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How seniors can relieve stress while traveling

March 10, 2015

Traveling presents a great opportunity for older adults, offering them the chance to get away from everyday stressors with a little rest and relaxation. Whether youre soaking up the sun on a family beach vacation or going on a cruise with your best friends, vacations can be exactly what the doctor ordered. 

While theres no denying that travel can help you decompress, there are many times during your respite that you may experience a bit of stress. From the airport to the resort, there are many simple ways you can relieve stress during your time off.

"88% of people experience stress relief after playing casual video games."

1. Have entertainment on hand 
The airport can be one of the main culprits for stress, especially for seniors. Flight delays and security checkpoint snafus can keep you at the airport much longer than you desired, which can heighten feelings of stress if you dwell too much on your dilemma. Instead, have entertainment at your fingertips and immerse yourself in a fun activity while you wait.

One study from East Carolina University found that casual video games, like puzzle and word association games, were linked to significant stress relief among survey respondents - a large portion of which were retired individuals. Researchers discovered that 88 percent of participants felt their tensions drifting away while playing these types of games, so get out your smartphone and start swiping away that stress.

2. Always keep a good attitude 
Interacting with people who have poor attitudes may contribute to heightened feelings of stress, but combating negativity with anger or aggression will only make the situation worse and increase your stress levels. Instead, focus on the positives - dont let your day drag just because another person has a sour attitude. That positive outlook may also rub off on others around you who are feeling stressed!

3. Request special services beforehand
There are various amenities available for older adults that can relieve many stressors before they arise. Before you set off on your adventure, contact the airline, transportation services and hotel to see what kind of accommodations you can reserve to make the trip run much more smoothly. Taking advantage of these special services ensures that you remain healthy and happy throughout your vacation.

4. Try some simple yoga stretches
Adopting an exercise routine is an important component of healthy aging, but it can be difficult to find time to complete physical activities while youre on vacation. One way to get your exercise fix while reducing stress is by completing a series of simple yoga stretches from the comfort of your hotel room. 

Researchers at UCLA conducted a study and found that just 12 minutes of yoga each day had a profound impact on participants stress levels, noting that most people experienced lower stress throughout the duration of the trial. Try working along with a simple YouTube tutorial to complete easy movements each morning, before your vacation festivities begin.

Try completing some simple yoga stretches while youre on vacation.

5. Find opportunities for alone time
Your travels allow you to catch up with friends and loved ones you may not be able to see frequently, but its important that you schedule alone time during your trip. That resting time is crucial for recharging your batteries, both physically and emotionally. Try scheduling about 30 to 60 minutes each day for yourself, whether you use that time to take a quick cat nap or read quietly in a secluded location. This alone time can have profound impacts on your stress levels, as it permits you the opportunity to breathe and relax.

6. But dont forget to rely on your friends
While taking that time to yourself is important, relying on your loved ones is equally critical to reducing your stress levels. Sometimes the best way to face your stressors is by talking out your issues with friends or family members. They can help you brainstorm solutions or merely provide a listening ear for your troubles. If youre traveling with friends, they may be experiencing the same stress that you are, so talking it all out could prove to be in everyones best interest.

7. Take advantage of vacation activities
Youre on vacation, which means you now have an opportune time to get that massage or visit that high-end spa near your hotel. Treat yourself during your trip - this is a time for rest and relaxation, so dont skimp when it comes to stress relief!