Unplugged Vacations Reduce Toxic Stress

When was the last time you had a real vacation? Not a working holiday, or one in which you occasionally felt compelled to answer your emails or phone calls, but a completely unplugged vacation – without your cell phone, laptop or even a television set.

Disconnecting to connect

The world is more wired than ever. In our fast paced lives most of us are constantly connected to our cell phones and laptops; it’s hard to resist the temptation to keep answering that ring and checking email.

One study from the University of Glasgow found that half of participants check their email every other hour while some check as much as 30 to 40 times an hour; 83 percent said they check email every day on vacation.

Our minds are constantly on the go, and without a break it can often lead to lower productivity and even burnout in the long run, in addition to negatively affecting emotional and physical health.

The brain needs time to rest and recover – not just while you’re sleeping. Dr. Edward Hallowell, the author of “CrazyBusy: Overbooked, Overstretched, and About to Snap!” notes that all of this multitasking can cause the brain to overheat similar to what happens with a car engine.

Hallowell says that Type “A” people who feel obligated to constantly respond to every email become “frantic, frazzled, frenzied” and experience toxic stress. If you take time to de-stress, “everything gets better – your physical health, your longevity, your enjoyment of life.”

Do you remember a time when there were no smartphones or computers? One of the best things you can do is to allow yourself time to disconnect in order to reconnect with your soul, with your spouse, get to know your children or spend time actually talking face-to-face with a friend.

The stress reducing benefits of spending time in nature away from electronics can lower blood pressure, improve heart and brain health, lessen the risk of anxiety and depression and much more. While there are quite a few fantastic places in which to truly get away and disconnect, here is a look at three destinations that might inspire you to begin planning your escape.

Quileute Oceanside Resort

If you don’t want to leave the country, Washington State’s rugged coastline offers some of the most remote and beautiful scenery in the nation. At Quileute Oceanside Resort in La Push, you’ll find oceanfront cabins furnished with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs but no television, telephones, cell signal or Wi-Fi in order to, as the establishment states, “better facilitate your escape from the chaos of the outside world.”

No incessant buzz of text messages; the only sounds you’ll hear are the waves crashing against the shore just steps from your door on this breathtaking stretch of the coast with a picturesque crescent-shaped sandy beach, sea stacks and magnificent sunsets. If you visit between March and May you’ll even have the chance to spot one of the hundreds of grey whales that migrate north through the Pacific just offshore.

Gairloch View and the Isle of Skye, Scotland

It may not be a hop, skip and a jump away, but traveling to the Isle of Skye is an adventure in itself through the awe-inspiring scenery of the Scottish Highlands. The island is part of the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. While it’s connected by the Skye Bridge, it provides a great opportunity to disconnect from electronics as you’ll be hard pressed to find a cell signal or Wi-Fi.

Wake up in the morning surrounded by some of the greenest greens you can imagine, where waterfalls plunge down sheer cliffs to a turquoise colored sea below. It’s easy to forget about the worries of the rest of the world here. Visit ancient castles or go for a hike through the spectacular landscape filled with unique, almost otherworldly, rock formations.

Gairloch View offers bed and breakfast accommodations as well as self-catering cottages in which you can snuggle up in front of the fireplace or just gaze out over the spectacular waters, enjoying the peace and tranquility.

sunsetSea Cliff Cottages, Dominica

If you dream of the ultimate tropical escape, Dominica is referred to as the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean,” and offers a ton of unspoiled natural beauty minus the high-rises and hordes of tourists. At Sea Cliff Cottages, you’ll find a true getaway with the chance to experience the best nature has to offer, including the dazzling azure waters of the Caribbean, an abundance of waterfalls and natural hot springs.

You might want to spend most of your time on the balcony, listening to the sounds of the sea, feeling the tropical breeze on your skin and smelling the wonderful aroma of the surrounding fruit trees and flowers. At Sea Cliff Cottages it’s easy to lose yourself in the moment and give in to complete relaxation.

Isn’t it time you remembered what life is really all about? Do your mind and your body a favor – enjoy a vacation without all of the electronics.

-The Alternative Daily


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