Human beings, particular in the modern world, run the risk of suffering from stress. That’s why we occasionally book a week or two off work and venture to some new and interesting place, where we’re nicely isolated from the various emails, phone calls, deadlines and bills which might cause us headaches.
But there’s an unfortunate paradox, here. Holidays – and particular those which involve the entire family – can often prove stressful in and of themselves. After all, you’ve got to worry about quite a few things in order to make the holiday happen in the first place – whether it’s booking accommodation, travel, budgeting or food.
When it comes to a caravan holiday, these stressors will be all the more acute. If your family is stressing you out, then this will be all the more so, as you’ll all be confined to the same tiny space. Of course, this is an indispensable part of the charm of a caravan holiday – but it’s still worth taking a few simple steps to ensure that your time away in your caravan is as stress-free as possible.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways we might de-stress during a family holiday, in order to ensure that your holiday is as
Like so many things in life, the thing that’s most stressful about a holiday is a lack of control. If things don’t go according to plan, then you’re liable to become stressed. If you don’t have a plan in the first place, then this is likely to be all the more so!
So, the best preventative measure you can take against holiday stress is to do all of the proper preparation before you step out of the front door. Pack well in advance, so that you’re not doing it mere hours before you’re due for departure. Build up a checklist, and tick every box as you go through your preparations. Keep the booking confirmations in a special, sealed envelope and keep it on your person so that you can refer to it at any time. If you’ve booked any restaurant reservations, then make a note of the time and date. If arrangements need to be made for any family pets while you’re away, then make them.
When you’ve made your list, you might be struck by just how many items it includes. Just think of how much stress that would have been had you not gotten everything written down!
If you’re prone to suffering from stress – to the point that it’s almost debilitating – then there are practical steps you can take to alleviate the short-term symptoms. Among these are controlled breathing exercises. We’ve all been told at one point or another to ‘count to ten’ before reacting to something that’s made us angry. Well, the same principle applies to stress. By breathing in long, controlled breaths, taking a moment to count at the top of each one, we can dissipate that stress before it has a chance to take hold.
This is effectively a form of meditation – albeit a simple one. So, if you feeling like the stresses of family holidaymaking are getting you down, then be sure to make time to take a moment and simply breathe.
Similarly, getting a good night’s sleep is essential if you’re going to be able to properly relaxed. If you’re away with your family, then dozing until midday is going to be a virtua
l impossibility – so be sure you don’t stay up too late. We’ve all experienced the stress that a lack of sleep can bring – so don’t inflict it upon yourself!
Children are notoriously fussy eaters. There’s no reason to blame them for this – the foods we adults enjoy taste differently to them, for reasons which go far beyond the scope of this article. What matters is that their tastes need to be accounted for if they’re to have fun while on holiday. After all, if you spent every day anticipating a disgusting meal in the evening, then you wouldn’t find it particularly easy to enjoy yourself.
If you’re on a caravan holiday, you’ll have the luxury of choosing exactly what foods to take with you. Be sure to get foods you’re all going to enjoy – in both frozen and fresh form. While we all strive to eat healthily during our day-to-day lives, a holiday is a time to let oneself go a little – so don’t be so hesitant to indulge yourself a little.
That said, children sometimes react to certain substances in ways that you might not find desirable. For example, coke contains both enormous amounts of sugar and a little bit of caffeine – which might cause them to not want to go to bed – no matter how volubly you insist that they do. Staying up all night is unlikely to make your holiday less stressful – so be sure that your children don’t eat and drink things that will make them do so.
One powerful relaxation technique, enjoyed by many throughout the world, is alcohol. Drink a little bit of it and you’ll probably feel more relaxed – that’s why so many of us do it at the weekend, after a hard week spent with our noses to the grindstone.
But drink too much of it and you risk becoming less relaxed. Though a ‘night cap’ might send you to sleep more quickly, the quality of that sleep will be far less than natural sleep, and you’ll end up feeling worse the next day. And of course, having a splitting hangover the next day will also prove a source of tremendous stress. All in all, it’s better to be safe and enjoy alcohol only in strict moderation – especially if you’re on holiday with your family.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that, while stress is something that most holidaymakers experience, some can find it more of an issue than others. If you feel that you can’t cope with the stress, or that too much responsibility has been heaped on your shoulders, then be sure to say so. In most cases, a little bit of outside help can be all it takes to banish stress.