Stress is inevitable sometimes — whether you are on the road RVing or at home relaxing. But there’s good stress and bad stress — bad stress is what should worry you.
The good stress may include wondering which game to choose with family or friends, deciding what music while on the road, among others. However, the bad stress can be when your RV breaks down in the middle of your travel, realizing that you forgot essential items, among others.
Traveling in an RV is a Stress Reliever In Itself
Traveling is a great way to give your brain a break from the usual hustles and bustles of life. Taking some time off your busy schedule is a great way to concentrate on your mental health.
RVing alone or with friends and family can be an ideal opportunity to beat stress on the road. The experiences, the memories you create, and the laughter you share serve as therapy to your mind.
While thinking about RVing or dealing with your stress on the road, you need to know that you may face challenges on the road. It can be frustrating if you consider traveling to reduce stress only to face other sources of stress on the road.
Luckily there are ways to beat stress on the road, whether in an RV with friends and family or just alone with your dog.
5 Ways to Deal With Possible Sources of Stress on the Road
We love RVing. But that doesn’t mean it’s stress-free. Whether it’s bad drivers or tight quarters, you’re bound to run into some stress on the road. Below are a few tips to deal with it in a healthy way.
One of the significant sources of stress on the road is vehicle breakdowns. It gets chaotic and frustrating, especially when you’re in the close quarters of an RV with family or friends. The good thing is that there are few things you can do to beat stress on the road.
1. Don’t Be Reactive
Picture this: you’re using your vehicle’s GPS to get around in a new area. Suddenly, you realize it’s steered you the wrong way. Now that you’re lost, you can choose how to react.
Sure, you can be angry with how far you are lost, but you can also take advantage of the situation and focus on the sunny side.
You can also choose to admire your environment as you take the correct road to where you’re going. It is also an excellent time to relax and watch the surroundings. You can choose not to let the lost time ruin your day.
2. Take Note of the Positives
If another driver cuts you off, don’t focus on your anger. Instead, drink in the beautiful scenery around you. Focusing on the positives can help you change your frame of mind and enjoy your experience.
You could also choose to listen to your favorite music as a stress reliever instead of worrying about the weather or some of the things you left unattended at home.
3. Move Around
When stressed, exercise might be the very last thing on your mind. But it minimizes stress and creates room for brain development. So you need it more than you think, even if weight loss or fitness aren’t your goals.
But how do you move when you’re on the road? Simple. Find a parking lot or an RV park and pull over. Get out and walk — even if it’s just around the RV to check your tire pressure. A little movement will get your blood pumping and help improve your mood.
According to scientists, even 5 minutes of exercise can significantly help in reducing stress. And even short bursts of exercise help your body produce endorphins — a chemical in the brain that induces feelings of pleasure and well-being. So next time you are on the road and feel depressed or anxious, try to move a little.
4. Try Some Meditation Techniques
Research shows that practicing meditation increases gray matter in parts of the brain that deal with emotions. That puts you in a better position to manage stress.
You can search online for meditation techniques that help you reduce stress. And the best part about meditation is that you can do it almost anywhere. Plop down in your favorite chair, sit cross-legged on your bed, or find a grassy spot outside to relax and practice your meditation for a few minutes. You don’t have to devote hours to it.
5. Get Enough Sleep
It can be easy to skip sleep on the road. But sleep is a major component in helping one control stress during an RV trip. And driving without enough sleep is dangerous. Studies have shown about 20 percent of car accidents are due to lack of sleep.
So be sure to pull over and get enough rest before getting behind the wheel again. You’ll save yourself some stress and you might even save a life.
We get it. When you hit the road to beat stress and find more of it instead, it’s easy to get frustrated. But changing how you look at and deal with stress can make all the difference. Just find some approaches that work for you. And enjoy the ride.
Tasnova Malek, MD, graduated from Bangladesh Medical College and practiced as a primary care physician for six years in Bangladesh. After moving to the USA, she worked at Emory University Hospital in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Hospital medicine research. During COVID-19, she worked as a crisis counselor in Florida Corona Virus Emergency Response Team. Currently, she is working in the National Suicidal Prevention Center. In addition, she has extensive research experience in medicine and psychiatry in the USA.
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