Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Summer Travel Tips

One of the perks to summer vacation is that it is a great time to travel. Vacations rejuvenate us; they are a great time to explore new places, visit friends, and/or enjoy family time. There are several downfalls to traveling. One is all of the time and effort it takes to prepare to go someplace. Planning a trip might seem fun at first; but, when the trip is quickly approaching and it is crunch time things can get stressful. Everyone has felt anxiety about the money they have to spend on transportation. Then, you always worry that you forgot to pack something. To save yourself from a big headache, you must know that organization is the key. Below are some very helpful travel tips:
  • Print out all travel itineraries and reservations to store in one folder.
  • Cancel all of your “standing” weekly appointments.
  • Make arrangements for your pets.
  • Hire a house-sitter.
  • Go to USPS.com to place a hold on your mail.
  • Get your prescriptions refilled and purchase any other items you may need for the particular climate you will be in.
  • Pull out your suitcase 1-2 weeks before you leave so that you start to fill it little by little.
  • Use a travel packing list.
  • Pack clothes that hold up well in a suitcase.
  • Roll your clothes so you can fit more into the suitcase.
These tips may seem like small things, but they are all very important. Planning for a trip can be more fun than the actual trip itself; however, it has to be done properly. If you are not organized, things can go south very quickly. The stress may begin to consume you, especially if you are someone who already suffers from anxiety.
Travel doesn’t only affect your stress levels. Travel can also affect your sleep routine. Depending on where you travel, you can get into some serious jet lag. It is important to do your best to regulate your sleep routine. The following are some tips to minimize jet lag:
  • Select a flight that allows early evening arrival and stay up until 10pm local time. (If you must sleep during the day, take a short nap in the early afternoon, but no longer than two hours. Set an alarm to be sure not to over sleep.)
  • Avoid alcohol or caffeine at least three to four hours before bedtime. Both act as "stimulants" and prevent sleep.
  • Try to get outside in the sunlight whenever possible. Daylight is a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock. (Staying indoors worsens jet lag.)
  • Modifying your behavior can help your body cope and overcome jet lag. Melatonin is an over the counter product that can also help.
Traveling can be a great way to spend your summer vacation time. It is always good to have new adventures and experiences. However, it is important not to neglect your health in the process. Make sure to stay organized while preparing for the trip. Then, make sure you are taking proper steps to get back on track with a healthy sleep schedule.
EIU Counseling Center
If you do find yourself stressed and completely overwhelmed, EIU’s Counseling Center is a great resource. All enrolled EIU undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to use the Counseling Center. For an online screening, visit http://www.eiu.edu/counsctr/index.php. Students find these screenings to be extremely helpful. They are free of charge and completely confidential.
To make an appointment, call the office at (217) 581-3413. The Counseling Center is located in the Human Services building. In an emergency situation, do not email- make sure to call immediately. The Counseling Center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm. If in crisis after hours, you may still call the Counseling Center and follow the prompt on the voice mail to be connected to an after-hours crisis line.

The Heath Education Resource Center (HERC) is also a valuable resource went it comes to things like stress and sleep. The HERC is located in Booth House on 4th Street. The office is open Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm. The phone number is (217) 581-7886. For additional information, email herc@eiu.edu.
EIU Health Service

For students who are planning to travel out of the country, the Health Service can provide a variety of immunizations. If you are planning to travel outside of the U.S. and would like to speak with an EIU provider, set up a consultation at least a month and a half in advance. Appointments can be made by calling (217) 581-3013 or logging into the MyHealth Portal in PAWS.

If you would like the read the articles that inspired this blog post, you may visit the following links: http://simplyorganized.net/10-travel-tips-for-a-stress-free-summer-vacation/, https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/back-vacation-how-get-over-jet-lag.

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