Stress Busters for Enjoying The Ride

by Tess on September 21, 2009

Creative Commons License photo credit: DirectDish

My husband and I went to Hawaii for the first time seven years ago. On the island of Maui there is a road to the remote town of Hana. Hana Highway winds for thirty three miles along beautiful breath taking cliffs that over a look turquoise splashing black sandy beaches.

There are Eden like forests and gushing waterfulls. Hana Highway has over 600 hairpin curves and 51 one lane bridges. It’s necessary to drive 20 mph for two and a half hours before arriving.
Creative Commons License photo credit: DirectDish

There are two groups of people that travel the road to Hana. The first group want to arrive as fast as they can. They are the locals and are numb to the beauty.

The second group of people enjoy the ride and think of it is a fabulous journey. They are the tourists. As tourists, my husband and I stopped and hiked a bamboo forest.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sean K.

We saw people jumping off cliffs and swimming beneath a waterfall. We saw people picking bananas and stopped to purchase fruit from a roadside stand. We were in awe of the black sandy beaches.We viewed Hawaii as paradise just as it is advertised. We made memories that last forever.

The following methods will help you relieve stress and enjoy your journey. 

Focus on what goes right today.
Give yourself credit.
Ease up on yourself.
Take a brisk walk.
Listen to music.
Follow a healthy diet.
Spend time outdoors.
Practice breathing.
Laugh out loud.
Practice kindness.
Become Patient.
Spend time thinking about what matters.
Reach out to friends.
Schedule time for yourself.
Take a day and manage overwhelm.
Ask for support.
Plan a weekend away.
Read a daily meditation book.
Just say “no.”
Refuse to bring work problems home.

Each day we have a choice on how we live our life. Which group of people are you in?

Do you go through your day as fast as you can missing the beauty? 
Do you enjoy the ride and think of life as a fabulous journey?    
What are your favorite ways to destress?

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    { 33 comments… read them below or add one }

    Avani Mehta September 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Most of time I manage to enjoy each day as it comes. But there are times when I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy what’s present.

    I make it a point to create pauses everyday to just observe greenery around, play music and look outside window etc. This works most of time. Sunsets are my favorite. I rarely miss a sunset – just looking at the sky filled with beautiful colors, fills my heart with awe and gratitude.
    .-= Avani Mehta´s last post…Do Not Give Up … =-.


    Tess September 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Avani Mehta,

    I love sunsets as well. I was closing down our cottage in Michigan for the season last week and enjoyed every last one. I also like pausing and need to do it more. I used to each in a rush and now I don’t eat unless I’m sitting down. I remind myself now is the only time I have.


    jenn September 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    timely post… lately I’ve been rushing through life to one event to another. Hockey, hockey and more kids hockey. But reading this just reminded me to slow down. Pausing. Enjoying the moments.

    thanks tess!!!
    .-= jenn´s last post…hehe =-.


    Wilma Ham September 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Tess, I am unlearning, I am unlearning and really getting that rushing through life is pointless. But I am so used to it, I rushed through school to get out of it, I rushed learning to get to the exams, I rushed through my youth to get to adulthood.
    Now I know where I end up when I rush, dead. So now I slow down and indeed can see the sense of enjoying the ride, however I still get caught up with chores, I am learning to enjoy the ride when waiting at a check-out with a slow operator, I am learning to enjoy cleaning oh Tess, I am even learning to enjoy the learning.
    I destress by enjoying little pleasures like going outside and peeking at a baby bird in its nest, by going for a walk during the day and enjoying my morning coffee.
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last post…The benefits of doing completion. =-.


    [email protected] September 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    We drove that road…it took and long time…and we never made it to Hana. But I was not disappointed! I saw the most beautiful waterfalls, black sand beaches, and amazing scenery!

    I think this was a perfect example of enjoying the journey and not worrying if you actually made the destination. That journey was one I will never forget.

    Thank you Tess!
    .-= ´s last post…Mosaic Monday – Wedding =-.


    Jannie Funster September 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I think I’m much more in the slow driving group these days, but still have room for improvement. I actually did 8 of these on the list so far today, I’m sure I can fit 3 more in before I lay me down to sleep, a bag of organic lavendar at my feet.

    My biggest de-stressor is your “just say no.” Nips potential stress right in the bud.

    I’m gonna have a juice pop and ride my trike 3 times around the cul-de-sac now . See ya!

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last post…Just Plain What The Heck? — Funny Keyword Searches, 5 =-.


    Stacey Shipman September 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I used to speed through life, but now I really try to live with more intention. To destress I love to go to the beach, 12 months out of the year. And of course I have my yoga and meditation practice to save me every time.
    .-= Stacey Shipman´s last post…What Stress? The Day My Website Disappeared =-.


