April is Stress Awareness Month, which makes it an easy topic to tie into my newest wanderlust post because I am a firm believer that relaxation is essential to good mental health and happiness. And what’s a better form of relaxation than traveling? Few things can top it in my book.
My boyfriend is a tax accountant and as we reach the final stretch of tax season, he is easily booking 65+ hours/week. April 16, the day after one of the most stressful days of the year (deadline to submit your taxes!), is coincidentally or not recognized as National Stress Awareness Day. In serious appreciation of this day and our own mental stability, we are taking a few days to vacation, relax and have a little bit of fun to break up the monotony of life as hardworking adults.
While relaxation can help counteract the serious health complications linked to high stress (heart problems, dementia, seizures to name a few), it is just one of many ways to improve your quality of life. I recently read articles on Yahoo and the New York Times that state that the Greek island Ikaria is one of the places on Earth with the largest grouping of centenarians, or people who live to witness their 100th birthday.
According to the article, these Ikarians’ secrets to longevity include “lack of pollution, a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables, moderate consumption of wine, and…coffee brewed by a boiling method.”
As an avid and religious drinker of coffee, I am always happy to hear of more reasons why the deliciously fragrant little beans can protect me against diabetes and liver disease (Ironically, those who have had a liver transplant due to a liver disease must ban coffee consumption from their diets). According to research published in the journal Vascular Medicine, this particular type of boiled Greek coffee was associated with better endothelial function. Endothelial cells play an important role in blood vessel formation and in reducing the friction of the flow of blood in blood vessels.
Greece has been on my travel bucket list for years, ever since I saw my first picture of Santorini’s blue-capped, whitewashed stone homes flushed into the hills. If the same is true for you, be sure to check out my Pinterest travel board. Someday, I would love to move to one of the breathtakingly idyllic Grecian towns picture below. Enjoy!