Six Tips For Maintaining Wellness On The Road
You’ve nailed down your wellness practice at home; the ideal morning routine, feel-good movement and meditation rituals, a steady nutritional schedule and finally remembering to stay hydrated throughout the day. Then, it’s vacay time or you’re sent on a last-minute business trip and those well-meaning intentions suddenly fly out the window.
It’s undeniable, life on the road is full. There’s planes, trains, buses, transfers, schedules, check-ins, dodgy wifi connections and culture to soak up. But just because you’re out exploring a new city or continent, doesn’t mean that you have to let your grounding wellness rituals slip by the by completely.
With a quick minute of pre-planning and intention, you can simply maintain your wellness rituals on the road, so you feel more present and energised to show up, fully you, in your travels!
Read on for six simple tips for maintaining wellness on the road.
Pack what you need to maintain your practices
When preparing and packing for your trip, take stock of what are some of the tools you use at home for your practices and/or rituals and see what is portable enough to get packed into your suitcase to assist you on the road. I always travel with a few varied crystals, Gua Sha, aromatherapy oils, travel gym kit, flower essence spray and trigger point therapy ball as not only can all of them happily fit within my carry on bag but they are the essentials I need to help me connect to both my mindful movement and spiritual practice in any given moment.
Read: Travel Packing Hacks
If you don’t pack them, then you may not feel as so supported, inclined or motivated to practice. However when they are alongside you in your travels, you will be prepared and engaged – supported by your own forward thinking to maintain your wellness on the move.
2. Start the day with intention and ritual
There are many things out of our general control when we are travelling – the unexpected nature and element of surprise is certainly one reason we go travelling in the first place – but one thing that is in our control is how we start our days. Even if this means waking up 30 minutes before you *really* need to get going, if you start the day with intention and a means of ritual, you will have a higher chance of fitting in your practices – rather than hoping the time may become free later on in the day.
read: how to set intentions
That could look like taking the time to complete a self-led aromatherapy acupressure massage, some breath-work and/or meditation with sound healing mantras or crystals. Or perhaps it’s getting in a workout in your hotel room, going out for a run, or moving through some stretches.
3. Incorporate breath-work practices
Conscious breath-work not only is an exceptional wellness practice, but it is also crucially exceptionally portable – it travels within you! – and best of all is free. Taking no more than your focused attention and time, you can change your parasympathetic nervous system in a manner of minutes by undertaking breath-work protocols – helping to regulate your mood, hormones, sleep cycles, oxygen uptake and sense of wellbeing.
Not sure how to begin? Try the grounding 4 count breath:
Inhale for the count of 1-2-3-4, pause and hold at the top, then exhale slowly for the count 4-3-2-1. Repeat for 3 minutes.
4. Bio-hack your brainwaves using sound currents
Sound healing is a great way to incorporate mindfulness practices on the move, as they require zero space or baggage weight! Simply use a music streaming service to listen to mantras, or a specific binaural beat, which can quickly shift the mental, physical and energetic states of the body. Listening to these sound currents is a great hack for long-haul flights, with the music current playing softly while you sleep.
Rosie’s travel wellness mantra + sound healing playlist:
5. Make space to supplement, hydrate and fuel
Enjoying the local culture is an exceptionally important aspect of travel – it is the reason many of us to travel, to expand our experiences and learn from those who live differently to us. This often comes hand in hand with local culinary experiences; which could be vastly different to the way you nourish your body at home. I am definitely an advocate of enjoying the local delicacies in a way that feels comfortable for you; for me, this tends to be a gauge of moderation and balance – looking where I can happily participate and then noticing where perhaps I can sub in an alternative without missing out greatly.
For instance, I don’t consume gluten and most dairy sources in my daily diet as I have an intolerance that leads to high-level inflammation markers. However, when in Italy, I find my body can process the gluten better than it can when at home – by way of stress states, the processing of the flour in the production process and the quality of the source – so now I won’t go out of my way to try and find non-gluten substitutes. So I may enjoy the pizza at lunch, but skip the alluring bread basket entree at dinner, or look for the local florentine steak to balance out my intake across the day. However as another example, at home, I drink an almond or oat milk flat while; hunting down dairy alternatives can still be a futile effort in some places, so simply skipping the milk, is the easier option!
I then support myself through the consistent use of supplementation while travelling. Before jetting off, I take the time to prepare daily supplement packs (read more in travel packing hacks) that will always include a probiotic – exceptionally important when venturing to new countries – and digestive enzymes, alongside by my own necessary supplements which include liver support herbs and B vitamins, so I can simply grab and go in the morning, while having a stash of digestive enzymes in my purse, so that I can take these with each meal.
Finally, possibly the most simple, yet overlooked wellness hack on the road; stay hydrated. Your brain and body requires adequate hydration to stay optimally functioning and travelling is a major culprit in causing swings towards dehydration. Work in sustainable angle and pack your reusable water bottle – that way you’ll always have a bottle on hand to gauge how much water you’ve consumed.
6. Practice in real time
Many wellness practices return to acts of presence and gratitude as their foundation. Instead of feeling like you need to “add” another slot into a busy travel schedule, squeezed between hotel breakfast hours and getting to the train station on time, see if you can simply integrate a wellness mindset into your experiences, in real time. This can be as simple as tuning back into your body; how are you feeling, breathing, holding the body (read: how to tune into the body) or scanning through a gratitude list, taking a mental snapshot of a moment; how it feels, smells, tastes and sounds to lock it into your memory to reflect upon, engaging with those who you are with; rather than looking down into your phone. These simple acts can make us more present and grounded, reconnecting to our environment and body, which brings us back to the sense of gratitude and purpose in our travels.