    Jill September 21, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you, thank you Tess. I really needed the reminder to be the person who enjoys the scenery. I sometimes get caught up in my head and forget to just be. Mondays are full of activities and I have noticed that the last 2 have left me feeling depleted and worn out. For now I’m going to put my feet up on the sofa and snuggle in for a movie with Mr. Man. Well, right after I get the Littles to bed. Here’s to taking the slow road.
    .-= Jill´s last post…Now I can just breathe =-.


    diantha September 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Oh Tess, what a great post! I am much more like the list you posted today but when we went to Hana on that road about 25 years ago it was NOT like that! My husband was so frustrated because he wanted to get there to make a phone call. He tried to speed up only to hit another hairpin curve and his will was not making the trip any easier! This back in the days when he had to call his office when he was on vacation at least twice a day. We once were up in Canada and had to take a little aluminum boat about 5 miles down the river to reach a phone…which we did twice a day. OMG, I am SO THANKFUL those days are long gone! You have today reminded me of how far we have come in our personal journeys! YAY!


    Positively Present September 21, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Great post! I love these stress busters!
    .-= Positively Present´s last post…5 simple ways to cultivate inner peace =-.


    Keith September 21, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Hello Tess,

    First: Awesome photos!! Man, what beautiful scenery!

    Okay, what a great article and it offers wonderful advice. Life is so very brief and we MUST slow down and take in all the beauty that life presents to us. I like to de-stress by not getting stressed out in the first place, but when I do I find that listening to music such as that which features Native American Flute really chills me out. That or I play my flute. Either way, it is a real spiritual thing for me and helps to put things right again in my heart and mind.

    I also love to take notice of nature, think of my children, exercise etc,

    Thank you so much for this reminder to stop..take a breath…and gratefully love life.
    .-= Keith´s last post…Joy In The Journey =-.


    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now September 21, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I try to bring a vacation mindset to every situation I’m in. This hasn’t been going so well for me. I’ve been letting my frustration creep in. I’ve been ignoring the beauty around me. I need to try a little harder.

    Tomorrow my whole day will be about finding the beauty in every thing like it’s new. I know I can cultivate this mindset because whenever I look at something long enough I find something new and beautiful that I haven’t discovered before. Whenever I forget and fall back into my old routine, I’m just going to gently remind myself that life is so much better when I look for the beauty in everything and everyone.
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…25 Reasons Why You Should Pre-order the Happiness Project Book =-.


    Karen Chaffee September 22, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Awww, now you’ve made me want to visit Hawaii more than I already wanted to.

    “Take a day and manage overwhelm.” What perfect advice, since I usually wait until I’m so overwhelmed I crash! I think I’ll take one more often now…on purpose.



    Davina September 22, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Hi Tess. “Focus on what goes right!” The absolute standout for me. I’ve seen how my day goes when I focus on the hiccups. It’s a bumpy ride. Those are great shots of Hawaii… especially interested in the bamboo forest. Must have been fun hiking there.
    .-= Davina´s last post…Remembering a Friend =-.


    Jared | September 22, 2009 at 6:19 am

    Great post! My wife and I are deciding on our next vacation and stuck between Belize and Maui. We got married on Kauai and loved it but like to SCUBA dive so Belize has always been a dream of ours. I’m thinking Maui is looking pretty good now!
    .-= Jared |´s last post…The Secret Power of Gratitude and How to Get It =-.


    Daphne September 22, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Thank you for such a great list of things to help relieve stress. Some items will be easier than others and all of them are worthwhile. There is always more I can do to simplify my life and slow down. Very timely!
    .-= Daphne´s last post…Present =-.


    Peggy September 22, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Hi Tess!

    Another Grand Slam post – I LOVE IT! As harried as my life is right now with planning my oldest daughter’s wedding (my baby!) coupled with work, writing, an online class, and all that *stuff,* finding the time to bust stress is so important! I make the time to take care of me – whether it’s 30 minutes of yoga in morning, 45 minutes of Thai Kickboxing after work (talk about a stress buster!) or looking at photographs that capture happy memories while I’m at work (my grand daughter’s picture is currently my screen saver…tough to be stressed out when I’m looking at her precious face!)

    .-= Peggy´s last post…Three Years of Wedded Bliss =-.


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord September 22, 2009 at 8:46 am

    For the past week or so, I’ve felt like I’m on overdrive, and it caught up with me over the weekend. I’m putting the brakes on, Tess, and enjoying the moment-to-moment more. What I’ve learned is that very little in our existence is a matter of life and death. If I don’t get that press release written and sent today, it’s okay. If I don’t make it around to all 30 blogs I enjoy reading, that’s all right, too. If I do, wonderful. But most importantly, I need to take time to enjoy each moment I’m in.
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last post…Feeling Prosperous =-.


