A Traveler's Guide to Self Care Before, During, & After a Trip
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Self care is about nurturing your mind, body, and soul. It essentially comes down to doing what makes you feel good and balanced. At first glance, it may seem that talking about "self care" and travel is unnecessary. After all, travel can be viewed as a form of self care (it is definitely a way I nurture my soul). However, a lot of time, energy, and money goes into trip planning and trips themselves. Practicing self care is vital to be able to mentally and physically enjoy traveling. Here are my go-to self care practices that I treat myself to before, during, and after traveling:
Self Care Before & After Traveling
My self care practices before and after traveling are pretty similar.
Self Care Tools
Create a living space that you enjoy being in! Everyone should have at least one room in their home that serves as their peaceful retreat. For me, that place is my bedroom, where I was very intentional in creating a spa-like vibe. Some of the key elements of making this happen include the following:
Travel-Inspired Home Decor
I have a gallery wall in my bedroom that highlights souvenirs brought back from recent trips. I constantly update it and rearrange it after each trip. It serves as a pleasant reminder of special moments during my travels as I look forward to planning the next adventure.
Whenever I'm unwinding after a busy day or just need a moment to be still, I light a candle. A good scented candle can always relax me and brighten my spirit. Lately, my ReNu Candle Company's Rose Gold candle has been bringing me a peace of mind. This 100% soy hand-poured candle contains aromas of Jasmine & Gardenia, with notes of Rose, Lilac, & Peach. I love it because the scent can fill up the entire room but it's somehow not overpowering. Even when it isn't lit, I still get a hint of the candle's calming fragrance. In our busy and demanding world, ReNu encourages people to honor the stillness that they need and put themselves first.
Essential Oil Diffuser
My essential oil diffuser is another important wellness item in my room. There are hundreds of essential oils with various benefits. Check out my article on some of my favorite essential oils to use and find which one suits your needs.
Himalayan Salt Lamp
The warm pink/orangeish glow from my Himalayan salt lamp immediately calms me. Authentic Himalayan salt lamps have many health benefits, including air purification. The lamp traps indoor air pollutants such as allergens, mold, and bacteria.
Self Care Practices
My go-to practices to nourish my body before and after traveling include:
I aim to stretch daily for at least 15 minutes in the morning and night time. Stretching is a good stress reliever and helps improves flexibility and joint range of motion.
Dry brushing is brushing your skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush, typically before showering. Usually, the skin is brushed toward the heart, beginning at the feet and hands and brushing toward the chest. Dry brushing helps me stimulate my normal lymph flow within my body and it assists my body in detoxifying itself naturally and gives me natural energy boost.
Taking a Hot Bath with Epsom Salt
Drinking a Cup of Hot Tea
Drinking a delicious cup of my favorite hot tea before I begin my day and before I go to bed always brings me balance. I like to spruce up my tea with honey, lemon, and ginger.
Indulging in natural-skin care products
Many commercial body products contain harmful ingredients for our skin. Lately, I've been incorporating more natural skin care products into my skin care routine as a nice treat for my body. One of my favorite organic beauty lines is Sun-Kiss Organics because each product is hand-crafted with natural ingredients and love.
Sun-Kiss Organics is offering my readers 15% off of their order. Use code JEWELS2018 at the checkout.
Self Care While Traveling
In addition to stretching, drinking hot tea, and using natural skin care products, my self care while traveling routine includes the following:
Self Care Tools
Essential oils are great to use on the road. Whether you need something natural to help you sleep on a long flight (lavender oil) or something natural to boost your energy when you have to wake up early for an excursion (peppermint oil), there's something for you.
When we travel, we are taking in a lot of new things at once. Journaling helps you to process and reflect on your experiences. I'm better at this on some trips than others. Sometimes my reflections are long narratives recapping the day, and other times they are just bulleted gratitude lists!
Self Care Practices
Waking up early to hit the gym during vacation may be unrealistic for many. Instead, choose to incorporate some sort of hike or nature walk into your itinerary. That's guaranteed time to get in a workout and meditation!
As tempting as it may be to drink tasty cocktails and coffee on vacation, both can be dehydrating. Drinking water is key, but it isn't the only way to stay hydrated. Read here to learn about other ways.
Choose nourishing food
The older I get, the more in tune I've become with recognizing what my body needs. While traveling, it's so difficult/boring to pass on the tasty local cuisines. When I visited Porto, Portugal, trying a francesinha, a very meaty and cheesy sandwich, was recommended by many locals. I tried it, but didn't eat the entire dish, because I knew doing so would probably make me want to sleep and not explore the town. I made sure to balance the meal with a fresh salad. Make sure that you are getting your body the nutrients it needs.
This is a big one for me. When I travel, I love to maximize my time and see as much as possible. As a travel blogger, there's that added pressure of wanting to show my readers the most iconic and instagrammable sights of a city. However, I try not to do it at the expense of being well-rested. I contain my urge to see everything by reminding myself that quality experiences are better than quantity, and I can always come back.
Sit by the water
Another way I slow down and recharge during my travels is by sitting near or taking a stroll by a body of water. Studies have shown that being near water helps us tap into our most calm and creative selves.
Get a massage or go to a spa
When I was in Bali and Thailand, I was able to have spa days for under $25. These prices are unheard of in the United States, so of course I had the "treat yo' self" mentality. During those trips, I got multiple massages and both my bank account and body were happy with me.
Monitor social media usage
As a blogger, I will admit this is really hard for me/a work in progress. It's easy to get sucked into the social media blackhole. But it's so necessary to unplug and live in the moment. I remind myself that not everything needs to be recorded instantly.
These are my key practices for self care before, during, and after travel. There are endless ways to practice self-care and this looks different for everyone. What are some ways you practice self-care?
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