Reinvented After 40 with Kym Showers | Vacation Brain

Summer is here, which means one thing: vacation brain. I’m not even on vacation yet, but my vacation brain is in full swing because, honestly, I’ve been practicing. When you can lean into your vacation brain, you can make the most of the time you take for yourself, and you can experience full relaxation when you’re on vacation.

True relaxation requires your brain to go into a different state. If you take time off but you can’t engage your vacation brain, it’s impossible to give yourself the gift of a break from your beautiful everyday life. Even if you love your life and your routines, giving yourself the opportunity to miss this thing you love will give you a renewed sense of perspective.

Tune in this week to discover how to make the most of your summer by engaging your vacation brain. I share the unique perspective you get when you can switch off from your everyday routine, and you’ll learn how to sneak just a little of your vacation brain into your life at home, so you can experience the joy of your vacations whenever you need it.

Join me for one-on-one coaching or in my next group starting Tuesday, July 9th, 2024 at 9:00 AM. Don’t miss this opportunity to work together! Sign up here.


  • Why vacations offer the perfect opportunity to gain valuable perspective about your life.
  • How to prepare for your vacation by practicing getting into your vacation brain.
  • The perspective you get when you spend time intentionally doing something different.
  • My advice for paying special attention to your vacation brain while you’re taking time away. 
  • How to bring your vacation brain back home to your everyday routines.




I am Kym Showers and this is Reinvented After 40, episode number 147, Vacation Brain.

Welcome to the Reinvented After 40 podcast. I am your host, Kym Showers, and I’m a certified life coach for women in the second half of life. Each week I’ll bring you direct advice and inspiring, practical wisdom to help you live your very best life and create a future you’re absolutely obsessed with. It’s going to be fun, let’s get started.

Hey, my friends, how are you today? Okay, I have vacation brain. I haven’t even left for vacation yet because I’ve been thinking about it so much and I’ve been practicing vacation brain. And so I have vacation brain and I really wanted to talk to you about it this morning. We get on a airplane in a couple of hours to go to Hawaii with our kids and with our grandbabies. If you follow me on Instagram, and probably on this podcast, and probably on my Friday emails, this is what I’ve been talking about for a while now.

And it’s because I wanted to lean into it so that I strung out this vacation for as long as possible so I could practice my vacation brain. So my body could go into this vacation mode of relaxation, of exhale, of really just feeling so refreshed, and I really needed that, and I know we all need that.

So I took a two-week vacation at Christmas, which was my very first time since I started this business, that I took a two-week vacation, and now I’m taking a two-week vacation in the summer. So we leave today for seven days. Jeff and I are staying seven, the kids are staying longer, seven days on Oahu in a resort called Ko’olina. And we have two houses that are owned by my cousins who are so generous to us. Jeff and I are staying in one of the houses and our kids are staying right next door in another one of the houses.

So we are super excited about that. They have hosted us several times in this beautiful resort community that they live in half the year. So we are taking advantage of their generosity and we have lots of plans. It’s a really great place, Ko’olina, where we decided to go. Actually, the kids really wanted to go back there because it’s so chill. Of course, Hawaii is so chill.

And also, Ko’olina has these lagoons that the kids can swim in that are super safe. They have little fishies. They have no waves. And it’s just a really fun place for my grandbabies to play around without the worry of the ocean being right there. So the lagoons are like the perfect situation for our big family. There will be 10 of us. And I’ve been just so looking forward to spending time together and also noticing my mind, watching my brain go into this different state of relaxation, of chill. And just by looking forward to it.

That’s what I want you to know. I think that’s why we need vacation, because we need some distance, even though we have amazing lives. I have the most perfect life. I love my life. I love my job. And still, the gift of vacation is exactly what I need because I want to miss my everyday life. I want to miss my everyday routine. I want to miss my job. I want to miss my work, I want to miss my everyday life so that I can get a renewed sense of perspective on it and make the changes in it that I really could benefit from, right?

So you know when we’re in it, it’s hard to get perspective. So we need to take ourselves out of it for a good amount of time. And I think two weeks is a good amount of time to pull yourself out of a daily routine. If you possibly can, definitely take eight days out of it if you possibly can to get some perspective, go away from your everyday life whenever you can to get some perspective. Even if it’s for a night, you can have a vacation brain for a night so that you can make the changes in your life that you really want to make.