    Jodi at Joy Discovered September 22, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Hi Tess,
    My natural tendency is to work as fast as I can–so it takes conscious effort to be in the moment appreciating each bit of beauty and joy as it unfolds. I like living my life that way much better! Like anything, the more attention I give this, the more I am hoping it will become habit! Lately I am slowing down, much like Megan wrote. I can’t do it all, and trying to outwit time is just struggling against what is and that’s not how I want to do things.

    Your list is filled with wonderful suggestions. Many of them are things I do to de-stress. Probably my biggest, most cherished stress buster is to head out for lunch–there is this cute little cafe I go to with the BEST lunch food around and the BEST iced tea. I sit outside to eat, all the while looking around at their beautiful english garden and I feel like I’ve stepped into Eden!! That always rejuvenates me.

    I love your blog, Tess! xo-J
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last post…Expressing Thanks =-.


    Liz - aka Nutty Gnome September 22, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Hi. I wandered into your blog from ‘a glowing ember’ and I’m very glad I did! I think I may have found a kindred spirit!
    I gave up working in a VERY stressfull job in the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK about 3 years to set up my own Holistic Therapies practice and to teach Tai Chi in schools. I am FAR happier, less stressed, calmer, focused etc, and have more time to enjoy the moments …… decision I ever made! :)
    Thanks for a very enjoyable and thought prov0king blog.
    .-= Liz – aka Nutty Gnome´s last post…The Plans (or men are from Mars and women …… aren’t!) =-.


    Tess September 22, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I understand all of that running with kids. They were crazy for me and yet I still look at them as the good old days. However that’s when I first got in to counseling because my life was out of control. The first thing the counselor said was ’slow down your pace.’ We did and it cut the chaos in half.

    Enjoy these times and your kids…just breathe.

    Life is grand when we love our learning and lessons. I love the thought of a birds nest and morning coffee. You are in a great space these days and I’m glad I’m a part of your days!

    That’s great because there really isn’t anything when we got to Hana! Not even an ice cream place. When they say remote they mean remote. So the joke is really on anyone who rushes to get there! Yeah for you!

    You are so friggin funny and crazy I love lavender. Now I lay me down to sleep a bag of lavendar at my feet. Have you thought of a silly song on stress. I think you’re on to something here. LOL

    I’ve been reading your blog now and I know you walk your talk. Beach, yoga and mediation…it doesn’t get much better than that. I have a friend that has beautiful cury hair like you, lives near the beach and does yoga. You remind me of her and she’s back in MI.

    Snuggle on it sounds like it’s a good thing to do when the Littles are in bed! How sweet.

    Isn’t it wonderful to see how far you’ve come and grown. When we are younger I believe there are things we need to do because there’s no other way of doing them. We did then what needed to be done. Then age and wisdom come and it seems we have more finanical freedom because of those early days.

    I think life is different now. So many more choices on how one earns a living.

    Positively present,
    Thanks for stopping by and feel free to use them as well.

    I love your choice of music. My daughter played the flute as well. Beautiful stuff for a beautiful life.

    I fall back as well and my first sign that I have is lack of inner peace. Then of course I need others around me to be miserable too. LOL

    Aren’t we blessed to be aware there’s a better way!

    Yes yes go to Hawaii. It is a trip worth planning and saving for. No other place like it. I want to go back to a couple of other islands.

    It was great hiking there but now that we’re planning our hike in the Grand Canyon we don’t have to worry about the bamboo!

    I vote for Belize…because I’ve never been either and my friend owns land there and it’s lovely. Bon Voyage!

    Yeah great minds think on the same channel. I’m happy to be a reminder and will keep truckin’ slowly with you.

    Wow weddings are so fun and amazing. I love family weddings. Just remember to breathe and kiss the grandbaby for me. XO

    It’s funny because I feel the same way…and those 30 blogs will all be there tomorrow as well. I can’t agree more not much is life or death. I’ve really realized this with my husband’s job loss. Here we are 5 months later believing it is a blessing in disguise.
    Not life or death…good place to be eh?

    You just gave me a shot in the arm with “I love your blog.” I know you appreciate what work, effort and time go into one. So thanks for making my day. Can I come and have lunch with you? It sounds lovely!


    Peggy September 22, 2009 at 9:26 am

    PS – I was just wondering if I could have lunch with Jodi, too…the cafe sounds divine!
    .-= Peggy´s last post…Three Years of Wedded Bliss =-.


    Kirsty September 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Great post Tess, I really enjoyed it. Since moving to our new home 3 years ago I have made sure that I enjoy the view that is just around the corner from our house. We live alongside the Great Dividing Range that runs the entire East Coast of Australia – just beautiful.

