Travelling is an experience that can light you up, expose you to the beauty of life, and can help define who you are. But no matter where in the world you are, you must prioritise and take care of yourself.
Here are 7 easy ways to keep up your self care while you’re travelling, plus learn more from me when you join our FREE (mini) eCourse in Mastering The Art Of Self Love.
1. Allow yourself time to rest.
Yes, a huge part of travelling is getting out and doing and seeing as much as you can. It can feel like there is always more to do. But that doesn’t mean that you always need to be on the go. If you’re feeling tired, run-down or just a little drained, schedule in some down time. That might mean sleeping in, going to bed early, or taking an afternoon off and just reading a book in a park or your hotel.
2. Try the local foods, but stick to one large meal per day.
One of my favourite parts of travel is the food. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of all the new food on offer and end up gorging on every little morsel. There’s no problem with doing that from time-to-time, but when we do it every day we quickly start to feel a little worse for wear. When we prioritise our self care we commit to feeding our body with food that nourishes and supports it. The easiest way to do that is by sticking to one large meal per day and making sure you eat lots of veggies.
3. Slow down and truly appreciate the beauty of where you are.
When we are travelling there is no shortage of beautiful views. With this step we can combine our travel bucket list and our self care, and do them both at once. Self care requires appreciation for where we are and what we have in our lives. So each day, slow down, get present and truly appreciate the beauty of where you are. My favourite time to do this is during a sunrise or a sunset. It never fails to remind me of how lucky I am.
4. Make time for stillness.
This may not be an everyday thing while you’re travelling but even in hostels, with a little bit of searching you can generally find a quiet corner. If you can afford to stay in nicer hotels or apartment with a roof-top area or a private balcony, utilize these areas while everyone is still asleep. You’ll not only be able to enjoy the view, but you can also revel in the peace and quiet of the early morning. Long buses and flights are the perfect to meditate, so harness 10 or 15 minutes for a little bit of stillness.
5. Stop feeling guilty.
So you ate a croissant for breakfast, followed by cheese and wine at lunch. It’s ok, there is no need to beat yourself up, so don’t feel guilty about it. Part of what makes travelling so special is that it pushes you out of your regular routine. This will mean eating things you wouldn’t normally eat, it can mean regular gelato-eating, it can mean having a glass of wine at lunch and dinner every day. And I think that is perfectly ok, as long as you enjoy and savour these. Remember that travel is a sensory experience, so do not feel guilty for indulging your sense of taste. If you’re eating is making you feel less than energetic, then remember step 2 and eat to nourish and support yourself.
6. Move your body.
Very few people want to spend their precious vacation time running on a treadmill at the hotel gym, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid exercise completely. While we’re travelling we are often presented with the opportunity for accidental exercise. That might mean roaming the streets for hours on end, walking up lots of flights of stairs in the metro or to your hotel room, or playing football with a group of local children. I think the best way to explore a new city is on foot, which means you can exercise and discover the city at the same time.
7. Be present
Practice mindfulness throughout your trip. Savour the food, bask in the beauty of the scenery, be engaged in the conversations you have with people you meet along the way. Put your phone down and simply enjoy the experience. When we are truly present and engaged with each moment, we are guaranteed to feel good. And when it comes down to it, self care simply means doing what makes us feel good.
My advice to you – get out there and see the world, soak up as much of it as you can, but don’t forget to also look after you.
Do you have you own self care routines or little things that you do to prioritise yourself while travelling? Share them in the comments below.
DON’T FORGET: For Erin’s advice on how to quieten your inner critic (plus loads more from other divine goddesses), sign up to receive the (completely FREE) email series in Mastering The Art of Self-Love.