Stress-Free Vacation Tips
A vacation is supposed to be relaxing, fun and give you a chance to recharge your batteries. However, traveling can be extremely taxing when you’re corralling kids at the rest stop back to the minivan or dealing with lost luggage or flight delays at the airport. In fact, a recent study* found airports in some of America’s top vacation destinations are among the most stressful: Miami, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to name a few.
Not only can stress ruin a trip, it has serious effects on the body. It’s long-term effects will stick with you long after your not-so-leisurely vacation: stress ages us, it creates mental and emotional overload, creativity, clarity and decision making abilities decline, it causes aches and pains, adds fat to our belly area and it fragments our thinking.
Not to mention making us exceptionally irritable and unpleasant to be around, our response to stress sets the tone for the rest of the trip. To ensure you have a stress-free, regenerating vacation this summer, HeartMath, widely recognized for its science-based stress solutions, put together a few tips to keep in mind before you take off:
- Practice patience. With travel, there are always uncontrollable issues: weather, flight delays, roadwork, people around you, etc. Be conscious of letting the small stuff go, and try to exercise flexibility. Remember you’re leaving the grind behind, so really try and embrace an attitude of ease and patience. Resist spending time worrying about uncontrollable things; be in the moment so you can enjoy more of your trip.
- Plan well and prepare in advance. Being thorough in preparation for a trip can help eliminate stress before it shows up on your vacation. Make a list of essentials and pack with enough time before you depart to ensure you’re thinking through your checklist of items. Arrive early and double check you have necessary identifications, medications, and must-have travel documents. Checking this before you leave helps with the unexpected – and be sure to add in a little extra time to allow for things like difficult airport parking, lines at security checkpoints or the possibility of the airline overselling a flight.
- De-stress. Do things to promote rest and relaxation such as a leisurely walks in the morning or evenings, an afternoon nap, an evening swim, sitting and listening to nature, instead of emails read a book. Consider high-tech tools like the Inner Balance trainer, which provides a specialized 3-step technique, and real-time feedback to help you retrain your mind body response to stress. This techno stress reducer has become widely popular with health professionals that want an effective solution they can suggest to patients. It’s also extremely discreet and portable, so it’s very easy to use while traveling. For example, the Inner Balance trainer can help give you inner peace and eliminate anxiety during turbulence.
- Don’t make it a marathon. Don’t try and cram too many activities into just a few days, which can often feel stressful and more of a marathon rather than a vacation. Instead, select a few activities that will really allow you to enjoy the time away. This also allows everyone in the family with a little free time to do other things alone or in smaller groups that they would enjoy.
- Plan a re-boot day. Try and build in an extra day before you return to work or your regular schedule. Allowing yourself one extra day once you return can be especially helpful, especially for families that come home with lots of laundry and an empty fridge. It gives everybody a day to acclimate back before the routine kicks back in.
Whether you’re traveling with family, a spouse, friends or solo this summer, leave the anxiety and stress at home. Adding even one of these tips into your travels this summer may help in creating the healthier, less stressful vacation you deserve!
Click the image to see must-have gear for stress-free summer travel
HeartMath (www.heartmath.com) was founded by Doc Childre and is a cutting-edge performance company providing a range of unique services, products and technologies to improve health and well being, while dramatically reducing stress. HeartMath clinical studies have demonstrated the critical link between emotions, heart function and cognitive performance. HeartMath studies have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals such as American Journal of Cardiology, Stress Medicine, Preventive Cardiology and Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Its stress reducing solutions are used in leading healthcare organizations, VA hospitals and clinics, as well as by more than 15,000 health professionals and dozens of school systems throughout the US.