• Jolene Roehlkepartain

Taking a Vacation During the Pandemic

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

We need to take a break. From work. From the routines. From the pandemic.

How are you getting away—by not getting away?

I’ve observed people doing all kinds of activities: taking a driving vacation, staying home, and not taking a vacation at all (because getting away isn’t possible during a pandemic).

“Many people see vacation as being equal to traveling. I do not agree with this,” says clinical psychologist Jessica de Bloom in The Washington Post. “The key to vacationing is mental disengagement from work for a prolonged period to have beneficial recovery experiences.”

How do you get away, though, when you literally can’t get away?

Researchers say to embrace DRAMMA: Detachment, Relaxation, Autonomy, Mastery, Meaning, and Affiliation to choose the best leisure activities. That means, finding activities not connected to work and your typical routine. It’s about discovering activities that give you a break from the demands and let you relax in satisfying ways.

During a pandemic, it also means taking a break from the relentless news and from the long list of worries and fears that have accumulated along the way. When I take my vacation (by not leaving my home except to walk during non-busy times), I will be challenged to find activities that truly give me a break, that relax me, and that give my life meaning and purpose.

Unlike previous vacations where I’ve made all kinds of plans, this one will be the opposite. I won’t necessarily know what I’ll discover as I take this new kind of vacation. The main goal will be to completely unplug, unwind, and untangle myself from the demands of work and worry.

I’m looking forward to seeing what transpires.

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