“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T.S. Eliot
As always, I strive for balance and helping others to do the same! Lack of control has been documented as a cause of imbalances by increasing our stress. Even though vacation can be great, a lot becomes out of our control or different from our norm. This list of tips is based on some of my top priorities, so I can feel great when traveling. Hopefully, this article can inspire you to ponder what you need to be your best self on vacation!
Vacations are usually meant to be relaxing but realistically, the time-changes, airplanes, and splurging can be tough on our bodies! So, what can we do to maintain balance?
1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Becoming dehydrated can be one of the easiest things to avoid if you are mindful! Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. Drink water before, during, and after flights. Drink water before, between, and after the Pinot Noir! Some other tricks besides just downing water are skipping sugary drinks like soda, being light on the booze, and opting for coconut water. Remember that remaining properly hydrated is a gift for your overall health, so drink up!
2. Find Fresh & Whole Foods Daily
I love exploring cuisine from around the country and the world! Sometimes that isn't always the healthiest option. Therefore, I try to adopt an 80/20 approach to my meals! Eighty percent good stuff and then I don't feel guilty about indulging on the rest! A few options to get whole foods in on vacation:
-Grab something at a local deli
-Opt for fresh produce
-Find a smoothie or juice bar
3. Breathe Mindfully
Whether you call it meditation, breath, self-regulation, or quiet-time do it. Traveling can be busy. Being in new places may be overwhelming. If that overwhelming feeling takes over then pause, inhale, pause, exhale, and repeat as needed. You can do this while waiting to board a flight, during take off, and even when waiting to cross the street. A few breaths can have a powerful influence on your experience and help you be more in-the-moment to enjoy your adventure!
4. Carry Nutritious Snacks
Did you know that when stress increases cravings for sugar and carbs also increase? Opting for carby sugary foods time and time again can result in a negative feedback loop putting additional strain on the body (spiked blood-sugar, fatigue, etc.). I bet you know that it can be tricky to find healthy foods in the airport or when tromping around a new city so keeping nourishing foods on hand like a KIND bar, nuts/seeds, Greek yogurt, or fruit can be a great move. If you forget your snacks, then try to opt for something yummy and nutritious for an extra boost!
5. Pack a Wellness Bag
A wellness bag is one of my secret weapons! I used to always get sick after hopping from plane to plane, lacking sleep and indulging on vacation. Now, I do whatever I can to keep my immune system up. The top items that I keep in my wellness bag are:
6. Counter-balance Long Hours of Travel
Do you ever have lower back or shoulder pain after a lot of traveling? If so, you are not alone. It is quite common! Here are three GREAT seated stretches to bring some balance back into your body:
A) Figure Four [photo’d]
C) Knees to chest.
7. Move Your Body
Walk around a city, workout, play soccer, scuba dive, find a yoga studio, ride bikes, or anything to keep yourself in motion.
8. Bring the Right Attire
There is nothing worse than being sun burnt and sweaty at the beach or being freezing in the mountains. Be prepared and protect your skin! Consider bringing:
sunscreen, aloe, or lotion depending on your destination
shoes appropriate for your adventure
layers (sun-cover ups, vests, base layers)
I'm not sure how you travel, but my vacations tend to be FAR from restful. We are always site-seeing, exploring, and adventuring. That means that I need to make it a priority to get sleep, even if it is a power nap each afternoon. Regardless of your approach to travel, remember to get some rest!
10. Have a plan while being adaptable!
Remember to not hyper-focus on seeing every item on your list. Enjoy the moments in between site-seeing. Laugh whenever you can and most importantly, enjoy the adventure!