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Stressed Out Rats Benefit from Vacation…and So Can You…Even on Family Vacations

August 21, 2009

Okay, the word’s officially out from the lab:  Stressed out rats benefit from vacation.  I love research, but sometimes it seems so obvious.  Personally, I get my stress from life conditions, and feel morally superior to rats, since I don’t need a lab tech to induce heightened levels of cortisol and adrenaline, or inflame my cytokines. To counter the stressors of life, a change of scenery is swell, but more importantly, couples need strategies for how to have a relaxing time on family vacations, whether headed for a family reunion or visits to the in-laws. Here are my tips:

  • Save unresolved family tensions for another day.
  • Anticipate what old patterns might flare up, and plan in advance how you want to manage them as a team together.
  • Ask for what you need. If you too often get stuck doing clean up, ask for help, or buy paper plates.
  • Don’t get stuck—rent your own car, and take time for what you want to do.
  • If your spouse is visiting your family, consider your partner’s needs and preferences.
  • If the kids aren’t having fun, nobody’s having fun.
  • You’re responsible for your own fun.
  • Be kind to your rodent friends—they get stressed too.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2009 10:34 pm

    B – have you heard about the situation with John Edwards acknowledging that he has fathered a child with his mistress and is moving them to his home town to live so that he can be involved in raising her. As you might imagine, his wife is up in arms and war is erupting between the two. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

  2. August 23, 2009 9:23 pm

    I had heard about the DNA tests coming back, identifying Edwards as the father of the 18 month old girl, but haven’t been able to verify that the affair partner is moving to the Edwards’ home town. If true, what an injustice to Elizabeth, age 60, with terminal cancer, their two younger kids and older daughter. This falls into the life is wildly unfair category. How to balance the entitlement of a child to know their biological father, with what Edwards owes his wife and established family. From where I sit, the balance clearly tips in favor of his wife of over three decades and their children.

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