Going on vacation soon? Too many people travel and forget the importance of taking care of themselves.
Personally, I hate when I get back home from a trip and feel icky. Whether it means I am bloated, gained a few pounds, are exhausted, or sometimes I even feel straight up overwhelmed. All of these are not fun to experience. Great news is… you do not have to experience all of this discomfort!
Right now, I am in Florida at my husband’s family’s vacation home. In order to truly enjoy myself, I have made a pact with myself to not forget about my mental and physical wellbeing. In being mindful about each part of my day, I have already felt daily bursts of happiness that are truly helping me have a relaxing vacation.
Once you realize that you are in charge of your own happiness, your world will explode! Practicing self-care daily is a practice that is directly related to having a truly happy life. When you pack your days to the brim on vacation, it is easy to forget about aspects of self-care. Therefore, it is easy to come back home after traveling with the vaca blues.
With this experience, I have created a list of seven easy-to-implement ways that you can practice self-care daily while traveling:
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1. Give your skin some daily attention
Just like you do on the reg when at home, make sure you give all of your skin some love. I like to bring/buy the same skin products I use at home when I go on vacation. The reason I choose to not try new things is because I have sensitive skin. I never know how it will react to something new. Trying something out and having a bad reaction while away is never something fun to go through. No thanks!… I’m good.
I am not a big user of hotel or resort products that are given for free. They usually leave my skin feeling tight and not really that clean. So, I make sure to squeeze my go-to products into cute travel-size containers like these that will not cause me any trouble at the airport when I go through security. Luckily, I am able to leave full bottles of my skincare products at my husband’s family’s vacation home. But, that is not always the case when it comes to traveling.
Here are my favorite, reasonably priced skin products that I am absolutely loving right now:
This leaves me skin feeling clean. I feel as if it opens up my pores and allows the dirt to wash away. The incredible smell of grapefruit is definitely a bonus!
This moisturizer is great for warmer months. It is lightweight and dries fast after moisturized onto my face for about ten seconds. It helps battle pimples and leaves my skin feeling fresh. Again… great smell!
I am veryyyyyy picky about body wash. I always opt for something with microbeads. They help gently pull away dead skin on my body. I also feel like it helps scrub off sunscreen and tanning oil easily. The smell of blackberry sugar is light and sweet!
2. Use your shower time as a moment to be mindful
To take care of yourself, you need to try to slow down. This does not just have to do with planning your excursions and sight-seeing endeavors. Find ways to slow down in your every day activities while you are on vacation. It can be difficult find time to be alone, especially if you are traveling with multiple people. A great place I like to care for my mind where I can find peace is the shower. Being I have a difficult time sitting still for long, I consider this my moment of daily meditation.
Think about it. You come back to your room after a long day at the beach, covered in lotions and sand. You peel off your bathing suit and walking into a nice room-temperature shower that feels like absolute bliss. The sand that was stuck to your legs is washing down the drain. The oil and sunscreen lathered on your body is being exfoliated off of you, leaving fresh, beautiful skin. Your hair was killed by the sun today. You are now giving it a fresh coat of yummy-smelling conditioner. Pay attention to each part of the process as your care for yourself in the shower.
When you let your mind just wander, many times you end up worrying about something you cannot even control. Instead, choose to be mindful about what is presently happening to you. Pay attention to your senses. Decide to find happiness in this mundane experience. What could be bad about taking a shower? Life if all about perspective. Choose to find the relaxation in taking care of your body.
3. Schedule a massage, facial, or mani-pedi
Another way to take care of yourself is to have someone else do the work for you. A vacation should be a time where you treat yourself. There should be some moments where you are giving in and allowing someone else to do all of the work while you reap allllllllllll the benefits. How often do you have the opportunity to experience that? Make it a point to schedule something physical that can help make you both look and feel better.
You can schedule some sort of massage, a mani-pedi, or even a facial. It does not need to be expensive! But, it is your choice how pricy you want it to get. If you do your research, you can find many local places that will give you these experiences at a low price. Skip the resort services to save some dough. Find a smaller joint with good reviews outside of the resort areas where they don’t jack the prices for tourists.
If you are traveling with your spouse or someone else that does not want to partake in this type of activity, that is ok. Again, it is good to find ways to have some alone time. It is healthy for you. Schedule a self-care time where you go to get a facial and your man plays 9 holes of golf. Whatever your circumstance may be. It is your choice if you want to make the time to treat yourself.
4. Bring a good book & escape
One of my favorite ways to practice self-care is to read. I have loved reading since high school. A good book was always a way I escaped feelings of anxiety and found a way to quiet the world around me. For me? I aim to have an absolute minimal amount of anxiety when away from home. I am a true homebody and love being in the comfort of my house. So, being away can be hard sometimes.
Having a book allows me to escape thoughts of wanting to be home. It helps me be in the moment of where I am on vacation. Also, I am a teacher during the school year. I teach up to three different types of novels a day. It does not leave me a lot of time to enjoy my own books. So, I like to bring two or three novels I know I will have the time to thoroughly enjoy. Or, it is even nice to have audiobooks if I just want to lay in the sun and close my eyes.
