One Healthy Change: Relax

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Relaxing at the end of the road

Whenever I’m on a true vacation—whether it’s visiting my mom, taking a long cruise or enjoying the natural setting at a wildlife lodge—I find myself wanting to sleep a lot, especially when there is little connectivity to the internet. Do I have some type of sleeping sickness? No. Without constant interaction and distractions, my body is allowing itself to relax and, for me, that means catching up on lost sleep.

I bet you can guess what’s coming next. You’re right. With holiday stress right around the corner, learning to relax is the perfect December topic for our One Healthy Change a Month series.

Did you notice that I wrote “learning” to relax. Shouldn’t we instinctively know how to do that? You would think so. But my experience says otherwise. As I multi-task more and more, I relax less and less. I don’t know about you but I’m having a hard time turning my mind off at night when it’s time to sleep. And that’s not healthy.

According to Lifehacker, relaxation is the key to productivity, which is good to know for those of us wanting to accomplish more during the day. But what about our health? An article in Time reminds us that relaxing is good for our genes. Who knew?

How I relax:

  • Take a nap. Can’t go to sleep? Set your cell phone timer for 20 minutes, close your eyes and rest.
  • Soak in a bubble bath. Hey, if you’re a boomer guy who enjoys them, we won’t tell.
  • Sit in a whirlpool or sauna.
  • Participate in a hobby that you find relaxing. Playing piano works for me.
  • Read a book.

What does this have to do with travel? You can use all of these techniques on the road and they just might alleviate stress from a trip that hasn’t gone quite right.

So here’s your homework: Pick a relaxation technique that works for you and schedule 30 minutes to practice it on a daily basis. Be sure to let me know how you do.

Scratch those itchy travel feet!

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