Stress is critical for our survival, but having too much stress can actually be detrimental as opposed to beneficial. Emotional stress can hang around for months, and without dealing with it in a positive manner, it can weaken your immune system while also leading to things like heart disease, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and high blood pressure. For that reason, it is critical that we either deal with it ourselves or get some help.
One great way to deal with it is to plan a getaway that takes stress off your plate. It can take you away from the situation and give you the time you need to catch your breath and deal with things in a calm manner. You don’t even have to travel far for a getaway of this nature. Just somewhere peaceful and relaxing can work wonders for stress levels.
However, there are other factors to consider while you’re getting away from it all.
Nicotine, Alcohol, and Caffeine
When dealing with stress, it can be tempting to turn to things like nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol as a way of relieving it. However, at places like Windward Way Treatment Center, you will be able to learn positive ways to deal with stress without relying on these things. Taking a trip after you complete treatment can help to enforce the strategies you have learned and keep your mind occupied and away from dwelling on the bad habits you just overcame.
You should stay away from, or at least try to reduce the amount of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine you use. Nicotine and caffeine are actually stimulants and will actually increase your stress levels as opposed to reducing them.
When it comes to alcohol, unless you have an addiction problem, we aren’t saying you have to give up your favorite cocktail or glass of wine. The problems arise when you consume it in large quantities because alcohol becomes more of a depressant in your system. Because of this, alcohol isn’t too helpful when it comes to alleviating stress.
Situations that are stressful can increase the levels of stress hormones in your body. These include cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are the ones that are known as ‘fight or flight’. Evolution hard-wired these into our brains and they were designed to keep us safe from bodily harm in times when we are being threatened. That said, stress in today’s culture is rarely made better by this fight or flight reaction, and because of this, physical exercise can be substituted to metabolize those additional stress hormones in order to restore your mind and body to a more relaxed, calmer state.
Your vacation can play into that if you pick a destination or set of activities that help you deal with those hormones. For some this could mean a quiet walk along a beach or a relaxing cruise. For others, adrenaline pumping activities like skydiving and bungee jumping can help relieve everyday stress. Be sure to plan your activities according to your choice of stress relief.
A lack of sleep can actually lead to stress. That said, stress can also interrupt our sleep due to thoughts whirling around in our heads, which stops us from relaxing to a point where we can get to sleep. When you plan your vacation, pick a place you know you can sleep. Whether that’s a five-star hotel, a cabana on the beach or a tent in the woods is up to you.
Yes, you might rely on medication to get the sleep you need, but your goal should be to make sure that you relax before trying to sleep. You might turn your bedroom into an oasis that has no reminders of anything that causes you stress. The caffeine, nicotine and alcohol we talked about earlier can also lead to disturbed sleep. It can also help to get into bed around the same time each night so that your body and mind get accustomed to a predictable routine at bedtime.
Dealing with stress in positive ways can make you both happier and healthier.
No matter what the cause of your stress, there are things you can do to help alleviate it, and a relaxing trip away from your everyday stressful life is one of the best.