But what about staying with friends and family? Do I have to be psychically protected there?
ABSOLUTELY!! Perhaps to an even greater degree than while at a rental property.
Why? Here are a few examples:
- The Host’s Routines – When staying friends and family, it is important to remember that you are the one on vacation, not them. Their life continues. They still have chores to do, they may have to go to work and most importantly they have their routines. Sometimes those routines don’t align with your own. For example, say you are a morning dove but they are night owls. You may feel uncomfortable getting up and roaming around THEIR house while they are still asleep. This may cause you to feel cooped up and anxious. Additionally, you may feel obligated to stay up with them even though you are exhausted leaving you cranky.
- The Host’s “House Rules” – We all have our way of approaching situations and expectations on how a guest will behave. Those approaches and expectations don’t always align between host and guest. This can be challenging. For example, I tend to be a little bit of a neat freak. I like everything to have its home and am constantly cleaning up after myself. A friend would come to visit and her stuff would be strewn from one end of the house to another. Drove me bonkers. And probably her too because I’m sure my annoyance showed. I have had to learn to not let it bother me and let her have the mess. She is after-all, out of her element. To have an enjoyable visit I have to allow her to be her. Not all hosts are comfortable doing that. Even I’m not always.
- Your Expectations as a Guest – Similar to the host’s “house rules,” the guest also has their expectations and routines. The guest can get annoyed when they are respected. For example, when my daughter was just about three months old we visited my in-laws. I was nursing. She rarely got a bottle. If she was it was breast milk. Following our routine I laid down between her 9pm and midnight feeding. One night, Baby Girl got cranky around 11pm and started crying. Knowing our routine and that I was tired, my husband tried to comfort her. Unfortunately, my in-laws freaked out and started criticizing our parenting style and insisting that we give her a bottle. Since breast milk was not available, they wanted to give her the Skim Milk they had in the house (and a cookie). He was upset for the implication we were doing something wrong and the expectation that we would change our behaviors to match theirs.
- The Host’s Drama – As mentioned before, the host is not on vacation. They are not escaping all the stress and drama that is in their life. Rather it is still surrounding them. The host will still be upset about the argument he and his wife are in the midst of. In fact, there are signs of that argument all around the home. They may also be aware of the looming deadline at work as they see their briefcase on the table. The guest will feel this stress, and may be walking on eggshells.
As you can tell, instead of making strides to create sacred space like I do with a rental property, when staying with friends or family, I am protecting myself from their energies which are contained within the host’s sacred space, their home. This is not because their energies are bad, they are just DIFFERENT than mine and my family’s. By protecting, this is assisting in creating a balance. If you’ve ever had a roommate, you know how important this is.
To find this balance I offer you the following advice:
- Get Your Own Room – When we were first married and a little less financially stable, we would often stay with our friends and family because the cost savings was helpful. Now, we ask ourselves is it worth the cost savings? Is it worth the extra time we get to spend with our friends and family by staying at their place? More often than not, especially since the baby, we have found that it is not. As a result, we will rent a room. This gives us a place to escape to and remove ourselves from the energies. If you can do this, I highly recommend it. The rest of the advice is if you don’t take this one.
- Short Duration of Time – Limit the amount of time you are staying with friends and family. You can do anything for a couple of days, longer than that you will start feeling the effects.
- Excursions – Plan some outings for your trip to get out and blow the energy off. Being out of their energy will be rejuvenating. These activities can be with or without your friends and family. My advice, do a little of both.
- Smudge – Just like in the hotel room, I bring smudge and cleanse at least the bedroom (if not the whole house when no one is looking). If nothing else, it makes me feel better about it.
- Stick to YOUR Routines – Your routines are important. If you get up early, get up early. If you go to bed late, stay up late. If you try to adapt your routine to someone else’s, your energy will be off and put you on edge as you won’t be feeling right.
- Breathing Exercises – Friends and family can cause a lot of stress. It is important to let go of this. You’re on vacation after-all. Simple deep breaths in and out, at least three, will help you accomplish this. And most importantly, can be done anywhere.
- Mantras – It is important to remind yourself that you are visiting, and staying with, friends and family because you do LOVE them after-all. The reminder of this can be incredibly powerful when you may not be liking them very much. It’s also a good time to do some deep reflection, if you don’t love them… why are you visiting? Obligation isn’t a good enough reason.
- Bubble – Don’t forget to put your bubble up. It can be incredibly useful in deflecting energy that doesn’t serve you.
- Bonus – Do you have that family member you wish would shut up? Either they talk too much or about topics that offend you? Envision yourself sewing their lips shut. I will even making hand movements (under the table of course) pretending I’m sewing. Works almost EVERY time.
Those are my tricks. Since using them, travel has been a lot more fun and less draining. What tricks do you use?