Today we revisit the topic of self-care, but this time, as people practice it on vacation, when out of a normal routine and away from the usual surroundings. So you're not near your church, your therapist or your support group. What do you do to stay calm, cool and collected and maintain the spiritual disciplines that you have worked so hard to maintain at home?
Here are a combined 40 tips submitted by five friends/colleagues for how to put into action self-care practices while on vacation.
- Don't hide out behind ear buds. Bring a good book or magazine in which to get lost, the old-fashioned way. There's no need to freak out if travel delays occur—you’ll be ready.
- Set realistic daily goals. You don't have to do everything at once, or even accomplish everything on any one trip. Relax, take it easy, enjoy the day—yes, even if it's a work trip.
- Eat what you'd eat if you were home. This is a hard one, but will pay dividends. Remember to eat moderate portions and plenty of vegetables and fruit. Only partake in "when in Rome" local sweets on judicious occasions.
- Don't be afraid to have some nights where you go to bed early, or sleep in. Replenishing at night will pay dividends in your energy level during the day.
- Exercise. Use the stairs, walk more, rent a bike, get out and see local sites.
- Make time for calls or emails home or to friends that ground you. A mixture of new and familiar always does the trick for me.
Bob Weingartner, career coach with WEINFIVE Career Coaching
- Go on a bike ride.
- Get a massage. That can be very soothing after a day of doing absolutely nothing.
- I love to run so running in unknown places is very rewarding.
- Sample local healthy cuisine. You know, if you're in San Francisco, you have to have a fresh Dungeness crab.
- Walk without a plan. Just getting out and seeing another location lets the mind wander and you're at peace.
- Sleep late. Getting some extra zz's is good for your overall health.
- Walk the beach. The vitamin D from the sun, fresh air and exercise are all good for you.
- Leave work behind. I know it's difficult to do completely, but stress is the number one killer so set boundaries for work.
Jennifer Spanjian, business consultant
- Incorporate exercise into your trip. Walk wherever you can instead of using taxis or public transportation. Use the hotel gym, find a local gym or plot out a place to go for a run or bike ride. If exercising outdoors is not an option, and your hotel doesn’t have a gym, bring an exercise video that you can play in your room, or purchase easy-to-pack fitness bands or wrist and ankle weights.
- Take a walking or biking tour of your locale.
- Make time to meditate at least once a day.
- Pack your own snacks and avoid buying packaged goods from local delis or groceries.
- Give yourself a media diet and disconnect from home and work emails.
- Map out fun and healthy activities that you can do at your location, such as visiting a farmer’s market, taking a local cooking class, etc.
- Look for places where you can volunteer for a day.
- Keep a journal of your experiences.
- Take lots of photographs.
- Look at your network and see if you have any friends or local connections who would be interested in showing you around town.
- Make time for a spa day.
Deborah Roth, relationship coach with Spirited Living and an interfaith minister
- Do crossword puzzles, trivia games or play Sudoku.
- Remember to breathe! When you can, take five slow, deep breaths.
- Sleep uninterrupted for a period of seven to eight hours.
- Walk 30 minutes a day.
- Drink water. Nutritionists say that 80 percent of the population is dehydrated.
- Create sacred space wherever you can.
Katie C., coach
- Keep guided meditations on my iPhone for convenience.
- Practice yoga on my own or find a class nearby.
- Scope out the area to feel safe and comfortable.
- Unpack wherever I am staying to feel at home.
- Always bring along my usual shampoos, facial moisturizers, etc., to feel comfortable.
- Bring sheets if I am worried about accommodations.
- Ask locals to share their favorite things about the area.
- Be open-minded.