And you have some time to miss the people in your life or miss the routine of your life, miss their everyday foods and way that you live, right? If you’re disciplined like I am, you know, I go to Orangetheory every single morning. I am going to miss Orangetheory. This morning I went and I was like, “Bye Orangetheory, I’m going to miss you.” But I just thought about it in the best possible way because I’m going to go and do different workouts, of course. I’m sure I’ll fill you in on that when I get back, but I’ll be creative when I’m gone. But I’m also going to be lazy and I’m also going to stay up late with my kids and also sleep in if I feel like it.

I really plan on doing whatever I feel like and I can’t wait to report back to you as to what I actually did and how the week actually went. But I know that I’m in charge of it. I know that I’m going to have the exact experience that I want because I get to decide that. I get to show up and be exactly who I want to be. And I’m just practicing my vacation self ahead of time. And really looking forward to that because I know it’s not my regular life.

I know we’re going to eat out a ton because that’s what we do. My kids love to eat out and Jeff and I love to eat out. And so we’ll eat out a ton and there’s lots of really fun restaurants. There’s a restaurant called Monkeypod that’s right outside their little gates, outside that resort’s gates that we can just walk to and I’m sure we’ll eat there several times. There’s also a fun, darling little kind of cafe slash market that’s walkable, that we can get coffee and fresh food, and we can also get our groceries there. That just sounds so delightful to me.

But they also have a Target and they also have a Costco. My daughter’s very organized that way. And also Riley’s girlfriend, Kate, is very organized that way too. So we’ll get groceries and have our breakfasts and lunches at the houses.

But I’m just so excited about doing something different and being with my kids and grandbabies and just hanging out and doing a lot of walking and running because this area, I’m sure I’ll just be walking and running miles and miles and miles, which I’m super looking forward to and taking my granddaughters and grandbaby on lots and lots of walks and they’ll love that. A lot of running around and lots of exercise. So Pippi will be doing that with them and I’m so excited about it.

And so my brain’s already on vacation, my friend, and there is such a difference between our everyday routine life work brain and our vacation brain. And if we can sneak some of that vacation brain into our everyday work life, that would be so fun and so beneficial to us because we love that feeling of vacation.

So I am going to pay attention to it so much this week. I’m going to pay attention to the feelings that I love when I’m in Hawaii with my family. I’m going to notice them. I’m going to be watching for them. And then I’m going to come home and recreate those feelings on purpose. I’ve done this so many times and I’m getting so good at it. And I think right at the six month period in the year is the perfect time for me to take two weeks off of work because I’m ready.

I’m ready to set my work brain aside and just indulge in my vacation brain and get some perspective and some refreshment and some new ideas. That’s what happened my last two week vacation and that’s what I’m planning on this two week vacation.

So I just want to pass this little idea and practice onto you. If you are in fact anticipating a vacation or in the middle of a vacation, I want you to pay attention to this vacation brain because you know what I always say, you guys, our circumstances are neutral and we get to decide how we want to think and feel at all times.

So when we have feelings that we really love, we can recreate those feelings even in different circumstances. Even if we’re not in Hawaii on vacation, even though I have a pretty vacation-y kind of life every day, Jeff always calls our life a working vacation because, of course, we live at the beach and we both work. So it is a working vacation, but it will feel different getting away from work and being on a Hawaiian island with my kids, because I don’t get to do that every day. But I will pay attention and I’m going to sneak some of that feeling back into my everyday life.

I’m going to actually read a novel. Well, when I say read, I’m going to listen to a novel. Because I’m so used to listening to self-help books. I’m so addicted to self-help, you know I am. But I really am going to take that off my list and I’m going to download the latest or the best beach read. Hey, this is going to be past, oh yeah, by the time you’re listening to this, I will have already chosen my book, but I’m going to pick whatever the big book is of the summer season, and I’m going to listen to that, and I’ll report back to you on that, let you know if I got through it, if I loved it, if I didn’t, or if I ended up buying five books because I didn’t like any of them, who knows, you don’t know with me. But that’s what I’m anticipating.

My suitcase is all packed. Of course, it’s overpacked because I always overpack, and I love that about myself. I used to have some shame around that, about how I overpack, but now I’m so proud of myself. I love how I overpack. I’m always prepared. I always think, “Oh, I love this. I’m going to take this. Oh, I love that. I’m going to take that.” So now, of course, my suitcase is overpacked and I love it because I’ll have every single thing that I need. I have dresses. I have my boxer shorts because boxer shorts are in. I’m actually wearing cute boxer shorts on the plane with my really comfy tennis shoes and my really comfy crew socks. And I’m just all about comfort.

