Have you ever come back from a vacation needing a vacation? There’s the planning, packing, closing up work and the home, the actual traveling, time-change, site-seeing, exploring, walking, running to trains, eating, drinking… I can come home needing a stay-cation. If you can relate, I have 5 tips to help you stay grounded and healthy while traveling, and hopefully make the transition back to “real life” a littler smoother.
(1) Enjoy an actual vacation! I love the 80/20 (or 90/10, 70/30) rule – 80% of the time you eat, drink, live for your healthiest self and 20% of the time you eat, drink and live for your cravings, celebrations and vacations. It’s not what you do some of that time that makes your healthy or sick, but what you do most of the time. So, don’t be strict with yourself, mentally battling all your food decisions, not giving your brain and body a vacation. It’s not just okay but necessary to let loose, enjoy, and treat yourself. That’s the living part of life.
(2) Drink a lot of water. A LOT. Before, during and after you fly, drive or train where it is you’re going. Do it first thing when you wake up in order to start you day right and have a glass before you go to bed. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your holiday (see #1) and have a Bloody Mary at brunch and margarita at dinner (that’s my holiday Sunday). It means, drink lots of water before and after all that other holiday goodness.
(3) Spend 5 minutes by yourself, preferably in the morning, to connect with yourself, ground and get present. I do this through meditation and/or yoga but it can be done in many ways – prayer, sitting in silence with your glass of water, tea or coffee, stretching, while you walk around the block, or however you want it. Just make it happen. A simple five minutes to yourself – connecting to your breath and soul, imagining how you want to feel throughout your day and how you want to interact with yourself and others – makes a significant impact on your day. You’re setting the tone and standard for your day before you head into your day of touring, eating, socializing, chatting, walking, etc. Try it out. I like 10 minutes but when you’re traveling or life is hectic you do what you can do; there’s nothing too small.
(4) Stretch! Even a couple minutes make a difference and you can do it in bed! All that traveling, sitting, walking, site seeing, eating, drinking and time-change does a number on the body physically, mentally and emotionally (see above for the latter too). Taking a couple minutes to stretch your body can help dramatically. Here are some poses I like to do before or in bed: forward fold, lying twist (right/left), happy baby, thread the needle, reclined bound angle pose, and legs up the wall. Try them out or find your own that work for you.
(5) Use this time to disconnect, even if it’s just a little. Maybe you’re traveling for work or with friends, or you need Google maps and your camera and some other apps. I understand we feel we need these things, and I’m not telling you to forgo all of them, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a vacation just for you, to be fully present where you are, enjoying the moment, seizing opportunities, and living a life actually worth capturing. Don’t get me wrong, staying connected isn’t bad – I love Instagram and sharing my travels with my friends – but there’s a time and place for social media and a time and place for real life experiences. Experience and enjoy your travel; share later.
I would absolutely love to hear from you! What helps you stay grounded and healthy when you travel? Is there anything special you do when you travel that you want to share with the rest of us? Let’s help each other out!
Good luck on your travels and adventures! Enjoy the world and the good people inhabiting it, and please be kind and respectful along the way.
Sending you love and support on your journey,