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8 Ways To Prepare A Perfectly Stress-Free Vacation

8 Ways To Prepare A Perfectly Stress-Free Vacation

Having a stress-free vacation may seem like a long shot to you as there is usually something to worry about. Rest assured though, it’s not impossible – it can happen – and you can take the following easy steps to make the process and your time away as stress free as possible.

1. Don’t Check Work Email

This may seem like a simple idea, but in today’s working environment, work is intertwined with our lives and we never shut it off. When you are on a vacation, you are off the grid. Turn off the email notifications and set the work phone to voice mail. The world will not end with you gone for a few weeks.

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2. Don’t Make Yourself Too Reachable

Yes, you need to be available if your mother tries to reach you about a family emergency; however, you do not need all of your devices available in an instant so you can automatically respond. This is vacation. Turn off notifications for work, social media, and apps, and maybe even turn off your phone. As I said before, the world is not going to end, and if you are away from home something can probably wait at least a few hours until you check your messages again.

3. Pack Lightly

I used to be someone who overpacked and used only half of what was in my luggage. Now I have found vacations to be stress free by packing light – usually just taking a 21-inch carry-on bag for three weeks or more. You have plenty of resources wherever you are traveling to pick up necessities that you may have forgotten. So don’t think that you have to take your entire closet with you.

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4. Don’t Plan Every Minute of Your Trip

Learn to go with the flow. We all have ideas of what we want to see and do at a location, but planning every single event down to the minute keeps you worrying about the time instead of enjoying what is right in front of you. Take a moment and relax knowing that you will see what you have time for and that shoving everything into one itemized, minute-by-minute itinerary is just going to put more stress on your supposed stress-free vacation.

5. Ask Locals for Recommendations

Want to know where to eat? Ask a local. Want to know about the best sunset views in the city? Ask a local. Locals are the ones who live in the city. They have been here longer than you. Maybe you should bypass the overrated tourist trap restaurant and opt for the family-run, five-star restaurant that is a few streets away.

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6. Let Go

If something does not go exactly as planned, just let it go. Don’t fret and let one small thing ruin an entire vacation. This just creates added stress. Learn to go with the flow on vacation and be present. Enjoy the moment and most of all relax because that’s what vacations are about.

7. Don’t Stress About Your House

So, you’ve planned a vacation and are all packed and ready to leave. Suddenly, you realize your house is now in disarray and that you should stay up until 4 a.m. cleaning just to make sure it is spotless for when you come home in 10 days. Right? Wrong. Let it go. If you do not get any sleep before your trip, are you going to be ready for a full day of vacation the next morning? Probably not. You’ll want to sleep, or you’ll be cranky. The house cleaning can wait. The other small things can wait until you come back too. If it’s not necessary, don’t get yourself in a tizzy trying to be superman or superwoman attempting to do it all. When you come home, you can get it all finished, but don’t think about that until you are home and not on vacation anymore.

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8. Relax

If you have gotten this hint yet, relax. In order to have a stress-free vacation, you have to relax. Let go of what you can’t control and go with the flow. Enjoy your trip and keep the stress levels low by having an open mind, disconnecting, and not fretting over the small things.

A stress-free vacation is possible. Just relax, go with the flow, and have fun.

Featured photo credit: M Ezzeddine via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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