Sometimes you’ve just gotta get away and reboot for good mental and emotional health. Even a weekend getaway can help you recover from stressful work. A longer vacation may lead to greater psychological well-being and life satisfaction – if you can detach from your routine, plan your own schedule, do something challenging and relax, according to one study. But vacations can be stressful, and excess stress can worsen chronic pain when you have arthritis. Send vacation stress packing with these tips.
Ask everyone you’re traveling with to weigh in. Plan the vacation thoroughly to prevent uncertainty and keep too many responsibilities from falling on one person. Try to keep plans simple to prevent complications that might derail your arrangements, says vacation expert Frank Farley, PhD, a professor of educational psychology at Temple University, in Philadelphia.
Prepare for Problems
If something goes wrong (the car breaks down, for example), be familiar with local resources so you can get it fixed quickly and resume your vacation. Go online to map your journey and identify hospitals, rest stops and car repair shops. Get a AAA or similar membership if it’s a driving vacation. Remember that you can control how you respond to problems. Overreacting can amp up stress, so stay calm, solve the problem, then get back to fun.
Stick to Healthy Routines
Stick to your medication schedule. Be sure to eat healthfully and get some exercise, too, and don’t short-change yourself on sleep.
When you return, give yourself the time you need to get organized and mentally prepared before getting back into your normal hectic schedule.
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- 4 Tips to Ease Driving Pain