April Jeppson: How do I keep the calm from vacation with me?

Published 8:45 pm Friday, March 25, 2022

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Every time I come back from a vacation, I try really hard to bring a little of it back with me.

When you’re on vacation, time slows down a bit. Things that once felt very important, no longer are. Your stress decreases and your ability to just go with the flow increases. I can almost guarantee that my blood pressure lowers every time I step away from my normal day-to-day tasks.

April Jeppson

When I’m on vacation and my phone rings, I’m more than likely not going to answer it. If I’m playing a board game or enjoying a moment, I just continue on enjoying my time. Then, when I’m available and have some free time, I’ll check my phone. Answer any messages that need my attention and make any necessary call backs. When I’m done, I will put my phone back down and walk away. Zero regret or anxiety that I might be missing something.

It’s easy to fall into the trap that you have to answer your phone or email as soon as possible. Granted, depending on your job or your life situation, there will always be times when it is imperative to provide fast communication. However, most of the time, things can wait a little bit. It’s almost better, especially in a work situation. If I don’t get back to a co-worker soon enough, they usually have reached out to others and solved the problem without me.

I have found that most things that feel urgent, in fact, are not. We as a society like to brag about how busy and important we are. Oh, I have to answer that call because it could be so and so. I need to respond to this right away because someone has a question at work. But it’s not just easy access to technology that adds unnecessary stress to our lives. For me it’s also just the day-to-day problems I have to solve.

As a mother, wife, employee and as a member of the community, I’m asked questions and presented with problems all day, every day. For the most part, they are easy and require little effort. But sometimes, especially when accompanied with an unhappy tone of voice, they become difficult situations to navigate.

Most of us know what it feels like to deal with an angry customer, or crabby pre-teen. If I’m walking on sunshine, without a care in the world and my child is sassy, my response is always so calm and in control. However, if I’m stressing out over something else, my remarks to my child will often be less than stellar. So how do I hold on to that beach vacation mode so I can pull it out of my pocket when I need it?

I’ve only been back for a week, so I’m still working on that answer. I do know that in order for me to stay vacation calm, I need to take some time to myself every day. Whether it be looking at beach photos, or listening to a particularly awesome song, a few minutes of intentional focus in the morning goes a long way.

So if you call or text me and I don’t answer right away, don’t fret. I promise I’m not screening my calls or avoiding you. I’m just putting my phone down for a bit so I can enjoy the 51 weeks out of the year when I’m not on vacation. 

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.