feelings and put a name on it, I really begin to feel better. That is what happened when I didn’t understand why I had such a hard time coming back from vacations. Once I realized that the transition between vacation and real life can be a jolt, I started implementing some tips before I ever left that really helped me “re-enter”.
Since we are now in the month of June, and the 4th of July is this Sunday, many of you will probably be taking a vacation this summer. I hope these tips will help you re-enter better when you get home!
Action Plan: Clean your home as much as you can before you leave. I know this may drive a family crazy, but if I can return to a clean house, I feel so much better because I am already ahead of the game. I try to vacuum, change the sheets on the beds, collect all the laundry and try to wash as many clothes and towels as I have the time to do so.
The night before I leave, I clear out the refrigerator by cooking all the leftovers for our dinner. Then, I throw away anything that won’t last, wipe down the shelves of the refrigerator and take the trash out. I even try to have some food on hand for when we get back from vacation (so I don’t have to do a full grocery store run immediately) such as canned soup, cereal, and bread stored in the freezer, etc. If you need milk right away when you return home, stop by a convenience store and do your full shopping later when you feel more up to it.
I also try to empty my suitcase as soon as I get home because there is always items I need immediately and it just makes life easier the next day if everything is out: toilette items in the bathroom, dirty clothes in the laundry room, etc.
When I begin to go through all the mail, I sit down with a trash can so I can immediately throw away empty envelopes, unwanted mail, etc. This can take a long time so I plan time to get it done. And, look at your mail as soon as you possibly can. You would hate to miss an important bill or party invitation!
Manna from Heaven: When I’m stressed and I have a lot to do, it is so easy to start grumbling and complaining. But God does not want us to! He judged the Israelites when they were in the desert and they began complaining. Remember this verse the next time you want to complain:
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15.
I know that when people see us standing strong and not complaining, we are a light, an example to them. God’s power in us will give us the strength not to complain. And it shows that we are trusting God in our lives.
Emotional Check-Up: Sometimes we complain because we are depressed. In fact, depression has become almost as common as the common cold! The television is jammed with commercials for antidepressants yet psychiatrist Alex J. Mitchell, MD, of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom found that doctors missed depression 50 percent of the time. It can be tricky to figure out if you’re just a little down or depressed enough to ask for help. But when New Zealand family doctors asked 421 men and women a couple of questions, they spotted 97 percent of those suffering from depression. This quiz isn’t perfect; like other depression screening tests, it turns up lots of false positives. Consider it a doctor-patient conversation starter:
1. During the past month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
2. During the past month, have you often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?
If you answered yes to one or both questions, it’s worth talking with your doctor. The good news is that there’s a lot of help available, including counseling, exercise, gratitude journals, prayer and Bible time, and, if you need them, antidepressants. Visit your family doctor, who hopefully knows you and the circumstances of your life, especially when you may be going through hormone changes.
Healthy Fit-Fact: How well do you know your sunscreen? Most of us think that the key is to just smear it on and go. But judging from a new study, we’re probably doing it all wrong! Here are some new findings on how to best protect yourself from the sun:
1. Sunscreen must be applied 30 minutes before going outside. It takes that long for it to soak into skin and create a shield.
2. Be generous with it. One full ounce of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass, is needed to cover a bathing-suited body.
3. Pick a sunscreen with an SPF of 50. Yes, I know most of you think that is too high to get a great suntan! But if you use a 50, that’s high enough to filter out 98 percent of the sun’s UVA rays – the ones that burn your skin and have been linked to skin cancer. And you will still get a nice tan.
4. Check the ingredients. Look for 3 percent avobenzone paired with octocrylene. Or choose a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. NOTE: My favorite sunscreen for my face is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock. It is the #1 dermatologist recommended and I use it under my make-up all year long. I also love Coppertone Sport Breathable Sunscreen because it is sweatproof and waterproof and contains the above ingredients.
5. Apply often. As mentioned above, you need to put it on 30 minutes before going outside but remember to reapply every two hours.