The snows are melting, the pandemic is easing, and it’s time to spring into the year with healthy lifestyle choices. Did you know that travel is a great way to relieve stress and increase your mental health? And you don’t have to travel far to experience those benefits.
It is well known that stress harms the body by causing digestive issues, headaches, sleep interruptions and loss of focus. “The stress of work and daily demands can distract us from what we find to be actually meaningful and interesting,” says Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg, a San Francisco-based clinical psychologist and author of Psychodynamic Perspectives on Aging and Illness.
Add to those ordinary demands the extraordinary stress of the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and we are all looking for ways to restore our sense of well-being. What better way is there to help you take your mind off stressful situations than traveling to a new place, discovering new interests, and meeting new people. This can lead to lower cortisol levels, making you feel calmer and content. “It also helps us reflect on our personal goals and interests,” adds Greenberg.
Ohio abounds in travel destinations – from parks to historic sites to unique small towns offering dining and shopping options. An overnight visit to one of the state’s lesser-known gems can be a way to relieve stress, get physical activity, and even recalibrate your mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
This spring, consider a trip to Steubenville and Jefferson County in the eastern part of Ohio. The delightful Victorian Bayberry House Bed & Breakfast located in downtown Steubenville offers a variety of cozy but comfortable accommodations within a short distance of several of the area’s signal attractions.
Energize your artistic brain cells and grab a map to walk or drive around town to see some of the 25 larger than life works of art that have given the “City of Murals” its nickname. March features the Steubenville Art Association Art Show. In April, take in the Spring Quilt Show at the Steubenville Visitor Center and participate in the Great Steubenville Eggsibition, a scavenger hunt for exquisitely painted 3-foot-tall eggs situated in downtown storefronts.
Get your endorphins pumping by hiking around Beatty Park, a site on the National Register of Historic Places with creeks, wildflowers, fossils, and trails located in downtown Steubenville.
History lovers can learn about 18th century Ohio at Historic Fort Steuben, explore the Jefferson County Historical Museum, or take a ride through the countryside to Historic Mount Pleasant, an important site in the Abolitionist Movement of the 19th century.
Need some spiritual renewal? Tour St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the oldest in the city with its stunning Tiffany stained-glass windows. Or prayerfully walk the Stations of the Cross at Franciscan University of Steubenville, the large bronze images that came from Italy and designed by artist Carmelo Puzzolo.
Get up and GO and get a healthy start on life this spring without going too far!
Travel? It’s Good for Your Health!