Health

How to stop worrying before your next vacation

Ever had worries dampen a holiday? I know, for instance, that whenever I head overseas, my nagging concerns seem to chip away at my vacation sometimes. What if we lose our passports? What if we get lost? What if one of my kids gets really sick? What if someone steals our money?

travel woman

Ever had worries dampen a holiday? I know, for instance, that whenever I head overseas, my nagging concerns seem to chip away at my vacation sometimes. What if we lose our passports? What if we get lost? What if one of my kids gets really sick? What if someone steals our money? What if I can’t get my cell phone to work? What if I miss my flight? (Inexplicably, that’s probably one of my biggest worries.)

Turns out, I’m not the only one. Almost one third of Britons get weighed down by their own vacation worries, reports a new survey from ebookers.com. The survey noted that top concerns or worries over vacations include: lost luggage; bad accommodations; missing passports and more. And of those surveyed, on average, vacationers worry about their holiday before it even begins. And, as I’ve felt many times, some 37 percent reported feeling worried about returning to reality once the vacation time is up.

And, while the survey didn’t get into it, it’s also hard to ignore the worries about your workload before you actually leave work. Or about how much is waiting for you once you return home. I know I’m not the only one to come back to work with hundreds of emails waiting not so patiently for me. Who doesn’t feel like they have to work double-time to finish everything before you can actually head out on vacation? And that stress can hang over the start of a vacation like a cloud, delaying that happy feeling that comes with the welcome break.

So what can we do? How about scheduling our worrying? That’s what one new study from the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reports works on nixing your worries. In this small study of 62 people, “the researchers found that people who used worry reduction techniques before beginning therapy regimens reduced their anxiety, stress and depressive symptoms significantly more than people using only standard anxiety treatments.” reports MSNBC.

Ultimately what worked is a four-step program to help alleviate (but not eliminate) worries completely. The four steps included:

1. Identifying when you’re worrying.

2. Making a window of time to really think through worries

3. Being aware of worries — so when the study’s participants found themselves worrying, they reminded themselves to postpone it until their allotted “worry time” and instead refocus on what they’re doing

4. Using the time they’ve set aside to at least think through solutions or come up with ways to solve their worries

It’s an interesting approach and one that uses reason to try and control the often unreasonable worries that can haunt you before you head to the beach. But what do you think? Do you think setting aside worry time can help give you more peace of mind on your next vacation?

Want more happiness news? Follow me on Twitter @AstridVanDenB

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