After working hard all week long in the city, I, like most people, like to relax and unwind on the weekend. Usually this means brunching (I'm all about that smashed avo on sourdough toast), catching up with friends over a drink or two and of course Netflix! In other words, chilling like a city slicker. However, I often find that I'm not 100% rested and ready to hit the ground running when Monday rolls around.
Cue, the weekend road trip to get away from the city - one of the best ways to make sure you really feel relaxed and rested over the weekend.
I know, who can really be bothered planning a road trip for two days. Surely it causes more stress than it's worth?! While planning a road trip away may require a bit of effort beforehand, the benefits will totally be worth it once you get out of the rat maze.
Have you ever noticed that when you go away to the country/beach/mountains you feel more peaceful and happy than you do when you're in the city? Turns out you're not alone. Unless it's a cabin in the woods, then you probably are all alone. Or are you? Anywaaaay, we all know that Mother Nature is the OG cure to all our problems and the city, with all of its hustle and bustle, can have a detrimental impact on our health and wellbeing, starting with the air we breathe.
Air outside of cities (aka country air aka actual oxygen) is generally cleaner and fresher, obvs.
This is partly due to there being more plant life and woodlands to absorb carbon dioxide. Many studies have found that people who breathe in clean(er) air are likely live longer than those of us who live in areas of urban density (aka cities, where there are more cars and buildings than trees, meaning more carbon dioxide). Clean, fresh air has also been found to make us feel better health wise. Studies looking at differences in health between those living the city vs those who are not, have found that people who are suffering from stress or are unwell experience a faster recovery in fresh and open air spaces.
It's not just the air we breathe when we're out of the city that helps us feel better, it's also what we do. Usually when I'm on a road trip away from the city, I find myself exercising and experiencing nature more. Outdoor activities are not only fun, they help with general health, wellbeing and weight loss. Plus, in the words of critically acclaimed lawyer Elle Woods:
"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't". So, there's that.
Finally, sometimes it's nice to take in views that are a little bit different to the bright lights in the big city. When you're away from the city at night time, look up at the sky and you'll be likely to see more stars than you get to see in the city. With less light pollution (aka, big city lights stealing the limelight away from the stars in the sky), it's easier to see all the stars shining in the night sky.
Next time you find yourself feeling like you can't relax, no matter how hard you try, plan a little weekend escape away from the city and get out to the country/beach/mountains (whichever is your vice).You're mind and body will thank you for it.
P.S. as I write this article I'm chilling out on the Great Ocean Road ... while eating smashed avo on sourdough toast -