How NOT to be disappointed with your summer holidays

I have to admit: I don’t like summer that much (reverse SAD, anyone?) but I always look forward to it. The reason is simple: long holidays! There is, however, one thing that creeps into the back of my mind. The high hopes, the great expectations, the emotional burden that surround this holiday season.

If you go on holiday to some exciting destination, these expectations rise tenfold. A quiet, well organised hotel. A view to the sea. Tropical beaches. Carefree time away from work. Reality can often be different though: you end up tucked away in a modest apartment overlooking some alley or car park, overcrowded beaches, your colleagues or boss calling you on the phone or emailing you three times a day for advice. If this is the case, don’t let these things ruin your holidays. And this is so important I need to emphasise it more: Do not let anything ruin your holidays.

It can be one tiny little thing like a dirty hotel room,or -even a holiday destination completely different from what you had been expecting. But you have to think: how bad can it be? You are not at work, you are free. Is a small nuisance worth giving up on what you had been waiting for for the last couple of months? Of course not. This is why it is important to be prepared for these kind of disappointments and unpleasant surprises before you travel. And when you get there, deal with them like a pro: see if you can be transferred to a new room, make the most of your different options (surely there must be some secluded beaches and crowded ones to cater for every taste — you just need to ask the locals!)

If you get bombarded with emails, set a time every day to deal with them, but try to do this only once a day (early afternoon before your siesta or early evening before going out sound like ideal moments to do this!) So, once again: Do not let anything or anyone ruin your holidays.

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Of course, there are those of us who prefer to stay home during the holiday season. I always find it a good opportunity to do some creative work away from the stress of my job and my everyday routine. For those of you who happen to stay home, think of it like this: staying at home does not mean you won’t have a good time. Use it as a chance to do what you like most, because you know this is the time when you are allowed to do it even better. Why is that? Well, you have tons of free time to begin with.

And there’s more: have you ever considered that when you break free from your everyday routine, you put yourself in a different mindset? It can take some time, but gradually your brain will adjust to this. You can be more creative, develop your hobbies or passions more intensely, let yourself enjoy every single moment. And this is the most crucial thing: never, never think that your time is running out. This can be depressing and stall your creativity. If you fall into this trap, just try to think positively: time does run out quickly when we are enjoying ourselves. This is why a regular weekday seems to drag on and on endlessly when we have to deal with a boring job. It’s really that simple, you don’t need a PhD in psychology to realise this. Why let yourself be unhappy then?

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