Do you maintain your healthy habits while on vacation? And once home, are you rejuvenated and ready to get right back into your routine?
If you winced even slightly at these questions, take heart. It can be done! And not with deprivation and rigid exercise. You can have a real vacation, keep healthy and return refreshed if you use these 5 tips.
- Act like a child. Children don’t bring homework on vacation. I doubt they give school any thought at all. Do likewise. Leave behind your laptop and devices. If you use them for entertainment, put all work, including email, out of site on your desktop. Turn off notifications. Unplug to enjoy.
- Expand your definition of exercise. Look at a wide range of activity to count as exercise. Maybe you’ll walk a lot, do water activities or dance all night. Also consider small bursts. I have one client who, wherever he travels, does what he calls his “Italian routine” consisting of ten minutes of calisthenics. Prepare ahead with several ideas so that no matter where you are, you get the exercise your body needs and wants.
- Create margin. In the past I found it easy to work up to the last minute, cram to pack and rush to get out of town. But then I needed a day or two to wind down, still thinking about what I left behind. More recently I’ve added margin on the front end, by taking a day off before I actually leave. I’m more relaxed and slide into vacation easily. Equally, on the back end I find it helpful to have a day between returning home and getting back to work. It gives me time to recover from a plane trip or car ride, and do minor things like laundry and grocery shopping. Even if the trip itself is cut slightly shorter, I’m fully present while away and energized for re-entry.
- Better to over-pack than under-pack. Seriously, I’m only disappointed when I under-pack. I hate needing something and not having it! Certainly be smart, but don’t leave things behind because you want to save room in the trunk or avoid a luggage fee. If you think you might use a bathing suit or hiking shoes, take them. If you’re unsure of the food situation and you don’t want to be stuck hungry and without options, pack a few snacks. Better to have and not use than need and not have.
- Redefine treat. Vacation is a time to treat yourself, but be careful that doesn’t translate into taking a vacation from healthy habits. Your body doesn’t think of vacation that way. If you’re in a unique environment, enjoy native foods. Go to your favorite restaurants. But don’t let vacation be an excuse to over-eat. Honor hunger and respect fullness, at home and on the road.
So that’s it! No need to return home kicking yourself for slacking off and struggling to get back into a routine. Try these five strategies to enjoy a real vacation, keep healthy and return refreshed and ready to go.