Physical movement can do wonders to alleviate stress. Leisurely walks on the beach, a swim in the hotel pool, or a slow stroll through town are all good options. Gurry also suggests these simple exercises to boost your energy before, during, and after travel:
- Arm Swing (10 sets): Lift your arms and extend them out straight, at shoulder height, in front of your chest. Now push them out, still at shoulder height, towards your sides. Inhale fully as you now pull your arms back in, crossing them in front of you, and circling them around your shoulders towards your back. Exhale fully as you bring your arms back out straight in front of you and then down to your sides.
- Upper-Body Twist (10 sets): Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms out straight in front of you at shoulder height. Clasp your hands together. Inhale fully as you twist to the far right; exhale as you swing back to the left. Do this ten times. Reverse direction.
- Hip Rolls (10 sets): Place your hands on your hips. Rotate your hips to the right in a circular motion ten times. Reverse direction.
- Expanding Squats (10 sets): Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your palms together at the center of your chest with your fingers pointing upwards (in a "praying" position); inhale fully. Exhale as you squat down, bending your knees and extending your arms until they are completely stretched out at your sides (keep your knees above your feet, be careful not to extend your knees beyond your toes). Inhale as you stand back up, bringing your palms back to the center position. After completing the squats, stand strong while simultaneously concentrating on the top of your head and the soles of your feet. Breathe slowly and relax for 30 seconds.
As with any physical exercise, consult your doctor first and abstain if you have high blood pressure, experience discomfort, or have physical injuries.
Planning ahead will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed at the last minute. "Write down the most important tasks to do before leaving and upon your return," suggests Gurry.
Don't be responsible for everything. Be sure that other family members are doing their share, too! Husbands and older children can take care of their own packing. Your extended family, friends, or neighbors can help with pet sitting, mail pickup, shopping, and more.