Healthy Habits are Critical Because Travel is Stressful
I recently got back from a trip to see family. The trip went great and not great. I don’t know if anyone can relate to this but visiting family can be a bit stressful for me.
I abandoned many of my healthy habits for convenience. On returning home, I must take stock of what went right and what went wrong. My hope is that it might help you not to go through this yourself to learn this lesson.
My confession is that I know better, and I just didn’t do better on this trip.
Of course, my body did what it always does when I don’t practice healthy habits and take care of it…I ended up in the ER with hives at midnight on the first day.
The truth is, my true confession is that I just didn’t take my healthy habits with me and take care of myself!
No Shame in My Game
I don’t pity myself, but I am a very sensitive person. I can only do so much “suck it up, buttercup” before my body just says “NOPE!” I have cultivated healthy habits so my body doesn’t say “NOPE!” to me anymore.
I’m using this blog as a sort of after-action report.
I have many healthy habits built in my daily life at home to avoid getting too stressed out and overwhelmed. However, when I travel, many of those things go by the wayside for convenience. I learned the hard way that I let too many of them go on this trip.
First Healthy Habit
The first healthy habit that let go of was my morning ritual. Usually, I take 10-15 minutes a morning to meditate and set my intentions for the day. Dare I say, I pray to the universe to guide my thinking, behavior, and actions to the maximum usefulness to me, others, and the world.
I ask the universe to guide me on my path and to help me on my journey for the day. At night I do the same thing. I journal and make an account of how the day went.
In not taking this time in the mornings on this trip, I went far afield of my usual peaceful, non-stressed way of life.
Second Healthy Habit
The second healthy habit that I let go of on this trip was not eating the way I usually eat. I have a very sensitive system. Age and illness have left me in a state that I can’t eat just anything and be ok.
I usually make a smoothie for breakfast every morning with mad nutrition. I put in 3 veggies and one fruit with powders with Vit C, stress, cleansing my liver, elusive minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties.
In packing for the trip, I decided not to take my smoothie blender (even though it is small and would have fit in my suitcase). It seemed to me that buying the ingredients once I got there would be too much trouble.
I couldn’t have known that this was such a big mistake, but I know now. You see, when I travel, it is almost impossible to find things that I can eat. I end up eating foods that fill my belly but don’t give me the nutrition I need.
It was an enormous mistake not to practice my healthy habit of smoothies and take my blender and eat my smoothie every morning. On the first day of the trip, after eating foods that my system just can’t handle.
I’m Sensitive and Proud
I wasn’t sure then, but I am now that I eat the way I do for a reason. I can’t handle foods that everyone else can. I am sensitive to lots of foods.
It didn’t help that it is stressful to find food on a menu at restaurants that don’t serve fresh, whole, organic foods. Then, I had to watch everyone else eat foods that I love the taste of, but I know I just can’t have.
I love my healthy habits! My way of life is not a burden at all. It has its upsides. I never have to worry about gaining weight. In fact, when I go on trips, I worry about losing weight. The foods that I eat don’t have a lot of calories. They have lots of vitamins and minerals that my body needs.
I eat how cave people ate before there was bread, cheese, condiments, etc. People think that I eat like this because it is a choice, but it isn’t. If I don’t eat this way, I will be sick. I get hives, or I have to go to bed for most of the day, feeling like my stomach will explode.
I practice healthy habits in my daily life and I haven’t had an attack in a long time, so I didn’t know that the foods would hit me this way. I believe that my body talks to me. Everything my body does is a conversation. The hives were my body’s way of letting me know that I had veered off course.
I am Intentional
So, when I coach my clients healthy habits on what to eat and not eat, it is not an ideal. It is the way I live. My hope is that I can help my clients avoid stress and eat well so they don’t develop the sensitivities that I have developed.
The truth is our food has lots of chemicals in it. As we age, we just can’t handle them anymore. And as we age, we can’t handle the stress and stress hormones that we used to handle. This is the root of all the chronic illnesses that we see in our society today. We can combat this with healthy habits in eating.
The body will break at the weakest point. My body broke at the gut, with leaky gut syndrome, but for some, it is diabetes, lupus, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, asthma, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, COPD, and even cancer.
Third Healthy Habit
The third healthy habit I didn’t do was to check in with my body. My body told me that I needed to take a break as I played badminton for 2 hours on the first day. I didn’t listen.
Everyone else took a break, but I just kept right on playing. I have no idea why I didn’t listen when my body told me to sit down and drink some water, but I ignored it completely.
The Fourth Healthy Habit
My body told me that the filtered water wasn’t filtered enough, but I kept drinking it anyway. I knew I needed to be drinking bottled water and a lot more of it, but I didn’t.
The fourth healthy habit I let go of was drinking enough water spring water. I got dehydrated, and my body let me know.
The Fifth Healthy Habit
The fifth healthy habit I let go of was getting enough sleep. I love to get up early in the morning and drink coffee with my Dad. I need 8 hours of sleep, though. So, on the night I arrived, even after I had a hard time going to sleep, I got up too early to hang out with my Dad.
My body let me know with the hives that night in the ER.
The good news is that after the hives and the night in the ER, I finally got the message. I slept later that morning and the mornings after. I missed having coffee with my Dad, but I have to have 7 – 9 hours of sleep.
I Turned it Around
On the second day, I am proud to say that even though we had a house full of people…I stepped away to rest. I didn’t try to meditate, but I laid down for about 20 min. to reset my system from the flurry of activity in the other rooms. Rest is an important healthy habit and I have to remember to do it.
So, to sum it up, I was not centered or grounded on the first day of my trip. I was over-stressed, malnourished, dehydrated, and tired. My body let me know in no uncertain terms that this was not going to work.
I quickly course-corrected and had a great rest of the trip! I made sure that I included healthy habits every day. I checked in with myself several times and gave my body what it needed, and my body cooperated for the rest of the trip.
The 5 healthy habits that I must do on a trip:
- Ground and Center every, throughout the day and at night before bed.
- Eat right for me – avoiding things that my body will not like.
- Check in with my body – how am I feeling? What do I need?
- Drink enough water.
- Get enough sleep/rest.
I learned a valuable lesson about healthy habits for future trips. I have to remember that I do the things I do for a reason. When I don’t do the healthy habits, my life goes sideways.
Can you relate?
I will love to hear from you if you or someone that you know has had similar experiences abandoning healthy habits on travel. How did it go? How do you take care of yourself when you travel? What lessons have you learned?
If you like this content, click here to read about coping with stress.