If there is one thing that most people miss: it is traveling without hassles and restrictions. We all know it has become an important aspect of our lives, whether in our business transactions, work tasks, or personal activities. Now that we are slowly recovering from the COVID-19 virus, and airlines are slowly scheduling more flights, it is now time to spend a few days in a different environment. You can feel nature with Pinetop cabins, go to international museums, or have some strolls in the malls — just get out in your house and interact with people again.
However, keep in mind that putting your guards down may be detrimental to your health. Here are the essential travel tips to keep you safe during your travel:
Do research above anything else
Without adequate information, you would not have proper preparation for your upcoming travel. So, getting to know thoroughly your destination is very crucial in making your plans. Here are the things you need to know before you travel: First, read reviews about the place to get to know small details that may be helpful when you arrive at your destination. Moreover, you can consult with trusted locals to know which places are the safest or farthest from crime incidences as well as the shortest routes to save gas.
Additionally, you will need to know what and who to call in times of emergency. So, ensure that you have the contact information of the nearest embassy, police station, consultate, or some local emergency departments. You can also get contact information for important services that can help you during accidents and emergencies.
Avoid drawing attention
Kidnapping and other crime incidents have been reported about individuals who shared their whereabouts on social media to strangers. One way to avoid this is to stop drawing attention from anyone you don’t trust and instead inform friends and family. Moreover, people who act like they are alien to the place are more vulnerable to crime, so there is a need to blend in by having information about the place before arriving. This involves knowing some safe routes, safe hotels, good restaurants to eat, and places to avoid.
Pro-tip: be discreet when looking at maps on phone, or as much as possible, approach elderly women with a child with them, as they are the least suspected individuals of crime. Do not bring valuable possessions and make sure that your money is secure from pickpockets.
Do not trust public Wi-Fi and secure your own data
Hackers find it easy to steal personal and financial information because public Wi-Fi is not secure. This is why it is important to secure your own internet data or set up a virtual private network. Even WIFI in hotels is not entirely safe and secure. Do not let convenience cloud your mind.
Be cautious even when you are inside your room
Being cautious entails two things. First, lock and deadbolt your door and windows whenever you sleep or away. Avoid informing people that you are away from the room by shutting off the window and placing a Do Not Disturb sign. Second, look for hidden cameras in the room. You can experiment on this by inspecting small devices like clocks, TV, light, lamp, charger, and others. Turn off the light and if you notice faint red and/or blue light, it is more likely a camera light. Shut it off and inform the hotel.
It has been two years now since the outbreak and we have learned the importance of keeping our minds healthy at all costs. Studies about depression and mental health in connection with the covid and stress are booming, and we now have opened to the reality that this generation is frail against pandemic.
Even prior to COVID-19, research has revealed that our environment has a huge impact on our mental health as it reduces or increases stress hormones that in turn affect us physically. What you often see, hear, or experience changes not only your mood but also how your endocrine, nervous, and immune system are working to make you healthy and functional.
Regardless of culture, we are all prey to stress and according to research, most people resort to natural settings when anxious and stressed. Pinetop cabins, parks, and other spaces that provide natural settings have been slowly visited by people after lockdowns to ease their minds and to have a break. And you can do it too!
Nature Heals and Soothes
A lot of research has revealed how beneficial being exposed to nature is. Nature effectively reduces negative feelings such as stress, fear, anger, and anxiety and increases pleasant feelings. What is good news is it also has positive effects on our body as it reduces high blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate, and stress hormones. It is therefore concluded by many that nature reduces the mortality rate.
It was also found out that humans are genetically programmed to find plants, trees, water, and other natural elements engrossing that we are distracted from feeling discomfort and pain. In fact, many offices, either in corporate or academic, display plants indoors as plants in a room are said to still have a significant impact on reducing stress and anxiety.
Nature Connects and Restores
Along with the studies that were mentioned, nature is also proven to have positive effects on human vitality and overall wellbeing, making them feel more meaningful in their existence. Many people who were diagnosed as depressed and anxious were able to feel calm and balanced after spending more time outside.
Additionally, spending time in nature increases humans’ ability to pay attention, hence increasing focus when doing tasks. Since it is in our nature to be drawn to nature, this can provide an effective respite for our minds, which gives us a refreshing view for doing tasks later on.
Furthermore, it is said that nature brings more people together. In a study conducted by Coley and Kuo, it was proven that nature makes people more sociable beings and that those whose neighborhood or housing had more green space reported to know more people and to have stronger feelings of unity with their neighbors. Moreover, residences that have more green spaces have lower crime and violence rates.
In contrast, nature deprivation and more screen time induce the opposite. Individuals who tend to spend more time on screen are said to feel more depressive emotions. More studies conducted have found out that more screen time is also associated with a lack of altruism and empathy.
It is no news that the COVID-19 pandemic brings feelings like stress, anxiety, and uncertainty which are felt especially by children of different ages. Children have been prone to these emotions not entirely because of the pandemic, but because of the effects, the pandemic has caused such as separation from classmates and friends, canceled events, school closures, and isolation. Although they express and feel these negative emotions differently, they all would need support from their parents and guardians.
We spoke to experts and psychologists and they share with us some of the ways how parents can show support to their children in this pandemic.
- Be proactive towards your children
Being proactive involves a lot of things. This includes being calm and proactive when conversing about the Coronavirus diseases and its impact on their daily lives. Parents can also highlight the important role that children play in keeping themselves healthy and away from the disease. When the kids have the virus, parents need to stay calm and reassure children that symptoms may be felt but there are ways to combat and cure the disease. While it is understandable to feel nervous, parents should be the ones to be proactive in the situation rather than worsening the negative feelings of their kids. Negative emotions towards the virus may force kids to keep their symptoms secret and may thwart the necessary procedure to cure them.
Being proactive and calm also involves being understanding of their performance as a result of the pandemic and isolation. Talks to your children if they feel demotivated and create distractions that could induce positive emotions in your children. Being punishing for low performance caused by low mood does not help.
- Go out with nature
This year, people are slowly going out of their houses. You can use this opportunity to go out and bond with your family in a private space like the Pinetop cabins that allow them to feel nature without risking being exposed to many people.
Bonding with your family with nature is very beneficial both for the mind and body. Research shows that seeing greens and breathing fresh air helps a lot in reducing stress, which also induces happy hormones. This is an opportune moment to be with your family without thinking too much about work and academic responsibilities.
- Stick to a routine
Children are very chaotic and they need a structure that will keep them on track in a day. The new normal has broken the boundaries between academic tasks, school, assignments, house tasks, and personal time. This is why ensuring that they stick to a routine to keep them productive and motivated is crucial. The time spent on studies should be different from when they do their hobbies or connect with their friends.
- Be self-assessing
Parents feel emotions too, and children can get some cues, which also implicitly affects theirs. This is why managing your emotions as an adult helps and benefits the family a lot. Take note that children rely on their guardians for security and safety.
For more information about how to support your kids amid pandemic, visit UNICEF.