8 Self-Care Tips for Holiday Travel
Whatever distance you're traveling, holiday travel can be a hectic, stressful, and sometimes aggravating endeavor. We have 8 tips to make your holiday excursions a little easier on your body, mind, and spirit.
1. Think of travel as an athletic event. Your travel plans may not include keeping score or competing against an opponent, but traveling demands many athletic qualities. Long trips require patience & stamina, and driving requires you to be even more alert and focused. Sitting for long periods of time can also be challenging and exhausting on the body. By thinking of travel as an athletic event, you can be more prepared to take care of yourself in a healthy, mindful way.
2. Get extra sleep and rest time. Travel can be stressful any time of year, but during the holidays there's even more to consider, such as weather, family dynamics, and the holiday rushes. Give your system a break by getting plenty of sleep before and after you travel. When you're well-rested, you can be more present and handle stressful situations more easily. Scheduling time for nurturing treatments such as chiropractic, massage, and shirodhara can also help you recharge.
5. Eat a balanced meal and pack healthy snacks. Eat a balanced meal before starting your trip to help energize yourself in a nutritious way and bring healthy snacks along for when you're feeling hungry again. By eating well and preparing ahead, you're less likely to indulge in expensive or unhealthy foods along the way. Plus, being "hangry" would only make the trip more stressful!
7. Take breaks to stretch. Sitting for extended periods of time takes a toll on your body. Be sure to take breaks to move and stretch. Even a few quick stretches at a rest stop or in the aisle of an airplane can help revitalize your body and decrease feelings of fatigue. The muscles in your hips and low back can tighten from sitting, so try gentle lunges or bending forward to touch your toes.
8. Focus on your breath. Proper breathing can make a big difference in your stress and anxiety levels. If you notice your stress is rising, try to focus on breathing deeply from the low part your belly. While exhaling, try to disengage the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and chest. You can also try extending your exhale at least two counts longer than your inhale, such as counting to 3 on the inhale and to 5 on the exhale. Extending your exhale can help calm your nervous system in just a few breaths.
The holidays are a time to celebrate the season and share joy with the people we love. Remember to take time for yourself so you can truly enjoy the season, with your health and well-being in tact.
If you need a little extra support during this busy time of year, give us a call at 541-343-1887 to schedule an appointment. Our therapists can help you have a healthy, joyful, and well-balanced holiday season. Cheers!