Feeling great during a vacation allows you to enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation without any health hassles. Whether you’re kicking back with a beach day or taking a road trip to visit loved ones, these natural remedies quash summer travel bothers fast!
Kicking off your shoesends head pain in minutes.
Jam-packed days of exploring are fun, but when all that go-go-go activity leaves your head achy, here’s an easy fix: Slip off your sandals and stroll barefoot in the grass or on a sandy beach for 10 minutes. Doing so stimulates acupressure points in your feet that relax spasming scalp muscles and trigger the release of painkilling endorphins, easing a headache by 42 percent within minutes, say Columbia University scientists.
Tame tiredness by standing tall.
You love exploring and sightseeing, but sometimes being out and about all day can leave you feeling drained by mid afternoon. To pep up fast, stand tall with your shoulders pulled back. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychology say that maintaining an upright posture for just five minutes erases feelings of weariness. The reason: Standing boosts the flow of energizing oxygen to the brain, plus spurs the release of tiredness-taming testosterone.
Sidestep aches with peppermint.
The simple key to soothing soreness from a busy day on your feet or on the road: Mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil into a dollop of unscented lotion and gently massage it into tender muscles while breathing deeply. According to research in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, peppermint’s cooling compound, menthol, acts as a pain-relieving analgesic when absorbed into achy spots. What’s more, a British study found that just inhaling the refreshing scent prods the brain to release painkilling hormones, cutting discomfort in half in just 10 minutes.
Quiet queasies by leaning into turns.
If you’re one of the 60 percent of folks hitting the open road this summer, there’s an easy way to sidestep car sickness: Simply tilt your head in the direction you’re turning to better align your body with the motion of the car. Japanese scientists say doing so alleviates the conflicting sensory signals in the brain that trigger motion sickness, easing queasiness.
Snooze soundly with peace and quiet.
Can’t catch enough shut-eye when you’re away from home? Sleeping in unfamiliar places with new sounds causes the brain to go into overdrive at bedtime, leaving you tossing and turning. Luckily, falling (and staying!) asleep is as easy as popping in earplugs. Research in Critical Care shows blocking all sounds increases deep sleep by 40 percent and cuts overnight awakenings by 65 percent by creating quiet that calms the mind so you get the restorative rest you crave.
Tame stress by humming a little tune.
Who doesn’t feel a little tense when caught in a traffic jam or stuck waiting in line? When this happens, try humming a tune! Whether it’s a chart-topping song or simply a made-up melody, humming for as little as 30 seconds spurs the release of calming brain waves. This, Cornell University researchers report, sends your stress levels plunging by 48 percent almost instantly.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.