Finding Alignment Post Travel

Uncategorized Feb 15, 2019

I JUST SPENT A WEEK AWAY FROM MY HOME

It was wonderful and FULL… It was also my second week away in four weeks. I love traveling, but I also LOVE being home. Oddly, the transition from being away to being home is challenging for me. It’s no secret that I often (a-hem… always) pick a fight with my husband when I get home. It’s not that I don’t want to be home, I do! It’s that transitions are challenging for me, and I need time to adjust.

The good thing is, I have a system to get myself on track after a trip and I’m here to share it with you. If you struggle to feel good, eat well and take care of yourself after a trip, this post is for you! We all fall off the deep end and travel can make it even more challenging to get back on track. If you follow the simple practices outlined in this post, you will ensure you feel great when you come home.

HERE’S WHAT THIS POST WILL COVER

  • How Travel Creates Imbalance In Your Body/Mind

  • How To Prepare Your Home Before You Leave

  • What To Do Immediately When You Get Home

  • What To Do In The Days Following Your Return Home

Ready? Let’s dive in! Be sure to comment on the post if you have any questions, or to share your travel experience.

HOW TRAVEL CREATES IMBALANCE

Travel, especially airplane travel, creates major imbalance for the Vata Dosha. If you don’t know what that means, check out my post about Ayurveda and Doshas. Needless to say, traveling pulls you away from your routine, is drying for your body and stressful all around.

We Are Creatures Of Habit.

It is challenging to go live somewhere else without the same food/drink/amenities that you have at home. We’ll cover THAT in another post. This is why coming home can be a challenge - you start to adapt to one place then switch it up and come back to “normal” which for some of us can feel blah! Let’s fix that!

 

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

Here are a few easy tricks to make sure your house is ready for your arrival…before you leave!

I know it can be hard to get out the door on time, let alone prepare for your return. But taking an hour to prep for your arrival will be greatly rewarded when you come home. Note, if you are away longer, your prep may be different. Similarly, if you are only gone for a day or two, these things may not be necessary.

Choose Which Practices Work For You

  • Clean out the fridge: Get rid of old food, or food that will go bad while you are away. Clear out the mess and arrange things so you can see what you have. This will make grocery shopping when you return easier.

  • Plan your return meal: I usually get home in the evening, which means I need dinner. Instead of the dreaded “what’s for dinner” convo, decide before you leave. Do you have a meal frozen that you can defrost? Will you order take-out on the way home? Stop at your favorite neighborhood spot for a quick bite? Whatever it is, make sure it feels easy, fun and like a healthy treat. It’s hard to come home and dive head first into eating salads… OK? Give yourself a nourishing and comforting transition meal! Your body actually needs more fat and warm food when you get off a plane.

  • Clean up your house: It doesn’t have to be a deep clean, but it should be picked up. Make your bed, put away laundry, load and run the dishwasher. Do all the things that make you happy, so you come home to a happy, clean house.

  • Put clean sheets on your bed: This is next level, but also my favorite trick. Before I leave, I always make my bed with clean sheets. I mentioned I usually come home in the evening, so sleep is top priority. Plus is there anything more enjoyable than getting into bed with clean, crisp sheets? {drool}

  • Plan down time for the day after: Obviously this is not always an option. Whenever possible, schedule a “down day” after your return home. Give yourself a day where you don’t have to set the alarm, can have a slow morning, and take care of business at a more leisurely pace. There’s nothing worse than getting home late, not sleeping and having to rush into a FULL day. Yuck. I’d rather come home earlier than deal with that mess.

 
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET HOME

Alright, you did your preparation for your trip - go you! Now you’ve had a lovely trip and are coming home, baby. A lot of this will depend on what time you get home.

Feel Free To Choose And Modify These Practices As Desired

  • Eat a warming, nourishing meal. This will both satisfy your hunger and calm your nervous system.

