We just returned from a week at the beach. As most readers know, we are a house divided in many ways – our basketball loyalties, interest/disinterest in cars, and our personality types.
The guys in our family are extroverts. They love doing new things, being social, etc. The gals are firm introverts. This difference is one we have come to accept during family vacations, and I am proud that we have come to a place where we can be who we are without any apologies.
The guys want to be out on the beach all day. And not just sitting and enjoying the ocean. They like to boogie board, take walks, throw the frisbee.
The girls like to sit under the umbrella, protected from the fierce sun, and read (or listen) to a good book. We also like to take walks but more leisurely ones where we are looking to collect sea shells.
Making these personality differences even more pronounced is the teen girl’s dislike of being away from her social network for an entire week. Keep in mind that she is still connected via social media, but the idea of going away with just her family for a week is no longer the most desirable way to spend her time. My best running friend who has an adult girl now suggested we let her bring along a friend next time to make it more fun. A necessary step at this age, apparently. The boy teen is thankfully still happy hanging out at the beach with his family.
By Wednesday of our vacation week, the fellow teen girl introvert and I decided we needed some self-care. Here are some things we did that you might also find helpful.
- Take breaks. We opted out of some afternoons by the ocean. It took some explaining to the husband that we were not unhappy by staying inside and having some quiet time. We were all happy, just in different ways.
- Don’t always do everything as a whole group. It is ok to opt out of an activity.
- Have set activities (but not all) that are expected for everyone. Some times giving the option to opt out means that it becomes the default choice. The point of a family vacation is to spend time together, right?
- Shorten the stay. We actually did this for one of the extroverts in our family. The husband was not sleeping well with the pillows at our rental, so we headed home the afternoon before we were scheduled to leave.
The goal of a family vacation is for everyone to have fun. This means that everyone has to be honest about their personalities, sleep habits, need for interactions with their peers, etc. I love our family and how we can be honest with one another. It keeps our brains and hearts happy.
What do you do to stay happy during family vacations? Any other self-care tips to share? Please comment, like and share!