Here is how to enjoy a stress-free holiday getaway

Kua Bay

We think of a holiday excursion as something that should be fun and sentimental, but for many of us it can be an anxiety-producing venture.  Whether you are traveling alone, or with family or friends, you can feel like it’s more of an ordeal than a vacation.  Here are some suggestions for making your holiday trip more relaxing.


Take time off daily.  If you have trouble relaxing on vacation, you’re not alone.  According to The New York Times, many of us are so busy these days that we fail to unwind, even on vacation.  We are often attached to computers and cellphones that both offer and require continual attention.  Checking your phone throughout the day, no matter where you are or what you are doing, means your first step toward relaxing will be setting it aside.  Add taking a walk, deep breathing exercises or meditation to your daily routine.  Experts at Psychology Today suggest that you try going for a bike ride or knitting.  Engaging in daily relaxation will help your brain to disengage from normal activity when you travel.


On your trip.  You may find you are still struggling with a need for input when you travel.  Laying on a beach towel and thinking continually about what you should be doing or what you will do next doesn’t even sound relaxing.  To help your brain shut off those busy thought patterns, participate in new activities that are occupying but don’t require much output.  Go for a hike, visit a museum, or swim in the pool.


Bring along some comfort.  Some experts suggest bringing an item from home that you enjoy.  Your favorite coffee cup or music cd can provide positive vibes no matter where you enjoy them.


Don’t set the bar too high.  Over-preparing for your vacation sets you up for disappointment.  Completing every possible task and cleaning the house from top to bottom may feel like it will help you relax, but these activities set expectations high.  When something about our vacation isn’t as perfect as we hoped, we feel let down.


Dump negativity.  The experts at GoodTherapy suggest that we sometimes create anxiety through negative thought patterns.  You might be nervous about your trip, and then tell yourself, “How stupid am I?  I’m nervous about going on vacation!”  Berating your own anxiety exacerbates the situation.  Instead, acknowledge how you feel and decide how you will cope.  Or you might psych yourself out about driving with thoughts about how frequently people die in accidents.  Those kinds of thoughts aren’t helpful to you.  Remember that happy, wonderful things happen all the time, too.


Secure your home.  You might be nervous about leaving your home behind. Make sure your home is safe and secure while you’re away. One option is to ensure someone is keeping an eye on things.  Let your local police department know you are traveling.  Ask them to make a routine of checking on your home during patrols.  Be sure to stop mail and newspaper deliveries while you travel, so it isn’t piling up and drawing attention to your absence.  Stow any valuable items out of sight, and don’t leave evidence of property that would draw thieves, such as boxes from computer purchases.


Pack your bags!  Traveling can be exciting, but it can also be stressful.  Whether your holiday getaway involves family, your significant other, or going solo you can feel anxious.  Set aside downtime as part of your daily routine, and find things to do on your trip that engage your mind in new ways.  Bring something comforting from home.  Don’t set yourself up for failure with overdoing, and stay away from negative thoughts.  Make sure your home is safe so you can leave it with peace of mind.  Engaging in these suggestions will help you relax on your vacation.

Author: Henry Moore


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