You need to know your stress levels before you book a holiday. This quiz for evaluating stress originally surfaced in a Macmillan medical book in 1982 but in various forms it has been around for much longer. Basically what you need to know is whether you have been under too much stress in the past six months.
If you have then it may affect your choice of holiday, your means of travel. • Going through an airport is a high stress situation. • Charging around the countryside on an explorer expedition can be stressful. • Driving long distances is stressful. Sitting by the pool and swimming a few lazy laps is not stressful. As is resting in the countryside. Or anywhere else where you feel relaxed and serene. First you need to get a point score. Notice the questions only apply to the last six months. Not your lifetime. During the past six months: • Has your partner died? 20 points. • Have you become divorced or separated from your partner? 15 points. • Has a close relation (other than husband or wife) died? 13 points. • Have you been in hospital because of injury or illness? 11 points. • Have you married, or effected a reconciliation with your partner after a separation? 10 points. • Have you discovered you are soon to become a parent? 9 points. • Has there been a major change, whether for better or worse, in the health of a close member of your family? 9 points. • Have you lost your job or retired? 9 points. • Are you experiencing any sexual difficulties? 8 points. • Has a new member been born or married into your intimate family circle? 8 points. • Has a close friend died? 8 points. • Have your finances got markedly better or worse? 8 points. • Have you changed your job? 8 points. • Have any of your children moved out of the family home or started or finished school? 6 points • Is trouble with in-laws causing tension within your family? 6 points. • Is there anyone at home or at work whom you dislike strongly? 6 points. • Do you frequently suffer from premenstrual tension? 6 points. • Have you had a resounding personal success, such as rapid promotion at work? 6 points. • Have you experienced "jet lag" at least twice? 8 points. • Has there been a major domestic upheaval such as moving house or having an extension built onto your house (though not including a change in family relationships)? 5 points. • Have you had problems at work that may be putting your job at risk? 6 points. • Have you taken on a substantial debt or mortgage? 3 points. • Have you had a minor brush with the law, such as being prosecuted for a traffic offence or failure to have a TV licence? 2 points. As a general guide, a score of under 30 suggests that you are unlikely to suffer stress-related illness or accidental injury now or in the near future. Your choice of holiday is pretty much unrestricted in this particular area. If your score is 60 or above, the pressures on you are greater than normal. This means you are at risk from one or more stress-related problems. The higher the number the more relaxed your holiday must be. Note carefully that jet lag gets a score of 8. If you travel internationally more than four or five times a year you will become ill. Bet on it. If you fly over four hours and you do not fly in business class you can add 50 percent to those figures. Which is why you need to carefully evaluate your health before you decide on a holiday which involves very long flights. It can make you quite ill and stuff your holiday.