SELF CARE SERIES #24:
How to Get the Most From Your Rejuvenating Vacation
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
Nothing opens our eyes like travelling to new places, meeting new people, and encountering ideas and experiences that both challenge and refresh us.
It’s no wonder so many people come back from a long vacation needing yet another long vacation. Who can resist that thrill of exploration when you’re really supposed to be kicking back and relaxing?
Yes, vacation burnout is real. But it shouldn’t be.
I’m not one to sit still for too long whenever I go away either, so this summer travel season feels like a good time to share with you some of my favorite self-care tips that can keep you feeling healthy and invigorated both inside and out so you can make the most of your getaway.
Prioritize self-care on trips to and from your destination.
1. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
This one is the standard 101 no-brainer tip, wherever you are. But it’s especially important to remember when travelling on a plane with recirculated, dry air. No one wants to get to their destination feeling like a chalky raisin. Drink up! (Water – that is. Alcohol on the plane will surely zap your moisture and could leave you with a pressure headache. Wait until you arrive to imbibe, if you do at all).
2. Eat light and healthy.
We tend to crave not-so-good-for-us foods when we’re travelling. High carb and high fat comfort foods can feel like they’re relieving stress. But the reality is, it’s a short term spike of blood sugar that gives us that kick which just as quickly turns into a slump. Instead of grabbing a greasy bite as you run to your flight, try planning ahead and reach for a fresh salad or similar, packed with veggies and fruit for protein and fiber – especially if you’re going to be sitting for a few hours. You want your metabolism working hard so it can’t drag you down later.
3. Sanitize and mask up.
This one’s still very much top-of-mind for most of us but it doesn’t hurt to remind everyone just how important it is to keep clean in small, cramped spaces. In many Asian countries, it’s pretty much been the norm for many people to wear masks on planes already. It’s not only good for your own health, it’s considered respectful others to wear a mask when in a crowd. Also, it’s a good idea to carry around a bottle of hand sanitizer for elbow rests, etc. You don’t have to get carried away. A little goes a long way for peace-of-mind.
Prioritize self-care while at your destination.
1. Ground yourself.
Arriving is rarely “arriving.” From standing too long in the plane to the passport control to baggage claim to the taxi to the ferry (or to the dugout canoe or to the donkey-pulled wagon) to the hotel check-in – you’re still travelling. No, it’s not until finally you ARRIVE and lay on your back on the bed if just for a moment that have you arrived. So breathe. Relax. You’re here. Take the moment before you do anything else to practice gratitude and calm your mind. This is the point of escaping.
2. Make yourself at home, with a twist.
There’s a plethora of lodging options around the world, some with the most amazing and breathtaking amenities. But one thing I love to do when I travel is to find a local knick knack, like a flower or small plant from a local shop, and bring it into my room. It’s just a little touch of adding my own design to something. I enjoy it during my trip and then it’s like a little leave behind of joy for the person who comes after me.
3. Adapt your beauty and skincare routine.
Even the most organized regimens can go awry on a trip. Try simplifying your usual routine, but be sure to adapt your serums and lotions to the environment. The hardness or softness of the local water, as well as the differences in humidity, sun or cold exposure, as well as insects and environmental pollution all can affect how effective your routine will be. You can bring small sample size treatments and products to experiment with in case you experience a breakout or irritation.
Prioritize self-care upon return.
1. Ease into it.
2. Take time to relax.
Yes, relax. Especially after a long vacation, you need to allow proper time to transition back to daily life.
Now is the time to let the whole recent experience soak in and lock those memories in to your own home. Close your eyes and reflect on your trip. Light a scented candle or apply some essential oils that you purchased abroad. Look at the pictures again. Treat yourself to a gentle under eye massage. Doing all of this helps ground and center you as you move from one experience to another, so they’ll be linked in your mind. You want to return home not only to your house, but to everywhere you’ve ever enjoyed being, amongst the memories of everyone you’ve ever shared a friendly conversation with on your travels.
That’s when you know you’re truly home, whenever you are.
Hoping you get to have a quality getaway soon!