By Lisa Caplan

With such busy lives and everyone going in one hundred different directions at a time, it can be hard to feel connected with your family. Summer vacations can be a great time to reconnect.

Tips for reconnecting:

  1. A great way to get everyone excited about a vacation is to have each family member pick an activity. Come up with a list of activities and have each person choose which one they would like to do.
  2. Disconnect. You will survive without your phone, laptop, and other devices. If you plan to be on your phone a lot, you might as well stay home. Decide with your family when you will disconnect. Set specific times to use your devices.
  3. Take a complete break from social media. This goes along with disconnecting. If you are constantly taking another selfie, posting, checking social media, etc., you are missing out on what is going on and not paying attention to your family. Set aside time for this so you can enjoy what is going on at the moment.
  4. Plan some time outdoors. Being outdoors can be very calming and often can help us let our guard down and open up easier.
  5. Life is short  and we often get caught up in things that seem important at the time but really aren’t. If you are distracted by work, etc. make sure it is really important. Ask yourself if this will seem as important a month from now. If the answer is no, then let someone else handle it, let it go and spend time with your family.
  6. Spend individual time with each person. Pick an activity that you both like. Don’t judge, criticize or give advice. Just have fun.
  7. Eat dinner together. Eating dinner together allows you to discuss the day and plan the next day.
  8. Get out of your box and try something new. Sit down with your family and come up with a list of activities you have never tried and pick one to try. Trying something new gives you a lot to discuss with your family and can help you bond. Even if some of you may never do it again.
  9. Plan down time where each person can have some time to themselves. Vacations are meant to be relaxing and everyone decompresses differently. You might like to schedule everything, but your child or partner might not. If you schedule too many activities, meals, etc. it won’t allow you to decompress.
  10. Just have fun!

For assistance, please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling. We have a network of counselors throughout Maryland. Jim Quinn, Director, (443) 703-3041, jim@msba.org; Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C, Associate Director, (443) 703-3042, lisa@msba.org. 24/7 Toll Free line 1(888) 388-5459.

Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C has over 20 years experience in her field, and extensive experience working with lawyers and judges in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and trauma. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, paddle boarding, sailing, rock climbing, and doing triathlons.