Within a weeks time span, Jared and I traveled through two states, a continent and innumerable time zones. Our total flight time was less than 24 hours, but when you include the driving time to airports, the shuttle rides to pick up and drop off the rental car, porting our luggage to and from, etc, you end up with some long days. I LOVE traveling, but find that most trips lead to temporary feelings of disorientation and fatigue.
At least that’s how I felt when we landed in Melbourne last Tuesday night at 11:30pm. My higher self told me to ease into the week and focus on finding my footing and self care. My ego told me to get after it. This post is titled “5 ways to unwind and recharge after traveling” and in fact, I didn’t start doing any of them until a few days ago. I knew what I needed to do to stay healthy, but I turned against my intuition and actually ended up getting a nasty head cold (which I’ve been fighting for the entire week!)
So finally, I’m listening to my instincts and following my own advice when it comes to taking care of myself post travel.
1.) Yoga, Yoga, Yoga:
There are so many ways travel can wreck your body - like sitting cramped in an airplane for hours or sleeping on a mattress that’s a lot firmer or softer than the one you have at home. Do your muscles, ligaments and spine a favor and streeeeetch them out. You don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to! The online platform Yoga Glow allows you to take classes on the go and is great if you’re a persistant traveler.
You can register for a free 15 day trial here.
2.) Catch Up On Zzzz’s:
Even if you had the most relaxing vacation possible, your body needs to start prepping for your normal routine and reality. Plan your trip so you get back on a Friday or Saturday and have at least one or two days to get back on schedule. I’ve made the mistake of booking a flight back home on a Sunday night and turning around to be at work Monday morning and it wasn’t pretty. This will be especially important if you’re changing time zones.
Do you have trouble falling asleep? I’m a huge devotee of yoga nidra. This sleeptime practice by Elena Brower is my favorite. If you love podcasts, try listening to Sleep With Me (episodes are 1-2 hours long). The host takes a story and edits it, than goes on tangents to make it extra boring to help lure you to sleep.
3.) Simplify Your Diet:
Does your diet change when you travel? Mine does! I still stick to a (mostly) pescatarian diet but I do indulge in eating out and am much more relaxed about sugar (I love going to bakeries and just can’t say no to almond croissants and chocolate chip cookies!) My 98 year old grandmother says “everything in moderation” and I try follow that advice when it comes to food, but when I finally get home, it feels good to spend the first few days cooking at home and eating more simply.
4.) Diffuse Relaxing & Grounding Essential Oils:
After a few days or weeks of exciting, spontaneous travel adventures, I am so ready for calming and stabilizing energy. Diffusing essential oils can help you connect with the present, get your thoughts center and refocus back on routines. I use doTerra’s Balance blend which combines Spruce Leaf, Ho Wood Leaf, and Frankincense Resin for a sweet Earthy smell. Other great groudning oils include Sandalwood, Myrrh, and Ylang Ylang.
Learn More About Essential Oils: Top 5 Essential Oils to Support a Healthy Immune System
5.) Limit Digital Intake:
Travel often involves a lot of stimulation, especially if you’re going somewhere with a different language and culture to navigate. Just exploring a new city or neighborhood takes mental energy! I rely on the internet a lot when I’m traveling to research the best coffee shops, yoga studios and restaurants, not to mention Google Maps is perpetually on to help me find my way around. Once home, I do my best to stay clear of technology until 8am and power down after 5:30pm. It’s SO hard to do but I feel calmer and sleep better when I limit my screentime.