Coping with Holiday Jealousy

Holidays are a time to relax and kick back and reflect on life, love, relationships, plan with your partner for the future, play with your children and to come home feeling refreshed and ready again to face up to the daily grind.

However, there is an element to going on holiday that is as unsavoury as it is a recipe for dissatisfaction and disaster.  Holiday envy, or jealousy of others, is as prevalent as is car envy, house envy and general lifestyle envy that is an unfortunate part of modern society.  The accessibility of holidays, thanks to the rise in budget airlines and the competitiveness of travel companies, hotels and even the recent rise in internet and email campaigns to provide exclusive access to luxury breaks have created a juxtaposition between perceived cost-savings and higher expectations of standards and destinations.  Foreign holidays and even domestic vacationing is now beyond the means of many, as reinforced by news of recession, job losses and the need to economise.  The realities of affordability as opposed to the ‘in your face’ marketing, the excesses of the ‘haves’ versus the aspirations of the ‘have-nots’, can breed a dangerous culture of envy and jealousy.  However, it IS possible to have a good holiday and to be satisfied with what you have by taking a realistic view of what makes a person happy.

1 – Living within your means can be satisfying.  Debt is a real worry-maker and the fulfillment felt by seeking out a bargain is immense.  Spend time looking for a destination that is within your means and don’t be afraid to do something differently.  Try self-catering instead of hotels.  You will save on the cost of accommodation as well as at mealtime, by preparing your own meals instead of eating out all the time.  You can also enjoy the experience of local produce shopping and trying new things to cook.

2 – Talk to the person beyond the exterior.  Rather than focusing on your friends’ big house, expensive sunglasses/bags/clothes/shoes and the fact that they holiday in luxury hotels, talk to them about what makes them – and you – tick.  Of course there are some who will only want to relate at a surface level, but perhaps these people are not real friends and are certainly not for comparing yourself and your family to.

3 – The company of your family and friends are more important than any fancy holiday destination, or expensive meals out.  Staying somewhere that allows you to relax and enjoy being with loved ones is priceless.

4 – Try a volunteering break.  This one might not be for all, but the personal reward felt by helping others is unsurpassed.  There are many organizations that will allow you to live simply and help out with such activities as building wells, school buildings, irrigation systems and general helping out communities affected by disaster and poverty.  This will put your own relatively comfortable life into perspective.

5 – Therapy for overcoming feelings of inadequacy and insecurities could be the answer – jealousy is generally a result of these feelings rather than a real want or need for the things you think you are envious of.  There is information on about steps to overcome these feelings.

The economic crash has certainly had an effect on our lifestyles, and it is regrettable that our aspirations often outweigh our means, but it is very important to remember that there is gratification to be had in the simple pleasures of life if the time is taken to reflect and enjoy them, rather than largely focusing on wanting more.

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