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Ask Jess: Managing overwhelm, planning travel during uncertain times, how we choose our next vacations, and more!

Managing overwhelm, planning travel during uncertain times, how we choose our next vacations, and more!

Neal and I on our camping/hiking trip to the Badlands! 

We’re back today with another Ask Jess! Let’s dive into four more reader questions 🙂 I chose two that were geared toward vacation specifically because we’ve hit the point in the January deep freeze where I am LOSING MY MIND. I know we just got back from Mexico but…I can’t stop thinking about warm weather! You too?

Ask Jess: Managing overwhelm, planning travel during uncertain times, how we choose our next vacations, and more!

How do you handle moments when you’re stressed and overwhelmed? 

I have a whole blog post with tips on that very subject right here! I think the biggest one for me is to write everything down–a brain dump of everything I can think of that needs to get done. Somehow just getting it out all on paper makes me feel better, because the list in my head is always more daunting than in reality. Then, being able to divvy things up, prioritize, shift things around physically on paper always seems to make it more manageable.

Additionally, if I’m overwhelmed because I’ve overcommitted myself (less likely in our current climate), then cancelling plans, or saying no to plans (even if I really want to go!) if I really need a break. I’ve gotten good at saying, “I’m really overwhelmed right now and I just need a quiet night at home to decompress–can we reschedule for a different time?” and everyone is always really understanding! I think just being honest is really important. If your friends or family aren’t understanding and uncaring about your mental health, maybe it’s time to reassess that relationship?

How do you choose your next vacation destination? 

I feel like I have a list that is miles long of all the places I want to visit and things I want to do! Some things we consider when narrowing down a vacation destination:

  • How long of a vacation do we want to take? (This narrows down destinations by how long it takes to get to and from and how long we need in a given location!)
  • How much are we wanting to spend? Not just dollar amount but considering–is this a romantic splurge trip? Or a fun adventure trip? A mix of both?
  • What kind of experience do we want to have? Do we want warm weather or do we care about weather? Do we want to be outdoorsy in that we go camping/hiking or outdoorsy in that we drink rosĂ© on terraces?
  • Are there any really cool places we’ve seen on social media that have caught our eye lately? A specific place we’ve been dying to go? Is there a hotel/experience that is sealing the deal for us? (For example, we narrowed down Mallorca as our winning beach destination for our Spain trip after lots of Instagram stalking–and I found Cap Rocat after seeing Julia’s trip!)
  • How easy is this to plan? How much time do we have to dedicate to it? (Or are we willing to hire someone to help us plan it?) Do we want somewhere new, or are we craving to go back to somewhere familiar?

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Pre June and Post June! 

I don’t think my hobbies changed at all pre-June and post-June! (How much time I have to spend on them, yes but the hobbies themselves–no. I do consider all of these things forms of “self care” that keep me sane though. So I’ve continued to prioritize them in motherhood, because that’s so important!)

I love to read and have always been a big reader.

I usually try to go to bed early and read for 30 minutes or an hour or so before bed! WWII Historical Fiction is my favorite genre but I usually throw in a lighter beachy-type read, and a mystery or two into the mix! (Lots of book posts here if you need new reading reccos!)

I also learned how to play the ukulele during quarantine (my pandemic hobby).

And I still love to play/sing, which I don’t get around to doing AS much with June, but I usually find time to practice and play on the weekends! Teaching myself how to play (with lots of Youtube tutorials!) is one thing I’m so proud of–I have always sang (was in choir all throughout childhood) and I always wanted to learn to play an instrument. It proves it’s never too late to pursue something you’ve always wanted to do! I also love that June LOVES it. (I swear it’s because I played so much when I was pregnant!) It’s so cute. She lights up when anyone sings to her and loves music in general!

I also love going on long walks, another thing I picked up during the pandemic.

(I don’t know what I would’ve done when I was pregnant and when June was tiny–it was my sanity saver. In fact, I used to walk up to 6 miles a day!) I do less walking now in the winter because it’s freezing/icy here, but this is something I love even more with June. Walks are so much more special now with her in the babybjorn! If she’s having a cranky day, it’s often the one surefire way to get her to stop fussing–she loves to walk, so that really works in my favor, haha!

What’s your approach on planning travel right now when things are so uncertain? 

First, obviously approach travel responsibly. (IE getting vaccinated, boosted, testing right before you leave, before you return, and after you come back!) Second, reading the fine print and ensuring whatever you’re booking can be canceled or rescheduled. Doing your research to know what the restrictions, if any, are wherever you’re trying to visit, etc.  At this point, the tourism industry is really hurting everywhere–they need business! So for the most part, companies make it quite easy to cancel or reschedule should you need to without additional fees.

Another thing to consider is using a travel planner/travel agent, who will be up to speed on the ever-changing rules/regulations wherever you’re going, and be there to help you pivot if needed. I highly recommend working with Whitney! She was super helpful and so knowledgeable on our trip to Paris and I felt like we were all in great hands should we need to pivot to plan B, C, etc.

That’s all for now! Thanks for all who submitted questions, as always, and hope you have a great rest of your day!