We get to fly out of our hometown with our kids and I’m super excited about that. Though Jeff and I are flying first class, our kids are going to be in the back of the plane. I don’t think our grandkids are going to understand that, but that will be fine. And then we fly down to San Diego and then we pick up our Alaskan, our big plane over to Oahu. We get to fly into Waikiki.

We’re going to go into Waikiki a couple of times. We’ll do some water sports or something, and we’re going to eat at Duke’s. We’ll have a big anniversary dinner at Duke’s. I know I’ve told you a million times. I’m going to tell you a million and one times. We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary with our kids. We hired a photographer. We’re wearing white and tans and light blues, and so we’ll have one of those fun sunset pictures taken, Hawaii pictures taken of all of us barefoot on the sand that I will cherish forever.

And pretty much that’s all we have planned. We’re going to be loosey-goosey and just do things last minute. We have cars. Our cousins have lots of cars for us and so the kids can take off and do whatever they want during the day and everyone gets to do whatever they want. We are pretty easy that way and we’ll probably just have dinner together at night and just looking forward to being lazy and happy and chill and Hawaii spirit. I love that so much.

So I’m already vacation brain. I want to encourage you to go into vacation brain mode and pay attention when you’re on vacation what you love about yourself when you’re on vacation, who you’re being. I still am going to obviously pay attention. I’ll take good care of my body. I’ll exercise a ton and I’ll make sure I’m nourished and I’m hydrated. I’ll probably have some extra cocktails and I plan on having extra cocktails.

I told Jeff I’m not really normally a piña colada girl, but I don’t know, I think I’m going to maybe do some rum because isn’t that like the island kind of alcohol? I think it is. So I might just drink some piña coladas when I’m in Hawaii, I don’t know.

But I’ll be on Instagram. I’ll post some fun pics on Instagram and talk to you a little bit on Instagram, but probably not every day. Oh, that’s right, you’re listening to this afterwards. So if you were tuned in, I don’t really have a plan about that. I’m going to do whatever I feel like doing, which is again, my vacation brain. I want to pass that on to you.

And also, I’m not going to go off the rails. I am going to take really good care of my body because I don’t want to come back all bloated and puffy and not feeling good. So you know how I am. I’m still going to be me on vacation, but I will let up a lot.

So, okay, that’s what I have for you today. I just needed to get an episode in because I didn’t want to take my microphone with me on vacation to record next week. So I’m actually doing this two weeks ahead of time. And I just thought I’m just going to tell you what I’m up to right now today. And that is actually all packed up, all dressed, getting my last minute things done. And we are flying, in two hours, we are flying off to the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Hawaii, USA, and I just can’t wait.

And I know I’ve told you a million times, but you guys, I have the best family. I’m not kidding you. My kids are so much fun, so adorable, so funny. And my grandbabies, I mean, the best humans in the absolute universe. And of course, my darling, adorable husband. So I just look forward to making lots of funny, fun, happy memories with the people that I love the most. And I hope you can do something like that for you as well.

And I will be back to talk to you when I get home. So next week, look forward to my stories about the actual vacation that happened. Post-vacation, this is pre-vacation. And next week, you’ll get to hear post-vacation, and then you’ll be tired of hearing about my vacation. I probably won’t talk to you about it again.

Wait a minute, so this will be the last week. You guys, my new group starts next week. When you’re listening to this, my new group starts July 9th. I really want you in that group. It is going to be so, so special and so powerful for you. It will be life-changing for you. So I don’t think it’s too late by the time you’re listening to this. It is not too late.

Go to my website, get in that group. So it’s priced so wonderful. You will get every single thing that you can dream of. I will help you make the changes in your life that you really want to make. I’ll help you learn how to manage your mind so you can have vacation mind whenever you decide to, even in the midst of your everyday life. It is a practice, it is a skill that you can develop. And I know how to do it, and I will teach you how to.

And anything else, if you want to lose weight, if you want to get some perspective on your life, if you want to up-level your relationships with your husband, with your kids, with your parents, with your friends, especially with yourself, if you want to fall in love with you exactly the way you are, and then everything else gets so much better. Okay? All righty. I love you so much. Have a wonderful week and I will talk to you next Thursday. Bye.

If you love this podcast, I invite you to come work with me. Go to, sign up for my next group and retreat, and let’s create your dream life together.


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