Maybe you were intrigued by “Making the Most of your Spa Vacation,” but aside from the obvious attractions of warm weather, adventure, relaxation, good wine and lots of laughs with friends, there are even better reasons to go.

According to Dan Gill, psychotherapist, The Family Institute at Northwestern, there are four compelling reasons to take that trip:

  1. You need a physical and mental break! Research indicates that women who work full-time still perform the majority of domestic duties inside the home, including care of the children. Fun and rest are needed.
  2. You need “role relief.” Many women, especially non-career women, report fears that the house will “fall into shambles” should they leave for a week. The healing of “role relief” will likely outweigh whatever damage happens in your absence!
  3. You can enjoy practicing self-care and at the same time model it for your children.
  4. You need good friends to reflect back your strengths and nourish you emotionally. Your busy life, allows for a short walk with a friend. A weekend away lets you bond in a deeper way.

Who and Where

Of course your closest friends come to mind but consider someone you want to know better. Vacations are a great way to bond with a newer friend or rekindle an old friendship. Don’t worry if all your personalities aren’t the same, your experience will be richer with each contribution.

The right resort will offer adventure for some and relaxation for others. Everyone can get out of the trip what she wants, and you can share at mealtime.

The Logistics

While planning for the weekend may seem like more work than the trip is worth, once you are hanging with your friends, your cares will melt away and you’ll wonder why you didn’t take this trip sooner.

Here are a few suggestions from local moms who have enjoyed fun weekends with friends:

  • Lean on your carpools to relieve your husband or sitter. Let them know you are happy to reciprocate when they travel.
  • Stock the fridge with the basics. Cut up fruits and veggies and have them at the ready. Make meal suggestions.
  • Have a master schedule for your husband or sitter.
  • If you have boys, hype the weekend as a “guys weekend”—it’s a great opportunity for the “men” to bond.
  • Keep phone contact to a minimum unless there is an emergency. Make a plan to call once a day at a set time, and stick to it.
  • Assign kids a few extra chores to keep the house clean—laundry, vacuuming, garbage and recycling duties, and emptying the dishwasher.
  • Don’t sweat the small things. As long as your children eat, sleep and are safe while you are gone, that is enough. If they don’t make it to soccer practice or don’t finish homework one night, it’s not the end of the world.
  • Know that your kids are learning to operate independently. They will be forced to make a few of their own decisions like what to wear, eat or when to do their homework. This is a good thing.

Take that indulgent weekend away with friends. Round up your group, pick the destination, then commit to the date. With a little planning, your family will send you off with hugs and kisses, and greet you with deeper appreciation for all that you do.

 

Photo: Woman on the beach, Bigstock