T R A V E L S T R E S S
Today we’re talking about stress. More specifically, travel stress and how to avoid it. Travel puts a lot of stress on both the body and mind because usually, there’s a shift in sleep schedule, routine and of course, many opportunities for things to… not go as planned. Whether you’re flying or road tripping, your body experiences physical stress and the result can look something like a grumpy mood, breakouts, digestion issues and/or bloating, and the list goes on.
In the past, I used to think of travel as the best time to “let it all go”, meaning I’d throw all of my healthy habits out of the window until I got home. Nowadays, I find myself taking above average care of myself when I travel because I’ve learned that stress not only has an impact on my mood and mental health, but also my body, physically. So today, I’m excited to share a few tips and things I do when I travel to support my health and energy.
Also, a big thank you to MegaFood® for partnering with me on today’s blog post.
W H Y I T M A T T E R S
We know that stress has a significant impact on our mood and mental health, but it also has a huge impact on our bodies physically. Here are just a handful of things stress may have a potential impact on:
Quality of sleep
Gut health and digestion
Skin health and acne
Appetite and cravings
In short, a lot of things that significantly contribute to our overall well-being, mind and body. I think I can safely say that we would all prefer to travel while feeling our best and having high energy versus feeling sluggish and dragging our feet. So, what can we do to support ourselves while we travel?
S T R E S S L E S S T I P S
Here are a handful of my favourite stress less travel tips. You don’t have to implement them all (or any for that matter) but think of them like tools you can rely on if you do start to experience stress.
1) Pack your carry-on wisely. Whether you’re flying or traveling on the road, it’s always helpful to have your essentials packed in your carry-on instead of in your suitcase. This not only makes it easy to access things in-flight or en route, but it is also handy in case your checked baggage gets lost or delayed. One of the worst experiences I’ve had while on a trip was when my suitcase was lost, then sent on the following flight. Fortunately, I had gotten into the habit of packing everything I’d need to function for a day into my carry-on. For me, that was skincare, glasses, snacks, electronics + chargers, you get the picture!
2) Pack feel good items. While we’re talking about packing, this is a fun little tip I picked up from my friend Rachel. When you’re in a new environment, it can be a little unsettling, especially if you’re traveling alone or are new to travel. She recommended bringing something with you that will make you feel at home wherever you’re staying. Perhaps that’s a little blanket, a framed photo or even a candle. Bring a little bit of home with you wherever you’re going.
3) Don’t over commit. This is something I still struggle with because there are so many things to do and so many people to see when you’re traveling. I try to do it all (and more), and almost start to feel guilty when I find myself taking a breather. It may seem like a good idea in theory, but I’ve found that I always feel better when I intentionally account for some down time as I’m planning out my itinerary. If it’s helpful you can even do this by scheduling in restorative activities like a meditation class or even something as simple as a nap.
4) Prioritize sleep. Along the same vein, try not to pull all-nighters or “power through” jetlag. I am notorious for trying to maximize time by taking red-eye flights and then planning out a full-on day for myself. Last month in California, I took a flight at 5AM New York time, landed at 11AM San Diego time and then powered through the entire day until I went to bed at 11PM San Diego time. That’s 21 hours of being awake (and seeing all the sights too). Needless to say, I was not only exhausted, as evident in the San Diego vlog, but I also broke out pretty badly over the duration of the trip. The takeaway? Don’t try to overdo it, and if you can, give yourself buffer time on the first day after you land, especially if there’s a time difference. I also brought vetiver essential oils and MegaFood Melatonin Berry Good Sleep™ Gummies with me to support my sleep* as I managed jetlag. These vegan gummies are made with organic wild blueberries and tart cherry, both natural sources of phytonutrients, which give them a deep berry colour without artificial flavours.*
5) Supplement to support yourself through it. You can support yourself by using essential oils, or by taking vitamins, supplements or herbal tinctures. I personally like to supplement with adaptogens (herbs that support your stress hormones) and lean on the power of plants. I’ve been traveling with the MegaFood B-Unstressed™ which helps to ward off fatigue and promote immune health.* The supplement contains vitamins for immunity, and a mixture of soothing herbs like astragalus, chamomile flower and ashwagandha.* When I travel, I’m exposed to a variety of situations that make me more prone to stress and as I write this, I’m traveling to Amsterdam and have it in my pillbox!
6) Prepare your body. Odds are if you’re traveling, you’ll know at least a few days in advance, so you can take that time to prepare yourself for the trip. If you’re taking a road trip, you might pack snacks and plan for leg stretch breaks along the route. and If you’re flying, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You can check out my blogpost about healthy travel tips for flying here. The idea is to treat prepare your body right before you put it through the physical stress of traveling. Treat travel like a cold you feel coming on–take proactive measures to support your health!
7) Take a virtual tour. I like to spend a lot of time on Google maps before a trip. It helps me to familiarize myself with the city, especially if it’s new to me, and makes me feel a lot more comfortable navigating. Having a general idea of where things are makes itinerary planning much easier and helps you to avoid getting lost. My mum and I are great about having a very general sense of direction in relation to where we’re staying and our major points of interest. Bonus: this is great for avoiding standing out like a lost tourist.
8) Be flexible. Accept that there are things that will not go as expected and be open to changes in plans. It could be weather, traffic or a local holiday you didn’t know about that sets you back, but I’ve learned there’s no use in crying over spilled (oat) milk. Having some wiggle room in your plans is great for re-scheduling activities which ties in nicely to tips 3 and 4.
9) Get connected. Having data or Wi-Fi access while traveling can be a game changer. I personally have a free roaming plan with my provider and it has saved me many a times, especially while overseas. It’s handy for on the spot translation needs, Google mapping of course, and checking business hours for shops and sights. It’s also nice to be able to get in touch with family or friends should an emergency arise and always makes me feel a lot more comfortable.
10) To e-mail or not to e-mail? I’ve tried a few different things with my e-mail while traveling, from putting a “do not disturb” auto-responder on, to doing nothing at all and frantically trying to stay on top of my inbox. My suggestion, and what has worked best for me, is sending out a friendly note asking for an expected delay in response. This gives me leeway if I’m ever in flight without Wi-Fi, find my phone battery dead or perhaps swimming in the ocean. I find it’s the perfect in between and gives me some buffer time to respond, while letting people know that I did receive their e-mail and will definitely be responding. Of course, what you do with your inbox is completely up to you and will be different for everyone, but it has helped me to lower my anxiety and stress about a flooded inbox.
So I hope these tips will help you stress less on your next trip. I will definitely be implementing most, if not all of them while I’m here in Amsterdam. Do you have any other favourite tips for managing travel stress? I’d love to hear from you!
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Love & light,
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BY Remy • May 11, 2019
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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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