Take Mental Health Time Even When You Travel

Travel … whether in country or around the world … requires constant coordination of your driving or flying plans, your meals each day, your lodging each night, and is anyone else involved in any or each of the needs, such as meeting someone at a specific time and place. While we look to travel often for relaxation, it isn’t always that way. The unexpected travel delay may be an airline cancellation, a broken windshield or flat tire on your vehicle needing immediate attention. The travel day can be long … hours not sitting in a comfortable chair, your body not properly hydrated for fear you’ll not find a restroom when you need it, the available food options sub-par. Travel bloggers often write of their need every 10 days or so to have a relaxed, no stress day. Being on the go, while fun and rewarding, can be tiring. So what do you do when you are traveling for weeks on end and don’t want to hit that wall?

The no stress day is mental health time. Maybe you need it more often than every 10 days. Or maybe you’re good with every two weeks. Your reality is what works for you … so you are not snapping at others in your impatience, or not tired while driving your vehicle, or getting the appropriate amount of physical exercise your body needs. When we travel we do not want to hit a wall where we are pushing through a day or an activity. Travel is to be enjoyable. To enjoy the moments our personal pace needs to respond to what we honestly need … and sometimes that is a no stress day. Our head and body will be happier for it! So take mental health time even when you travel! For some people, they actually schedule it on their travel plan.

What do you do to de-stress while traveling? How often do you take a stress-free day? Caregivers and people working in high stressful jobs also monitor and meet their needs as they usually already know stress kills. Take the time your head and body needs so you can travel longer in your life! 

Squirrel looking at me. I’m looking at him. My head & body love my outdoor time.

Mountain Lion Anxiety

We were hiking at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area in Tucson, Arizona. Attention to each of my footsteps was greater this spring day as the cold-blooded rattlesnakes may be warming themselves on nearby rocks. So my footsteps were carefully placed as were my hands when I used a rock for balance or to sit on and have a snack.

Parallel to the trail we were hiking was a creek where a woman was hiking. She exclaimed she was glad to see us since so few people were on the trails. The woman mentioned being anxious about a mountain lion jumping on her. There are mountain lion sightings at this park … rare, but do happen. I actually saw a mountain lion a few years back just outside the park! Thankfully I was a distance from it and could comfortably watch it.

I mentioned to the woman most healthy wild animals keep away from humans. Also, if we provide some noise, thus notice, an animal becomes aware someone is close and will move elsewhere. My go-to noise is to yell “yahoo” a couple of times, especially when near berry bushes, narrow trail passages, and any place I think an animal may be sleeping. I never wish to startle an animal, any animal, as they will take an offensive move when disturbed by an unknown. (It is comical though when another human being approaches me after hearing my yahoo and they wonder what is in the area or what is up with me!)

Here is an information sign, I saw at a local state park, regarding how to act if you encounter a mountain lion. In the meantime, enjoy the outdoors and give animals space to live in the area too. Many are there in the landscape you are walking through … your heavy footsteps, clicking hiking poles, conversation with another, or your “yahoo” provides notice of your arrival … thus you are not bothering them and they are not bothering you! Life goes on in the natural world!

Good information!

A few minutes later, I heard the woman’s yahoo! I hope she had a good hike! No mountain lion reports were made this day!

Who’s Chirping This Morning?

Here’s how it is in the desert. As we ready for sleep, windows are opened wide to allow the cool night air into our house. When we awake in the morning, we’ll be closing the windows before the heat of day flows in. It’s our usual routine as the summer season approaches; then air-conditioning will be on and we will not hear the birds at night or in the morning so easily.

BirdNET is a great app to help me identify birds via their calls or songs. I am a visual learner finding difficulty with audio learning so the app has helped me identify the night owl or the morning finch that may be calling. I may not see bird, but I hear its call and this app is another tool for me to use to identify a bird. But who’s chirping this morning?

Suddenly I realize the 3 piercing chirps that startled me awake this morning are sounds from a smoke alarm! There is nothing enjoyable about those chirps and I guess that’s the point! How can the chirps be from the same detector that chirped a month ago? How can it be after replacing batteries in all six detectors, a month ago, that we have any alarm chirping, let alone the same one again!

I don’t know if you have spent time really looking at smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, but I recently discovered new things. I don’t mind learning new things but do mind the chirping so it was the motivating factor to get this issue resolved. 

In the old days, I put up smoke detectors that were battery-powered. A separate carbon monoxide detector would be installed that was also battery-powered. Nowadays I discover alarms can be just a smoke detector or smoke and carbon monoxide detector in one unit. Plus detectors can be hard-wired with battery back-up. Gone are the days I can rid myself of the chirp and job responsibility within hours!

Locating an electrician or handyman was our first challenge. Friends, neighbors, anyone know someone who wants to stand on a ladder, stretch and screw around a ceiling item, and work with electricity? Thankfully no cathedral-height ceilings here … potential worker is glad to hear our ceilings are normal height; his service is scheduled! Buying the correct replacement for each type of detector was my next challenge. I almost goofed, but fortunately I checked with our builder’s customer service person to know each of our detectors are hard-wired; an important detail when selecting replacements. Do you know how many choices there are in the world of alarms? Thanks to ACE Hardware employees I have 2 smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and 4 smoke detectors all with hard-wired adapter. I hope they are easiest for our handyman to snap these replacements in and will not need to go shopping for anything else!

The birds are chirping and my smoke/carbon monoxide alarms are not; life is good! But don’t forget to replace the back-up batteries once a year as recommended. Thanks to our local firemen they come to our home, we provide the batteries and they climb the ladder to put a new battery in each alarm. Love their service! Stay safe everyone!