‘Tis the season to be completely stressed out.
Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, the week of Thanksgiving is considered one of the busiest travel weeks of the entire year! If you’re leaving Augusta to visit friends and family or simply passing through this holiday season, an estimated 54 million people will be traveling 50 miles or more in the next few days.
Turkey and cranberry sauce are nice, but that’s a long way to go for the comforts of home. No matter how you slice it, those long-distance trips can be stressful.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take the leftovers and leave the back pain? These five simple steps could help relieve the stress and anxiety of your holiday woes.
Effects of Stress on The Body
Stress isn’t just something that weighs on the mind; it can affect almost every aspect of the body physically and emotionally.
The hypothalamus only makes up a tiny part of the brain, but it has a major impact on stress hormones and the body. In an especially tense situation, the obvious symptoms of your stress might just be heavy breathing or a faster heart rate.
Some of the less visible signs of stress can be much more severe. Tense muscles, headaches, back pain, and even high blood pressure can become long-term consequences of trying to navigate high levels of stress over time. In some cases, you might also experience or a higher risk of heart attacks.
Escaping Holiday Stress
We can’t help you escape uncomfortable conversations at the dinner table, but we do have a few straightforward travel tips to deal with the stress:
- Traveling by plane? Make sure to book an aisle seat. Regardless of how far you’re flying, aisle seats provide quick access to stand up, stretch, and move around as much as is allowed. Aim to stand up at least once every 30 minutes to help keep circulation flowing and avoid cramped or tight muscles you could end up carrying around all weekend.
- Don’t hesitate to sleep in. Sure, you probably need to get the turkey in the oven at some point, but don’t miss the opportunity to catch a few extra winks when you can. That rest is about more than relaxation too. Getting enough sleep helps keep the body healthy while you’re traveling and may help reduce stress from occurring in the first place.
- Even if it’s a little chilly outside, go for a walk around the block between meals. We aren’t saying you need to clock a serious session at the gym, but staying even mildly active while you’re traveling can help reduce physical symptoms of stress, including headaches. Just make sure you pack a pair of sneakers for the trip!
- It’s not time for eggnog yet, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Thanksgiving is typically a hearty meal, so it’s important to balance what you’re putting in your body. You might not want to swap the green bean casserole for a side salad, but you should still be getting the right amount of water intake. Bring an empty water bottle with you to the airport and fill it up before you board. Not only is that hydration good for the skin, but it feeds the muscles making it less likely that you might pull or strain something along the way.
- Put your phone away. Not to sound like a complete nag, but if you’re escaping into your phone (or tablet or laptop) when things get too hectic, you could actually be stressing yourself out. Studies show the blue light that radiates from our electronic devices disturbs natural sleep patterns and may negatively impact your mood. In addition to the light, constant strain on the neck (“tech-neck”) can be a physical cause of stress.
Take Destressing To The Next Level With Grovetown Chiropractic
The holidays will be here and gone again before you know it. If you’re too stressed by everything that’s going on, you might miss what makes this time of year so fantastic.
In addition to these easy travel tips, don’t forget to take care of your body before and after your trip! A spinal chiropractic adjustment, targeted stretching techniques, and relaxing therapy session help make sure you’re prepared for whatever holiday shenanigans await.
At Grovetown Chiropractic, we serve everyone in the CSRA. Whether you live in the Augusta area or you’re visiting for a short while, we’re here for you. Book today by calling 706-400-4333 or visit our Homepage to schedule online!
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