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Tips for a Short Trip With Less Stress

Weekends offer a much anticipated opportunity for travel and relaxation. Leisure activities can lower stress hormones and blood pressure, generally making you feel better. That makes a vacation a no-brainer, right? Not quite. Depending on the destination, a weekend getaway can create chaos for wellness and bring stressors of its own.

Here’s how to keep your health and sanity when you’re out of town:

1. Pinpoint stress and address.

A weekend away is not always the relaxing retreat it’s made out to be. Common weekend destinations like weddings and reunions may trigger stressors or expose you to others who are anxious. Travel itself is rarely an entirely peaceful experience. Identify in advance what could cause you stress and plan how you will best address it. Perhaps it’s setting aside time for yoga or packing a journal. Using ways to de-stress can help you avoid unhealthy crutches.

2. Keep it under control.

Time away from your usual routine can create the impulse to really indulge. Don’t stray too far from what your body is used to. Drinking alcohol in excess or embracing three courses at every meal can throw you for a loop that’s hard to recover from by Monday. Try packing healthy snacks or swinging by a grocery store for some healthy items to have on hand. Similarly, as much as you may be tempted to sleep the day away, straying too far from your regular sleep schedule can hurt you too.

3. Stay active.

Sometimes a walk outside is all it takes to keep you on track during a weekend away. Light activity will get endorphins flowing, and time away from the main event can give you some peaceful time to yourself. Choose a route that suits you – through a historic part of town, a shopping district or a nature path. If you have a particularly active lifestyle, you might use this time for a workout. If you’re feeling especially stressed, yoga or meditation might be your best choice.