We’ve all had to look at travel a bit differently recently… Between the changing pandemic travel rules, fluctuating economy & the Covid-19 variants, I think everyone has come to terms with holding most travel plans loosely this past year. I know personally, I’ve had a couple trips canceled for lots of reasons… most recently because my friend’s coworkers got sick and no one was available to cover her office while she was away. Perhaps you can relate when people who you were planning to travel with have last minute reasons to cancel due to the very real situations everyone is facing.
Regardless; now more than ever, we need to make sure we’re taking time for ourselves… to process, to stay healthy, to align and to adjust as we are full throttle into this new year. Understandably, not everyone may be traveling as often; however, there are still plenty of ways to prioritize our health & wellness. So, whether we’re at home or traveling, here are tips to stay centered, strong and make the best of 2022.
#1: Determine what you want
If you’re on a vacation or you’re able to get away, the best thing you can do to feel better & more healthy is determine what you want out of that vacation. How do you want to feel after you leave the trip and what do you want to accomplish? Is it adventure and fun? Is it a bonding experience for you and a loved one? Is it work and to be productive? Or is the trip designed for you to actually get rest and relax? Either way, we all need to make time for ourselves and being clear of what we want in the beginning is always the best chance of getting what you want in the end.
If you’re unable to travel, still get clear on what you want. Perhaps you can set aside a weekend or even a day to focus on your health & wellness. We all have so many responsibilities tugging at us from every angle, so if we do not intentionally set time aside to rest and reset, you’re inevitably going to face burnout, frustration and living beyond your capacity. Believe me, after a career in finance working weekends with a crazy travel schedule, I am no stranger to burnout. When I didn’t take time for my mental and physical well-being, it wasn’t pretty and people in my life suffered for my negligence.
Ultimately, the quality of your life is your decision. You can determine ahead of time if you need more time to rest and relax this year. Take a bath, read a novel or book a massage for yourself. Wellness is designed to help you be your best self so that other people can receive the best version of you in their lives too.
#2: Create an action plan
If you’re on a trip and want to actually relax and get rest, determine ahead of time that you’ll be in bed at a certain time or avoid booking late dinners. Set an intention to go for a hike or find a beach nearby where you can soak up some sun and meditate. If the purpose is to connect with a loved one or have some fun, book reservations and excursions that allow for what you want to happen.
During my most recent trip to Miami, I intentionally avoided a late night party invitation because I knew I wanted to wake up early to catch some good beach sun, do yoga and meditate… that was my intention and I had a plan. Believe me, I’m not one to miss a good time (and I did hit a party or two), but before heading into that trip, I knew I’d have a busy schedule and felt the need to prioritize down time to center and relax, which would serve me more.
If you’re at home, you can still create an action plan for your wellness intentions. Using a time-blocked schedule is always my preferred method to get the most done, and when I’m not traveling, I will block out time for myself each week to rest and recharge. Think about what feels relaxing to you and find time in your schedule ahead of time to get it done.
What I’m saying is to literally make an appointment with yourself, that you treat as priority, so you can feel aligned and centered. This can be as simple as a monthly massage appointment or golf with friends. Even setting aside 30 minutes to nap or exercise can go further than you think. Regardless of the activity, scheduling regular and recurring time for yourself, and your well-being is one of the most important practices you can do for long-term health and happiness.
#3: Document your successes
Keeping track of your progress is the best way to stay aligned, determine how far you’ve come and to keep you on track for your goals in 2022. Journaling is always recommended or just getting your “To-Do” list out of your head and on paper is also really important. Be sure to keep these writings or lists because when things happen or when you make progress on your goals, it’s necessary to remember how far you’ve come. This also serves as encouragement for you to keep going and stay focused on what you’re working on.
If you were able to travel, document your wins or what you think worked well. Hold the feelings of rest or fun & adventure, so you don’t feel it was all for nothing as soon as you get back home. Be sure to keep those happy thoughts and carry that progress with you. If some revelations were exposed on the trip, document how you want to handle those situations.
When I travel and take time to rest or have some fun, I always walk away with fresh insight that I want to take back home with me to apply. I believe it’s one of the beauties of getting out of our normal environment… to relax, shift to a positive mental state and see things from a different perspective.
When we’re at home, the same principle applies. When wellness is a priority, it’s crucial to stay mindful of what’s working, what’s not working and what needs to change. I’d also encourage you to celebrate your wins! Reward yourself (especially with a relaxing treat) when you’ve accomplished a goal or made progress in an area.
Our bodies are designed to rest and these tips are all centered around taking the best care of yourself. Stay tuned for more updates on how to best progress in your wellness journey.
Article Written by: Wynita Yancy, Wellness Travel Editor