by Martine Bacci-Siegel
Summer is here and the importance of some time to step away can’t be understated. Stress, over time, has several negative effects on our well being. Some examples are our body’s ability to resist infection, maintain vital functions, and even the ability to avoid injury. When we are stressed we become tired and start making poor decisions, lose our short term memory and be less fun to be with, ultimately becoming more isolated, lonely and in some cases depressed.
When it comes to the family and relationships vacations are a huge plus. Researchers at Purdue University concluded that family vacations greatly enhance family bonding, communication and solidarity. Shared family memories beyond everyday life experiences (work, school, etc…) promote positive long lasting ties. Here are some helpful tips for planning that family get-a-away.
PLAN AHEAD: Make sure you know what’s available at your destination ensuring all agree on an itinerary. While it may sometimes be stressful all deciding on a destination, ensuring everyone is on the same page well ahead of time, not only gives everyone something to look forward to early on, but also prevents headaches later on.
DON’T FEEL GUILTY: For checking your email while on vacation. Nothing adds more stress to the last days of a vacation than thinking about the endless emails that may await your return. A good idea is to allot a small portion of your day to sneak a peek at your phone or laptop.
MAKE VACATION A TRUE ADVENTURE: Make no mistake; lying on the beach for a few hours is certainly in order if that is what will relax you the most, but new research shows that an active vacation involving new experiences can be very beneficial to your mental health. If possible, stray outside of that resort, hotel or cruise ship a bit. It will build new bonding experiences.
TAKE PLENTY OF PICUTRES: Long gone are the days of packing several rolls of film in our suitcases. Our smart phones can hold hundreds (if not thousands of pictures). Looking back on your memories will provide many moments of reflection with friends and family when life’s daily stressors take hold.
But most importantly have fun!