"To travel hopefully is better than to arrive." — Robert Louis Stevenson

There's an actual study showing that planning for a trip cranks up your happiness level in your brain. You've heard it before, that all that goes into planning for a trip is half the fun. Everyone has been through quite a lot of lashes over the last year, so come August 1, everything will be opening, and I'm wondering if you're going to celebrate by taking yourself or the family on a special escape?

There are physical and emotional benefits to planning a special outing because when we relax, the flow of blood increases around our body giving us more energy. It helps us to have a calmer and clearer mind which aids positive thinking and decision making. Getting away and kicking back slows our heart rate and reduces our blood pressure and relieves stress and tension. It's all good.

I hope I don't get sued for saying that you deserve a break today, because it's important for your mental health. When we work, we deal with the "fight or flight" condition that sends out hormones that speed up your heart, but relaxation lets your body know that it's OK to save energy.

We've been working more during the pandemic, so I know it will be a challenge to make time to enjoy and relax. That's why I'm suggesting you start planning now for something using August 1 as your motivation, because if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and pause to relax and re-center ourselves, we'll have more joy in living.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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