  • Skip the alcohol / caffeine. The day you return, limit caffeine and alcohol. They are both substances that your liver has to process. Give you liver a chance to help your whole system re-calibrate and avoid alcohol and caffeine. You’ll sleep better anyway.

  • Greet your home. When you walk in the door of your [clean] house, take a moment to walk into each room and greet your home. Welcome yourself back and see your home with love and appreciation.

  • Pause with a cup of tea. After you are settled home, make yourself a warm beverage and take a few minutes to sit and be. Travel can be stressful and is certainly busy. Let your body and mind re-calibrate. Enjoy the peace and quiet of being home.

  • Take a walk. If you are home early enough, take a short walk around your neighborhood. This gets your blood flowing and your breath moving after stagnant travel. It’s also a way to welcome yourself back home.

  • Take a shower. You might feel exhausted after your trip, but remember you have clean sheets! Nothing feels better then a hot shower to wash away the travel yuck and warm you up. Then you get to jump into bed clean and happy (and moisturized).

  • Massage oil onto your feet. After you shower, massage oil onto the soles of your feet and put socks on. Another Ayurvedic trick, this helps to calm your nervous system and root you back home. It will also help you sleep deeply. Sesame oil works great!

  • Light stretching. If you can spare 5 minutes to stretch and breathe before bed, your body will thank you. Get things unstuck, breath and settle your system before you sleep.

  • Drink magnesium. Travel DEFINITELY can upset your digestive system. Constipation is common during and after travel. Taking magnesium before bed will help get things moving the next morning.

  • Legs up the wall. Right before sleep, lie in bed (or on the floor) at a 90 degree angle with your legs up the wall. This will help with swelling caused by sitting on a plane for hours.

 

WHAT TO DO THE DAYS FOLLOWING YOUR RETURN

Once you get arrive and have a good nights sleep, it’s time to really ground yourself into being home. This is also the time to take back control of your routine and healthy-happy habits. It’s time to decide how you want to feel and set yourself to make it easy to feel good.

Here Are Some Feel-Good Practices To Jump Into Following Your Return Home

  • Sunshine. First and foremost, wake up and get some sunshine. Sit outside, go on another walk and breathe the outside air.

  • Groceries. Make a list and either go shopping or use one of the awesome home delivery services. Whatever you do, make sure to get groceries in your clean fridge. Be sure to include lots of vegetables (wash and prep them if possible), simple starch and proteins. Prep as much as you can, so you can easily throw together simple healthy bowl meals. The key is to make it simple and convenient to eat healthy meals at home.

  • Move your body. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a yoga class or a short run, be sure to get moving as soon as possible. Travel can lead to inflammation, stagnation and soreness/stiffness in the body. Moving, sweating and stretching helps with all of this, not to mention it will boost your energy.

  • Simple schedule. Try to keep a simple schedule for the first couple of days. Give yourself time to actually BE in your home. Enjoy quiet evenings, downtime and extra rest.

  • Hydrate. This should be part of your entire transition. Drink more than usual, including water and lots of tea. This will also help combat inflammation and dryness caused from traveling.

  • Oil Massage. Again, your skin gets super dry with travel. Try to dry brush and/or oil massage the days following your return home. This is both a grounding practice (calms the nervous system) and helps to dehydrate your skin. I have a full post and video about that here.

  • Routine. Recommit to a simple morning and evening routine. This is a great reminder of what practices you like to include in your daily life. Don’t be afraid to mix it up from your pre-travel routine.

  • Unpack. I almost forgot this one… but the sooner you unpack, the sooner you will feel you are HOME. Throw your clothes in the washer and pull everything out of your suitcase ASAP. Put that shit away and settle in.

THAT’S IT!

Next time you plan to travel, plan to include some (or all) of these practices. Notice how it helps you settle and enjoy life post-travel. I hope this was helpful! Comment below if you have questions or want to share your own travel experience.

Enjoy your day!

xo

Dana

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