If asked what they look forward to most about travel and vacation, a majority of people would probably say something along the lines of “getting away from it all.”
When pushed further, most would probably go on to talk about how vacation is a way to escape from the stresses of everyday life.
Although some stress can be good for you and help motivate you to meet certain deadlines, prolonged chronic stress can be harmful to your body. The impacts of stress on health can include weight gain, insomnia, weaker immune systems and more. And while staying at home under your favorite bamboo weighted blanket can help relieve some of this, in the end, there’s no better cure than taking a much-deserved vacation.
While there is no disputing the power of travel as a way to relieve stress, there are other ways you can manage your stress when you’re not relaxing on a beach or exploring a new country.
Here are a few other tips to help you manage stress wherever you are:
1. Regular exercise
Regular weekly exercise can help you manage stress and reducing the adverse impacts on your health. As times goes on, the increased activity levels can also help regulate sleep patterns as well as provide the brain with a healthy supply of endorphins, both of which will help contribute to reducing stress levels.
2. Cook or Try a New Type of Food
Finding a hobby you love such as cooking can be a great stress reducer. When you spend time on things you love doing, you give yourself a chance to rejuvenate and reconnect with you. Cooking is an easy hobby to pick up and doesn’t have to mean that you spend hours in the kitchen cooking. Try a delicious mix for an easier version of your favorites.
For fall and winter use a cornbread mix to whip up a quick side for your favorite chili. And don’t forget about dessert! Other hobbies to help you relieve stress can be playing a musical instrument, painting, crafting and more. Of course, you can never go wrong with throwing some food on the grill for a delicious barbeque!
3. Daily joy and create happiness
How often do you laugh? Are there things in your life that provide happiness and joy on a daily basis, such as a beloved pet, an appreciation for music, a significant other, etc? Genuine joy is crucial to proper stress management, and what’s more, it needs to be part of your daily life.
Find what makes you laugh and work it into your routine. Whether it’s planning your next adventure luxury vacation, taking some time to go backpacking or camping in the backcountry, or going extreme by taking a cruise to the Caribbean Islands, a good experience may be just what you need to put some pep in your step!
4. Emotional endurance
Effectively managing stress requires emotional endurance – the ability to keep your wits and stay strong during difficult circumstances. Everyone has to develop their own method of properly managing their emotions in the face of truly unwelcome situations. Even for those of us who tend to do stressful activities like traveling on a daily basis (have you heard about how I helped a local give birth to a baby in Laos??). In short, life can get overwhelming VERY quickly.
Sometimes it’s important to take a step back mentally and try and put things in perspective. Focus on positive thoughts. As long as your life or the life of someone else is not in imminent danger, how bad can it really be? Again, the path towards emotional endurance is one we all take alone, but it’s a path that must be taken if stress is to be successfully managed over the long-term.
Managing stress starts at home and work, and occurs during the majority of the year when you aren’t relaxing on a sunny beach somewhere. Besides, if you’re able to successfully manage stress when you aren’t on vacation, just imagine how great your next trip will be going forward!