(I don’t think my eyes have ever been this small in a picture. In my defence, it was 6 in the morning at the airport in Bangkok.)
It’s summer and that means a lot of you are enjoying some well-deserved time off from school or work. And many of you might go on vacation. Whether it’s camping in your own country, inter railing through Europe or chilling on a beach somewhere: You’re on vacation. It should be good for you.
Just the relaxing and doing fun or adventurous things is going to be plenty good for you, but if you want to make your holiday a little easier, enjoy your time more and come home even more refreshed: There’s plenty of easy, healthy and fun self help-y things to do!
Click below if you want to read about how to self help during your vacation!
HYDRATE. Drink like your health and sanity depend on it, because in warm Mediterranean or tropical countries, it might!
You’re probably more active or more exposed to sunlight, so drink extra to make up for that. Drink plenty of water, but every now and then switch to something with sugar to keep you energised.
Don’t tell the health nazis, but a cold Coca Cola on a hot summer day? Perfection.
EAT WELL. Indulging should be a priority (and not having gelato while in Italy is a crime punishable by exile and lots of Italian cursing) but sneak in some of your favorite healthy foods with all that water you have to drink.
Healthy food energises you in a more regulated, balanced manner than high fat high sugar stuff does, and this is exactly what you need when you’re out and about, swimming in oceans or exploring cities.
Look for balance in your vacation environment. Enjoy both the healthy and the unhealthy foods you love.
FIT IN SOME FITNESS. This is not about weight maintenance or staying in shape or anything of the sort. It’s about the extra energy and the mood booster that exercise gives you. These things are bound to improve your holiday on all fronts. Plus, more tapa and paella for you after all those burned calories.
No need to spend hours in the hotel gym, but a short run, swimming a few laps or busting a yoga move might be nice. Or visit yoga studios win the cities you’re visiting like I did in Berlin and Budapest.
BRING A NOTEBOOK. Being in a different place is good for the brain (apparently): A lot of people get their best ideas while on vacation. It’s because they’re so relaxed, I think. Bring a notebook and jot down whatever you like.
You can write in it like a journal (self reflection), you can write in it like a diary (what happened that day), you can do stream of consciousness writing or use it as a holiday gratitude journal.
- The intent of writing things down makes you more observant and articulate about what you experience, which helps you experience it more vividly.
- Writing things down clears your mind while you’re there.
- When you’re back it’s great to reread about the fun you had while you were away.
BRING YOUR FAVORITE SELF HELP BOOK. Duh. Nothing nicer to reconnect to valuable lessons while you’re lounging by the pool or are in the plane to your next destination.
The obvious choice would perhaps be Eat Pray Love, but if you’re too embarrassed to bring that book like a certain someone who went to Thailand was, anything will do. As long as it’s inspiring and insightful. I brought May Cause Miracles* and it was good to have that one with me.
ACCEPTANCE. Try to be accepting of your environment. So it’s hot. Or it rains. Or the people are weird. Or the food takes getting used to. It is what it is. Accept it and just try to enjoy it as much as you can.
This applies to holidays abroad most of all, but difference provinces can take some getting used to as well.
TAKE SOME ME TIME. Whether you’re alone, with family, friends or your partner, you have to make some time to recharge. However you want to do that is fine. Taking a short walk by yourself, reading, meditating or simply not talking with your companions for an hour or so work really well for this.
HAVE A MANTRA FOR WHEN YOU NEED IT. The biggest curse of me traveling is that I cannot sleep just anywhere. I don’t sleep in planes, trains or in cars. I have a hard time relaxing in those unknown environments with all these strangers around me. I want to be alert, and in control, just in case.
But we were moving all over Thailand, using busses, planes, boats and a night train, and I need a lot of sleep. So whenever we were in transit and I had the opportunity to sleep, I told myself: “Surrender.”
Just give into sleeping, just relax, just surrender to where you are and whatever will happen. It worked for me a lot of the time. I slept the entire train ride and almost 7 hours of my 13-hour flight back home.
So are there situations you have a hard time with while on vacation? Find yourself a mantra that works. (If it’s falling asleep, you can borrow mine!)
These is just some ideas for simple self help during your vacation. If you have any others, please share them below.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to sleep off the last bit of my jetlag and arrive bright and early at work tomorrow. OK BYE!
*as well as a bunch of books on my iPad — I read a staggering amount of books this month, both self help and fiction. But that’s a blog for another time!