Traveller’s guide to self-care

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re travelling. You can get caught up in a whirlwind of sightseeing, rushing from place to place to cram everything in. But with all your energy focused on absorbing the external world, it’s easy to forget to look inward and check in with yourself. Self-care, even in small doses, can keep you happy, relaxed and level-headed when things don’t go as planned. Here’s how to take care of yourself while travelling.

Plan it
If you love to pre-plan your travel schedule, try to fit in some time for yourself. Practise mindfulness or sit down and reflect on how you’re feeling. This can be as simple as using up 10 minutes at the start or at the end of your day. But it will help rest and clear your mind.

Meditate
One of the most efficient ways to get your focus inward and your heart rate down is to meditate. You can find free meditation methods online or apps like Headspace will allow you to choose what you want to focus on and how long you want to meditate for.

Logout
Put your phone away. While it’s tempting to share your exciting experiences with the world or get distracted by someone else’s feed, you’re essentially still focused outwards. If you have a spare 10 minutes don’t spend it scrolling. Ground yourself with a short meditation.

Stretch
Travelling takes a toll on the body, no matter how fit you are. Between walking city streets and being cramped up on a plane, it’s no wonder your muscles start to stiffen and ache. If you have a normal stretching routine, keep it up. If not, you can find long or short yoga routines online for free. Try to fit in at least one longer stretching routine every few days, and a shorter one when you get in and out of bed.

Take note
It might be writing a journal of your time away or drawing the places you visit. It could even be jotting down three things you feel appreciative for that day in your notebook. Actively documenting your travels allows you to reflect on yourself and your experiences.

Maintain your existing self-care habits
If you have a night-time skincare regime or you go for a walk in the afternoons, don’t abandon these just because you’re in a new place. You’ll be surprised by just how much you gain from your pre-existing self-care habits, and by just how much you miss out on by dropping them.

Feel free to skip ‘must see’ attractions
As wonderful as many attractions may be, the drive to see everything there is on offer is both unsustainable and unrealistic. If people ask whether you saw or went to certain ‘must see’ attractions, a simple ‘there just wasn’t enough time’ is the best answer. They don’t need to know you spent the afternoon getting a massage, meditating or going for a walk. 

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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