    In front of this range are the stunning green of cane fields which are currently being harvested. Each clear morning or sunsetting afternoon the range has a gorgeous light about it which I just love. It is peaceful, serene and I loathe the day when they decide to develop the cane for housing…

    The list you provided was a great reminder as there are at least a couple that I need to work on. But one step and day at a time! Thank you :)


    Helen September 22, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Today’s post really spoke to me. “One day at a time” is a mantra I try to live by. I did FINALLY take a weekend away this past weekend and went to a friend’s cottage just south of Cadillac MI on Diamond Lake. Life just automatically slowed down for me when I pulled in the driveway there and I still feel the after-effects of calm, peace, contentment and idleness! It’s so hard to remember to take care of myself …. this post was a great reminder that I am a very important person and deserve to let go and live. Thanks Tess!


    Evita September 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Tess!
    Oh how wonderful to hear – Hawaii!!! I definitely hope to make it there someday!

    I definitely go through life appreciating the all. And of course it wasn’t always like this and at the same time, I am amazed at how amazing it is today. I seriously am so in love with life and just adore taking it all in!

    I think this is one of the biggest blessings – life and this world, no matter what…

    Love the tips you gave too :)
    .-= Evita´s last post…The Winner of The Path: Afterlife DVD & Your Thoughts On Death and the Afterlife =-.


    Mary B Sheffield September 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Tess,
    This is wonderful ! Just the pictures put my mind in a vacation mode.
    I started a jurnal just for happiness about two weeks ago ! I have to write at least 2 things that make me happy . And if I have more I write more. But never less ! Funny how just taking notice brings out all of the little things that you would have never paid attention to .
    I love the say no.. Because I am not very good at it ! Just last week I wall papered my Mother inlaws home . Baby sat for a friend . Baked a dinner for a friend . And helped out setting up my sisters garage sale. And worked a 40 plus work week. This week after I help package a truck load of potatoes to hand out . I am going to be like the drug commercials and just say no !!! Ok I might say no unless it is really important. Oh yey I forgot my Mother is staying with us Thursday through Monday . While her apartment is redone. Ok maybe the next week I will say no ! EEEEKKKK :) Toooo Funny ! But definitely blessed !
    Mary Beth


    Lance September 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Hi Tess,
    Hawaii is on our list of places to visit. And it just looks so lovely! What a place to really take in. And I think it goes to show – that which we get used to – we start to be numbed to the beauty that exists right before our eyes. Makes me think about what I’m missing in my everyday life…

    And what a great list of stress busters. My wife and I will regularly go on walks, and it’s a great time for us to just connect with each other – and find a spot of extra peace in those days. Music is also a great source of stress relief for me – especially classical or instrumental.
    .-= Lance´s last post…Laughter Revisited =-.


    John September 22, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I hate say it, but I think I’m in both groups :P

    There are times, like earlier this morning, when I can just soak everything in and feel at peace with nature (we live in the suburbs so most of the time, it’s eerily quiet).

    Other times, like in the afternoon, I’m completely restless. I just can’t sit still and take in anything. Sometimes I wish the day could be over so I can experience the quiet of morning again.

    I’m happy that you still have passionate memories of your trip to Hawaii. That’s a sign of true happiness :)
    .-= John´s last post…My First Steps Towards Lifestyle Design =-.


    Angelia Sims September 23, 2009 at 5:11 am

    It took a huge toll on my life to awaken me to it’s beauty. An abusive relationship that scraped me over the bottom of the sludge. When I had the strength to find in myself, who I was and what I deserved, beauty and joy could not allude me anymore. Now, EVERY day is a gift of joy.
    Beautiful pictures Tess! I love bamboo trees, they are my favorite!
    .-= Angelia Sims´s last post…Who had the right of way? =-.


    janice September 23, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I can be very active and productive when I need to be, when I want to be, but most of the time I’m an absorber, one of life’s eternal tourists. Until I started to spend far too much time online, I was so present and engaged, I managed to expand the moments in my day by loving so many of the details. I enjoy my time online, but it’s not the same as being out there engaging with friends, family and nature. This last part of my journey’s been a bit bumpy, but better alive and battered by the bumps than reaching the end and realised I’ve been dozing.
    .-= janice´s last post…101 Slightly Unpredictable Tips for Novelists and Screenwriters: Innovative Ways to Jack your Creativity and Sell What you Write =-.


    Carolynn September 23, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Love this list. I would love to take that drive too…perhaps later this year…I will definitely be in the 2nd group, taking the time to enjoy the journey.
    .-= Carolynn´s last post…Be. Do. Have. =-.


    jonathan figaro September 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Great list of things we can do to reduce stress. Another tip is to mediate daily for 15 minutes. Doing this can deduce stress, increase happiness and provide more fulfillment in life.


    Jodi at Joy Discovered September 23, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Hi again Tess,
    Come join me anytime! The next time you need a break from the Phoenix heat, head to SD and lunch is on me! ;) Jodi
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last post…Expressing Thanks =-.


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