Happy Summer! Three Must So’s Before it’s Done.


Kari Bretschger

July 11, 2017

Ah, summer. For most of us the weather is at its best, and while there’s still work to be done, it’s a time to change things up a bit. So I encourage you to accomplish these three must-do’s before the Fall comes around.

TRAVEL

Studies show that travel can alleviate stress and improve productivity. (Source: Healthnet.com) So, where might you go?

If you’re like most, you’ll do the old family road trip (79%), possibly visit a national park (51%), a theme park (40%), or travel internationally (33%) (Source: AAA). As with most Californians, your trip will be in state—71% of the domestic leisure visitors were from within our own state. Top states with travelers coming here are Arizona, Nevada, Texas, New York and Washington (Source: VisitCalifornia.com).

Thinking about Europe? According to Euro stat, room nights grew nearly 2% in 2016. The countries with the lion’s share of that growth were Spain (18.5%), Italy (16.9%), Germany (12.8%), France (9.7%) and the United Kingdom (8.5%).

Whether you journey close to home or distant destinations, do yourself some good and get out there!

READ

Reading, like travel, expands your horizons – and quite frankly can make you a more interesting person by promoting deep thinking and taking you to new places to learn new things – but did you know that reading is also good for you?  Here are just a few scientific reasons to crack open a new book.

Memory: People who read more have more complex brains. The mental activity of reading helps keep memory sharp (Source: Yale’s Haskins Laboratories). It can also help prevent Alzheimer’s (Source: Rush University Medical Center in Chicago).

Stress Reduction: Reading just six minutes can help reduce stress levels by up to 68%. One study found that participants who read after having their stress elevated became more relaxed than participants who tried other stress relievers, like walking or listening to music (Mindlab International at the University of Sussex).

Longevity: While reading isn’t the fountain of youth, it could help you live longer. Why? Because like other mentally stimulating activities, reading requires mental effort that creates new connections between nerve cells. Reading can even help you build up a “reserve,” which can help later in life when brain cells are lost (Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide).

If you need a recommendation on what books you should read, believe it or not, bibliotherapy is a growing trend. You can actually hire someone to suggest books based on their knowledge of what you need.

UNPLUG

Studies show that most of us are too dependent on our smart phones. First thing in the morning, last thing at night and multiple times during the day we are checking emails, Facebook and so much more.  Do we really need this level of connectivity? If something were really that important wouldn’t we get a text or a call? With just a little adaptation, we can be present in the here and now and truly enjoy.

Driving: Most of us have cars that allow us to use the phone hands-free. So to remove the urge to text, put the phone away–in the side door storage, on the passenger seat, just somewhere that will remind you that you are choosing not to text and drive.

Instead, listen to news, your favorite radio station, or use the hands-free to call your mom.

Mealtime: I read that a proper table setting has no place for a cell phone. As big as the FOMO is, you will probably get more from engaging with the people you are dining with and letting them have the joy of your presence.  It’s also a nice example to set for your kids.

On Vacation: Most businesses respect your right to vacation and while they will miss you, they want you to come back refreshed. To that end, un-plug as much as you can.

Here’s wishing all of our friends a safe and satisfying summer. Enjoy!

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