Travel can take a toll on the body, mind, and spirit. There is the dreaded jet lag, we deal with a lot of new things, and our diets change, to name a few things. As a result, we are usually a lot more wired-up than we may think. This is why some of us feel like "a vacation from that vacation" is needed when we return home. Thankfully, we can do things to enhance well-being while on vacation that will also make the return to "normal" much more enjoyable. Keep reading for some simple and effective suggestions.
EASE INTO YOUR DAY
In the mornings, make it about being gentle with waking your body up by embracing two fundamental inputs into your existence: water and air. These suggestions done together will take under 10 mins.
Sixty percent of our body is water. Our body depends on water to function properly. For example, water is used to transport nutrients in the body and balance the body's temperature. Consuming water first thing in the morning is a quick source of hydration. Things like coffee and tea, although they contain water, dehydrate. Keep it simple and hydrate first. If drinking water is a challenge for you, place a cup or bottle of water on the nightstand the previous night or at the first place you tend to find yourself first thing in the morning. Presto, drinking water first thing in the morning will be a lot easier.
After drinking the water, close your eyes and take in ten deep breaths. Taking deep breaths relaxes, helps lower stress, lowers heart rate, and regulates blood pressure. I do a series of breathing exercises which I refer to as " build and release." It's also a small training exercise to condition the mind to start relaxing once tension is felt. As I inhale I lift my shoulders up to my ears. I then slowly exhale out my mouth as I release my shoulders back down. Go ahead, give it a try. Notice a positive feeling? Feel free to use it during vacation and when home; I certainly do.
THINK COLOR DURING THE DAY
During the day, make it about strengthening your immune system and finding moments to calm and put your mind at ease. A calm nervous system and a mind at ease will enhance the positivity of your experiences during the day.
You have likely heard the phrase "eat the rainbow," which translates into "eat different colors of fruits and vegetables." Here is why variety in color is essential. Different colors of fruits and vegetables give the body specific nutrients. Eating the rainbow will ensure that your body gets a range of nutrients to benefit your health. Unfortunately, things get a little noisy in the nutrition space regarding how best to eat the rainbow. Some say eat a colorful plate. Some "intranets" chatter say have a salad a day. Some give the ideal amount of servings to consume during the day and advise dividing it between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a bit too much chatter out there! Keep it simple and just eat a variety of colors during the day.
Surround yourself with color
There is something wonderful, healing, and calm about being out in nature. Think hikes, a dip in the ocean, a walk on the street lined with trees or colorful houses, and a garden or forest trip. You will likely be breathing fresher air and relaxing.
UNWIND AT NIGHT
At night, make it all about activities that signal the end of the day and reduce visual stimulation. It's also about setting you up to embark on the next day refreshed, energized and ready to go.
Reset your place
I was scrolling through Instagram one night while I was in Barbados and came across the page of Nabela Noor, an entrepreneur, and influencer, whose content I absolutely adore. Her story on that day was about resetting her living room at the end of the day. So I stopped scrolling and tried it. I woke up in the morning and had extra time to chill because I had a little spare time on my hand. I did not have to look for my keys, wash out my mug to use it, etc. If the act of organizing does not bring you much joy, here is a psychological trick you can try. Start small. Very, very small! Think of the coffee table or sofa. Make completing that small activity an end goal and let that wonderful feeling experienced after completing the task propel you to continue. Put on some music or a podcast if that will help. You might even be surprised when you get to the end of resetting your place!
Put away electronic devices
Removing our ease of access to our phone, computer, or tablet at night ensures that the pesky blue light does not destroy our sleep. The best way to do this is to plug electronic devices away from the bed and travel with a small, cheap, old-fashioned alarm clock without the tick-tock sound. If in a hotel room or a studio place, plug electronics in the bathroom. If in a place with a separate bedroom, plug it outside of the bedroom. The act of getting up from bed and walking to get the device takes a lot more work than reaching for it. In plugging devices away from where we sleep, we are letting our tiredness help us out.
Have any suggestions of simple wellness practices to try when on the road? Comment below for all to see.