This past year, my favorite genres of reading have been mystery and self-help. My go-to author is Lisa Gardner. She writes murder mysteries that are so twisted and always end in ways I could have never imagined. I highly recommend checking some of her writing out if you like any crime shows! Also, I am in a deep relationship right now with self-help books. I think they’re great to read while on vacation because you are allowing yourself to relax through reading. But, you are also feeding your mind at the same time.
My recommendations based on books I have read this year:
The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
You are a Bad*ss By Jen Sincero
5. Eat healthy, yet allow yourself to indulge
One of the biggest downfalls of not practicing self-care while vacationing is looking in the mirror when you get home. I have been on a few vacations where I just let myself “enjoy” the foods around me. You know that feeling when you go out to eat. The allowances you give yourself because you are “treating yourself” or trying to immerse yourself in the culture. I have DEFINITELY been here.
Stop making excuses. You are not taking care of your body. You are going to feel like junk when you get home in a week. When you put your jeans back on and it hurts to sit, remember why that is happening. To avoid this, have balance. However you plan to make that happen. You don’t need to get crazy tracking everything you eat. But, all the power to ya if you want to. Just find an easy way to divide your day in a way where you eat about 75% healthy and allow yourself to indulge about 25% of the time. Fair enough.
When I eat at home, I usually eat pretty healthy 80-90% of the day, so I like to give myself a little wiggle room when on vaca. Personally, I like to focus on healthy choices all day except for dinner. My favorite foods are dinner foods, so I like to keep that open to eat a few more calories and a bit more cheese (my favoriteeeeeee!). You might be someone who wants to eat all healthy meals and indulge when it comes to snacking and desert. All depends on what you typically crave. Also… don’t forget to watch out with your alcohol intake. The weight can definitely creep up on you if you are taking in those empty calories. Just find your balance!
If you are someone looking to track your intake, check out the following:
It is a free iPhone app that allows you to look up items from various food menus. You can take a close look at the nutrition facts to plan what you will order.
This app will search the area around you and give you healthy places you can go to eat. A great app when you don’t know the area you are in and want to find something besides fast food.
This is my favorite app when I want to keep track of what I eat. If you are someone who wants to commit to this while on vacation, I highly recommend trying this app out!
6. Actively schedule time to move
No matter what type of vacation you are, you must make time for exercise. That does not mean you need to do a sixty minute power workout at the gym each day. You can if you want to! You should try to walk at least three to four miles a day, minimum, to care for yourself. Especially if you are allowing yourself to have more treats than usual. I personally love to track my steps daily, whether I am home or on vacation. It holds me accountable. I have had a FitBit for four years and I am a dedicated fan! FitBit trackers truly work to keep you healthy if you let it become a habit.
Even when my husband and I were on our honeymoon, we would schedule time every day to take care of our body. It was funny because we were the only ones that used the gym at the resort, which was a bonus for us! It was great being able to use any machine we wanted, not needing to wait or think of bothering other vacationers. We were also able to control the music in the gym to our liking. A lot of the time, this is the occupancy at resort gyms. Take advantage!!! Even if you are not staying at a resort or a touristy area, many gyms offer weekly passes for $5-$25, which is not bad at all.
If you are not a gym person, schedule times to walk on your vacation to take care of your body. It allows for good circulation. I personally enjoy going for walks as soon as I wake up. Wherever I do this, I get a quiet, intimate perspective of the area around me. It also feels great to walk after eating dinner. Your body has the ability to digest your food better and you feel a little less guilty about what you ate! Also, walking in the morning and night allows for cooler temperatures if you are staying in an area that is typically warm during the day. It is also great to plan some physical excursions which include a lot of walking or moving of some sort. If they are fun and exciting activities, you will forget you are even exercising!
7. Welcome naps & extra snooze time
It is important that you continue to get enough sleep on vacation. Especially if you are packing your days full of activities. Your body needs time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate for the next day. Your immune system is strengthened by getting the appropriate amount sleep according to your body and age.The last thing you want happening is for you to get sick on your vacation. The one you consciously saved money for over a long period of time to finally be able to enjoy.
Sleep, in general, plays a key role in your mind staying sharp and focused. When I am traveling, I want to be able to soak in what is around me. Also, especially if I am not traveling with a male, I find it important to be alert when I do not know the area. You never know where there are predators and being aware is important for your own safety. Caring for yourself through sleep also will help with your memory. I don’t know about you, but it is very important for me to soak in important moments I spend with my friends and family on vacation. Especially since… in general… I have a poor memory!
Don’t be afraid to nap, either. I am not one that can ever nap at home, but sometimes I get so much sun on vacation that my body is calling for nap. If I relax enough, I am actually able to rest. Also… sleep in! Treat yourself and allow for a few more hours of snooze time. Your body will thank you for it. Other people you are with will, too! No one likes a cranky negative Nancy on vacation. So, do everyone a favor and indulge with some sleep.
What are some ways that you practice self-care while on vacation?