written by IMI naturopathic doctor, Monica Xu
Everyone jokes about needing a vacation from a vacation. Traveling or vacationing often throws people off their diet, sleep, and exercise routine, which can leave you feeling frazzled and unrested.
But with a little reimagining, you can rejuvenate your vacation into the picture of relaxation. For example, instead of cramming the day full of activities, allow yourself space for breaks.
Below are a few more common challenges you may encounter and tips on how to prepare yourself ahead of time.
Sleep and bedtime routines
Sleep can be a problem especially when you travel across time zones. Even 1-hour time differences can throw off your natural circadian rhythm. Additionally, different bed firmness and environment may interfere with your normal bedtime routine.
Try to maintain your usual bedtime routine: adjusting the room temp to a cooler setting before bed, dimming the lights, and reducing blue light screen time 1 hour prior.
If available, taking a warm bath or shower before bed can also help to improve your sleep quality while on the road.
Exercise is a good way to prevent travel-related constipation, anxiety, and stress. Pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes. This can make it easier to stroll around without getting blisters.
One common mistake people make when vacationing is to eat as if it is their last meal or eat as if they are at a buffet to make the money worthwhile.
Instead try to reframe your mindset. Consider your holiday as a treat, rewarding yourself and your health: take advantage of the all inclusive deals, but by nourishing your body with the fresh fruit, veggies and meats on offer.
Remember that it can be overwhelming for your body to eat out three times a day! Most likely your digestive system is not used to consuming rich heavy foods for each meal, so balancing richness with wholefood, healthy meals can give your digestive system a well-needed rest.
Listen to your body. If you aren’t a big breakfast person, consider postponing your first meal until noon or having protein (egg, meat, cooked vegetable) with tea or coffee instead of a carbohydrate-rich breakfast that most hotels typically offer. Similarly, allow yourself to skip late-night dining if you had a late lunch or are just not hungry.
It is easy to reach a point of decision fatigue when trying to stay healthy. Try the rule of three to stay on track.
- Stick with a whole-food diet rich in protein and non-starchy vegetables.
- Bring your own water bottle to make sure you stay well-hydrated while on the road.
- Plan before eating – what is your body actually asking for? Try to find restaurants that cater to your body’s wishes, whether that’s a fresh salad, or a hearty steak after a full day of swimming.
We’ve all been there. Traveling with supplements can be challenging especially when it needs to be TSA-compliant!
Packing your daily doses into small snack-size bags and labelling them with AM or PM can ensure you don’t miss a dose. If you have prescription items, it’s good to keep them in the original bottle or ask your naturopath for a smaller travel size.
There’s no perfect routine for traveling but try to adhere as best you can to your usual regimen. Though you’re away from your usual day-to-day stress, you don’t want to put extra strain on your body. Sticking to your usual supplement regime helps minimise burnout after your holiday.
Would you like to see Monica?
Our bodies are all unique. Monica is an IMI naturopath and can personalise a treatment plan specific to your needs to optimise your health and wellbeing, whether you’re travelling or at home.
Call +852 2523 7121 or book online to schedule your appointment below*.
*For instructions, please see here.