Studies have shown time and time again that high levels of stress and anxiety can be harmful to your health. Taking a break from your normal routine can do wonders for reducing stress. And the benefits of traveling when you’re on vacation are numerous, even if you don’t go far from home.
Planning Your Vacation
Your vacation doesn’t have to be elaborate, but make sure to focus on both quantity and quality. Research has shown that the more vacations and time off work you take, the better you’ll feel and the healthier you will be. Make sure your vacation also includes a variety of activities. Engaging in multiple leisure activities not only helps you enjoy life more, but it has a greater benefit on stress relief.
To see the greatest stress-relieving benefits from your vacation, make sure you’re taking small vacations throughout the year. Start by taking a few three-day weekends to recharge your batteries. Then, plan at least one longer vacation a year to travel to a new location, visit friends and family and enjoy spending time away from the office and your daily routine.
Vacations vs. Staycations
In some cases, you may not want to leave town on your vacation. If you have young children or don’t want the hassle or cost of packing for a trip, why not take a “staycation”? While there are numerous benefits of traveling, you can use a staycation to explore your area and still make it home every night.
The key to making a staycation work is treating it like a real vacation. Unplug from work and don’t go into your office. Make sure your co-workers and friends know you’re on a vacation and that you cannot be reached. You’ll benefit more if you give up normal activities during a stay cation.
Find out about BlueCross member discounts on travel and recreation.*
Staycations in Tennessee
If you live in Tennessee, you probably know just how much the state has to offer. Take time during your staycation to enjoy some family-friendly attractions. Two top spots for families are Dolly Parton’s Dollywood and Splash Country. These two theme parks offer fun activities for every age and are open almost year-round.
If you have any avid animal enthusiasts in your family, try out one of Tennessee’s animal-themed attractions. The Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville zoos are great places to spend the day. Before you go, look on their calendars to learn about daily events such as bird shows and expert talks. If your family is more interested in sea creatures, check out Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.
Tennessee also provides hundreds of trails and outdoor adventures. Take a day trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and hike some of the trails in the area. Depending on the weather and your schedule, you can pick a simple hike or a longer, more challenging one.
Whether you choose to travel around or stay in your area, it is important to make vacation time a priority. By taking time off work, you will recharge and be able to return to your normal schedule with less stress and anxiety.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also use tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the in the Member Wellness Center under the Managing Your Health tab.