When travelling is care (and prevention)

Sometimes, it may seem hard to break away from our daily routine and we feel like we can't get out of the loop of work-laundry-chores-children-bills to pay. We postpone our moments of respite to the next month or to the nearest holiday periods, but even when they arrive, they either never hit in the right way or we are preoccupied by something else, meaning that what we actually enjoy are but a few days during Easter, summer or Christmas holidays.

In Japan, this feeling of work restlessness may lead to Karoshi, death from work overload. In the 1970s, the work culture of the country was so strong that there was a need to coin a specific term for people who succumbed to heart failure or strokes caused by long and exhausting working days.

Work addiction is really bad for your health
It doesn’t take long to become work addicted or workaholic. Such conditions, meaning a state of dependence from work, is affected both by internal and external factors. Nowadays, we are available 24/7, meaning that we can receive emails at any time of day, which more and more people feel they have to react with the same urgency of an open-heart surgery, thus we accumulate hours and hours of overtime work that we’ll never get back.

That is not to say that working late or at weekends is completely unacceptable – arguably being flexible is a very much appreciated feature, but making it a lifestyle is not sustainable both physically and mentally.

In conditions of high stress, our body produces cortisol, which inhibits those unessential body functions in the short term, supporting instead the functions of vital organs. Increased cardiac output and lowered immune defences are just some of the consequences of excessive cortisol in our body.

The importance of travelling to unwind

Let’s be real, we all need a little rest every once in a while. Besides, it is common knowledge that taking a break is useful also to productivity in the workplace. Going to the gym or doing yoga is fine, but sometimes you do have to pull the plug completely and get away.

That’s where travelling comes in handy.

Travelling is an automatic reset mechanism because it changes everything: our routine, the time zones and the people we interface with. When we are on the road, we loosen our grip on the rules of everyday life.

We don't set the alarm clock, we sleep until late, we drink our first morning coffee while sitting and not on our way from home to the subway or in front of the computer. We come back late in the evening and there are no obligations or duties. We can finally relax completely and be happier. When we travel, it’s our habits and thoughts that change, and so does our own lifestyle.

Travelling is anexcellent way to unwind from your stressing issues
Travelling allows us to reconnect with ourselves, which is a great way to solve most of the conditions caused by stress, with the added benefit of not using any medicine. On a body level, the positive experiences we associated with travelling create new neurological pathways, produce serotonin, the hormone of well-being, and train our brains in lateral thinking, which makes us finding creative solutions to everyday problems more easily. On the road, we "open our minds", because we are put to the test with languages and customs different from ours.

Should we feel particularly stressed, the ideal would be to immerse ourselves completely in nature, moving away from the city and the concrete jungle. Why not, maybe a nice adventure holiday to leave the comfort zone and to put ourselves to the test in new situations. Regardless of the type of trip, the important thing is to leave, to reset everything and to return regenerated.

Make travelling part of your routine

What we need is simply to give what our body keeps asking us: a break. More travelling, less medicine. Before starting a new project or in between jobs it’s amazing to have a month to recharge your batteries and come back to action with a fresh mind.

Furthermore, travelling improves problem-solving skills.

Thus, to disconnect every now and then does not mean not to take seriously our responsibilities, but on the contrary to be able to understand when it is time to stop to avoid being less productive, dedicating time to ourselves.
Travelling is also an amazing way to rediscover yourself
Staccare ogni tanto, allora, non significa non prendere sul serio le proprie responsabilità, ma al contrario riuscire a capire quando è il momento di fermarsi per evitare di essere meno produttivi, dedicando del tempo a se stessi.

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