Enter the Stress-Free Zone: Vacation!

Take this one-minute stress test:

  • Do you feel overwhelmed and under pressure?
  • Do little things bother you?
  • Are you often short-tempered and irritable?
  • Do you feel as though there are not enough hours in the day?
  • Do you always seem to be in a rush?
  • Are you constantly juggling too many tasks at the same time?
  • Do you find it hard to balance family, work, and your social life?
  • Have you experienced a recent traumatic event?

If you answered, “yes” to three or more of the above questions, you could be suffering from chronic stress. It’s time to take a break – relax. Vacation is in sight. Now all you need to do is focus on when and where to go, and how to get there. Oh yeah, you might want to spend a few minutes thinking about why you’re stressed. Write down your conclusions for future reference, and start planning to play!

First, consider climate. Weather is everything – it can make or break it! Decide if you want cold or warm, dry or wet. Depending on when you can go, pick your external temperature preference zone. Unless all you’re planning to do is sleep (not to minimize the significance of that activity), you’ll be outside, and there’s no controlling Mother Nature. Choose a climate type that suits your needs.

Now you need to pick your place. How much time do you have? If it’s only a few days, you might want to consider all local spots that match your temperature zone preferences. Got time to expand your horizons a bit? Make a list of the activities that you enjoy most. It’s easier to match your activities to your climate preferences and then super-impose your time constraints. To stay within your budget, keep that number posted at the top of the page. Nothing takes away from a vacation more than worrying how you’re going to pay for it.

Finally, select a few spots that meet the profile. Try to get at least seven places to consider, and then assign them A/B/C rankings. Have each member of your traveling party do the same. The best decisions are generally made when all parties come to a consensus; so if you’re traveling with others, involve them in the decision. Before you know it, you’ll be on the road to relief!

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