Why Houseboating Relieves Stress

April 2022 Live Austa Cook Web Exclusive

 WebMD posted online ten techniques to reduce your stress and help you relaaax. While perusing through them (my stress maintenance can be about as relaxing as a high-strung parakeet with a heart condition caged in a fireworks shop on New Year’s Eve), I was struck by how  this list fits the houseboating lifestyle to a T. I’ve got to say, Jeannette Moninger should just change her article to 10 Relaxation Techniques You Already Do Anyways On A Houseboat. Or she could rewrite everything she advises in her article to just four words: "Get on a houseboat."

But in case you need a refresher as to how the ways of the water already naturally encourage deeper relaxation, let’s peruse a few tidbits of Moninger’s excellent advice and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Firstly on her list is, “meditate.”Who doesn’t enjoy sitting out on the top deck to feel the breeze while you stare out at forming clouds? I myself find staring at smoothing waves quite fascinating while I think about life. Check.

Second, “breathe deeply.” I don’t know about you, but I automatically do this as soon as I’m out of the city and tucked away where there’s fresh, clean air. It might be a survival reflex, kind of like me resurfacing from the neck of a sweater I just pulled over my head a little too slowly, but there you go. Check.

Third, “be present.” It’s hard not to be when the physical sensations around you pull you back to the present by default. Who can focus on anything else when they’re tugged into the present by things like a slop of warm sunshine right across the lap or a tickle of spray?

Fourth, “reach out.” What else are dock neighbors for? Houseboating is notorious for opening people up to an amiable relationship with other fellow houseboaters around them. Something like, “birds of a feather stick together,” or maybe “nuts of a kind are best combined,” that sort of thing. That, and usually the family is invited along for houseboating outings, and that’s a beautiful way to stay connected and share in a delightful experience together. 

Fifth, “tune in to your body.” Again, easily done when you’re so present in a relaxing environment. It’s easy to tune into your body when you’re rocked at night by gentle waves or enjoying the way your weight settles into a deck chair while everyone watches the sun color the twilight sky like a painter's pallet.

Sixth, “decompress.” Easily done by soaking in a hot tub until your skin gradually turns raisin-like. Or by wildly shooting down a water slide with a “Wahoo!” and more limb-flailing than a mazurka dance.

To read the rest of Moninger’s advice, which falls under “laugh out loud,” “crank up the tunes,” “get moving,” and “be grateful,” just click here. Also check out this article on the stress relieving benefits of owning a pet fish here.

Hard not to be grateful, with such a perfect lifestyle. I strongly encourage all our fellow houseboaters to peruse the rest of Moninger’s article, as it really is an insightful read. It’ll only serve to confirm how truly awesome houseboating is and how blessed we are to have it.

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