We hear it all the time: self-care, self-care, self-care. We understand the importance of self-care. Yet, we all struggle to intentionally prioritize self-care in our day to day lives let alone while traveling.
I know some reading this are probably thinking 🤔 wait, traveling is self-care so why would I practice self-care while I am traveling? Like many of you, travel is also my more efficient form of self-care. In one counseling theory “taking a vacation” is a skill of mastery. I am really good at this skill. I hear you all, travel is self-care.
Travel is also stress-inducing. Especially when the destination is in a different culture/country or for longer periods of time. The stress of navigating various forms of transportation, languages, currencies, can take a much larger toll on the body and the brain that we often times realize.
With no further wait, 5 practical ways to implement self-care while traveling:
1- know who your people are and reach out. Support is important in the day to day lives of everyone. Travel exemplifies this need as cultures and language barriers can highlight our loneliness and create feelings of isolation. The first thing I do when I get to my hotel is FaceTime with someone who I know cares about me. I retell the journey of getting to where I am and share the view of my room. This makes me feel less isolated and disconnected from the people who have my back.
2- Spend an evening in your hotel: take a long shower and drink a bottle of water. Running through airports, train stations, city buses, and subways is not as glamours as our instagram photos may appear. It’s actually very dirty and very dehydrating. Give yourself a guilt free night to clean up and hydrate your body. I also recommend traveling with lotion; the processed air hurts the skin.
3- Journal. Take time every day to reflect on your journey. What have you experienced, what have you learned? Gain insight into yourself, and never forget your adventures.
4- Exercise. The need to excerice as self care in normal life is obvious. But it is also important while traveling. I’m not saying you need to go on a 10 mile run (unless that is what you enjoy) or find a gym to lift weights. But I am saying to take a hike or rent a bike for a day. Explore other modes of seeing your location than buses and taxis. A way that stretches your legs and connects you to nature.
5- Implement your spirituality practices. Visit a local church, engage in prayer, practice yoga, implement breath work. Whatever your spiritual practice is that keeps you grounded in your purpose- implement it. You won’t regret giving time to your practice!