Self-care routines don’t need to take a holiday when we do. In fact, they’re more important than ever when we’re on the road to keep us grounded, present, and energized during our adventures. So leave your energy-draining routines at home but take your self-care routine with you—read on for our tips and tricks to staying centered while travelling.
Give yourself permission to do less
Whether we realize it or not, most of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we travel. Pressure to see it all and do it all; to squeeze a month’s worth of sight-seeing into one week. If we fall short of those expectations, we beat ourselves up for not making the most of our time. That cycle of pressure and blame doesn’t lend itself to the kind of vacation that sends us home refreshed.
From the moment you step off the plane, give yourself permission to do less on your vacation. That means telling yourself it’s okay to skip seeing that “must-see” museum or landmark. And don’t feel like you need to fill that extra time by being productive. If you’re feeling jet-lagged, head back to the hotel for a nap. If you’re tired of walking, grab a seat in the nearest square, and watch the world go by. By doing less, you create space to soak in all the new sights and smells of your destination.
Bring the right supplies
A self-care kit is a necessity to staying happy and healthy on the road. Consider filling yours with items like:
- Noise cancelling headphones
- Roll-on oils, for stress, sleep, and/or energy
- Vitamin C tablets or another immune system-boosting remedy
- An all-purpose balm for lips, cuts and dry patches
- Face masks
- A blanket scarf or wrap
- Melatonin or another natural sleep solution
- A small lacrosse ball for self-massage
- Apps for meditation, stretching and/or white noise
Take care of your body
Eating and drinking your way through the culinary offerings of your destination is a bonafide form of tourism. Heading to Italy? Daily helpings of pasta and gelato are a must. Backpacking in Thailand? You can’t say no to heaping piles of pad thai with a large bottle of Singha to wash it all down.
Indulgence is an important part of any vacation, but self-care on the road means balancing those treats with nutritious fuel, so you can keep your body and mind healthy for all that exploring. Keep a refillable water bottle on you at all times to stay hydrated. Take a day off from drinking any alcoholic beverages. Aim to eat at least a couple helpings of fruit and vegetables every day. And make sure to pack your go-to supplements and vitamins for immune system support in your luggage.
Slow things down
Slow travel has been growing in popularity in recent years, and for good reason: it’s about the quality of your experiences rather than the quantity; favouring immersive experiences over numerous ones. Slow travelers choose to spend their time in one place for an extended period of time–rather than packing up their luggage for a new destination every night—in an effort to develop a deeper understanding of the local culture. Take the slow travel approach to ensure you find less stress, more sleep, and a greater sense of mindfulness on your vacation.
Put your camera down
Mindfulness is a pillar of self-care and one of the hardest to maintain when we’re constantly moving from one destination to the next and preoccupied with capturing the moment rather than living in it. Once in a while, ditch the temptation to get the perfect Instagram travel shot in favour of staying present and savouring the moment—without your phone or DSLR in hand. Take 10 deep breaths as you reflect on and appreciate your surroundings.
Don’t buy the SIM card
Travelling is the perfect opportunity to kick your phone addiction by forgoing the roaming data plan and keeping your phone for emergencies (and WiFi zones) only. Buying a data plan on vacation is like giving yourself permission to bring bad habits—not to mention potential stress-inducing emails and notifications—along with you. So gift yourself the opportunity to satiate your wanderlust in real life rather than through a screen. The text can wait.
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