Healthy Weekend Getaways

Written by Brian Krans | Published on September 4, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on September 4, 2014

Healthy Weekend Getaways

Deadlines whiz right over your head. Your boss breathes down your neck. You have no idea what sunshine looks like anymore. The worst part is that you used up all of your vacation time visiting relatives around the holidays.

You need to get away, but you don’t ever seem to have enough vacation time. There’s at least one solution you should consider: giving yourself a healthy weekend getaway.

Even if it’s just for a few days, getting away from the daily grind may be the best way to clear your head and calm your nerves. Stress can wreak havoc on your body, so the more you give yourself a chance to blow off some built-up steam, the more your body will appreciate it.

A weekend road trip can invigorate your spirit, unclutter a busy mind, and leave you relaxed and healthier than before. Depending on what’s feasible for you, and what’s nearby, here are some ideas to awaken the weekend warrior within. Get ready for some adventure.

A Day at the Beach

Whether crashing waves of the ocean or gentle waves lapping on the shore of a lake, there’s something that attracts people to the meeting of land and water.

Nap in the sun — with the right sunscreen on, of course — read a book, or just get lost in the scenery. It can take you away from ringing phones, email, or the repetitive nature of your job. A little sunshine can replenish your vitamin D, which helps boost mood and your immune system, and can even improve self-esteem. According to Mayo Clinic, vitamin D may also protect against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases.

If you’re the type who needs activity to reduce your stress, running along the shore or swimming are both great ways to help smooth out the effects from the daily grind.

Camping

If you live inside the concrete jungle, reuniting with nature can do wonders. Getting away from congestion, steel, asphalt, and all other unnatural constructs can help free your brain, inspire creativity, and provide the silence you need to sort everything out.

There are plenty of ways you can get in some exercise while camping, including biking, hiking, chopping wood, and more. You don’t need to do much more than take in the fresh air and scenery to reap the health benefits of the great outdoors. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air pollution can cause cancer, and damage immune, respiratory, and neurological systems. So get that fresh air!

Spa Getaway

You’re awesome and should take opportunities to pamper yourself.

A weekend is instantly made better with massages, mud baths, hot springs, or whatever you can find near you. Go alone or with a friend, but if you do go with others, make sure to schedule in some de-stressing time. You’ll come out with glowing skin, a calmer demeanor, and a big grin on your face. 

The American Massage Therapy Association highlights two studies that suggest that massage can ease pain and improve recovery time for people suffering from injuries.

Hometown Tourism

Staying at a hotel has its perks, even if it’s a hotel in your own city. Something as simple as letting someone else make the bed can do wonders for your emotional health.

Holing up in a hotel for a night, either by yourself or with someone you love, can have some wonderful therapeutic qualities. Sleeping in, ordering room service, or just hiding away from everyone can be enough to clear your mind and keep it that way.

If you want to add some exercise to your mental break, check out hotels with pools or gyms.

Also, if you’re booking at the last minute, call around for the best deal. Often hotels will give discounted rates if they have empty rooms, especially if it’s during the slow season.

Meditation

Sometimes you don’t need to get away physically to be on vacation. Learning how to meditate can help you relax and find clarity, acceptance, and wisdom inside your daily life.

You don’t even have to leave your home to have a relaxing, reflective meditative weekend. Turning off all electronics — particularly those that love to make noise — and drawing the shades can help you create the isolation and serenity needed to begin your journey to enlightenment.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, people practice meditation for numerous health-related reasons. Some of these include:

  • anxiety
  • pain
  • depression
  • stress
  • insomnia
  • symptoms association with chronic illness

Even if you’ve never tried meditation before, it’s easy to begin. While it can take years to master, the immediate benefit of slowing your breathing and concentrating on your senses can help beat stress, which ultimately will help you live longer and more peacefully.

If you’re looking for some instruction, seek out a weekend retreat within reasonable driving distance for guidance to a mentally healthy weekend getaway.

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