Holidays in my late teen and early 20’s use to involve 7-day all-inclusive trips to islands south of Canada, where the ‘all-inclusive’ had far more to do with the 8 drinks you could get at the bar at a time, than the food, sun or relaxing. At the time, I didn’t appreciate the proximity to these amazing holiday destinations nor did I take in any culture or use the opportunity to recharge whilst sitting by a pool or beach. I’d come back more tired than when I left but it was always so much fun and my love for travel started during these crazy weeks.
Fast forward 20 years, and I feel after the last couple of holidays, that I’ve started to understand better how to really take advantage of a holiday and come back refreshed and recharged for life again. With 3 young boys, a blog, business and household to run, the need to recharge on holidays is now more important than ever.
Travelling with 3 kids, however, can be hard. The organising, the packing, the organising, the packing. That doesn’t even involve the trip, whether that be on a plane, train or car, which can be the most trying part of all. Despite it’s challenges, I feel as though I’ve worked out how to best use a family holiday to recharge the batteries. Ahead of this holiday season, I wanted to share what I’ve learned, so you too can start January feeling refreshed.
Before you leave
Have you ever heard of the executive flu or gone on holidays only to get a cold or just not feel 100% when you reach your destination? Often, we work like crazy ahead of our departure date to finish work and get everyone organised, that when we arrive at our island paradise or cozy holiday home, we fall into an exhausted heap on the sun lounger or couch.
I try to avoid this by doing a few things in the week prior to our departure so I can make the most of my relaxing time and not be nursing a sickness the whole time.
– make a big salad or batch of veggie soup and have this for lunch a few times in the week before you leave
– I’ve started using essential oils which keep me healthy & feeling less anxious in the pre-holiday build up
– I drink lots of water so I’m hydrated, with a drop of lemon oil in the morning but also throughout the day
– Keep your gut healthy with lots of gut-friendly foods & drinks. Sauerkraut, kombucha, kim-chi, yogurt at least once a day to keep your gut-flora healthy and boost your immune system (which is heavily affected by your gut).
During your holiday
In days gone by, I would leave my 80:20 rule (to eating well) behind me and indulge on a holiday like it was my last days on earth. Now however, whilst indulging by eating different (and more) foods and enjoying a few more drinks than usual, I also use the time on holiday to get back on track with my healthy eating. I love to try new foods and recipes (if you’re renting & cooking for yourselves) and find that this sets me up really well for the day and usually later nights than usual.
On a recent trip to Spain, I went to a big supermarket and stocked up on healthy foods and in-season produce. I loved finding things that are usually more expensive at home or trying new fruits I hadn’t seen before. I started my day with eggs, avocado, sauerkraut and never had an ounce of guilt when we dug into Spanish delicacies at night and ate ice cream after every meal.
Another habit I started forming when on holiday and in an effort to unplug from work, was to listen to podcasts that had nothing to do with marketing, entrepreneurship or business. Instead, I download wellbeing podcasts that help me learn things I don’t know, stretch my thinking and inspire me personally. Here’s a list of some that I continue to listen to:
– Party in my Plants: everything health, eating and of course plant related! Some favourites include her interviews with Elisa Goodman & Robyn Youkilis.
– Seth Godin on Akimbo: he’s a marketing guru but is a wise soul when it comes to his philosophy on life
– OnBeing with Krista Trippett: a spiritually-based podcast, Krista interviews very interesting people on a range of subjects. A couple of my favourites are her interviews with Michael McCarthy on Nature, Joy and human becoming; Pico Iyer on the ‘Urgency of Slowing Down’ and Derek Black & Matthew Stevenson who became the most unlikely of friends as a Jewish man and a white supremacist. All of her interviews are thought-provoking and I often listen to them again to take notes!
– The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes. Interviews with a range of people and across a lot of subjects but I like the tone and find most of the episodes motivating and inspiring.
I’m not a gym-goer and usually, my regular form of exercise is walking and I make sure that on holidays, I step this up to a regular daily walk. It’s a perfect time to listen to the aforementioned podcasts and spend some time toute seule (all alone!). I love lounging and doing nothing on a holiday but find that if I get moving for at least 30 minutes, I feel much better through the day and the cumulative effect helps when I get home too.
We are so lucky that these days, you don’t have to travel to Bali or Thailand to find massages or nail bars, to treat yourself. It’s a good idea to scout out places when you arrive or ask the hotel or host to recommend somewhere as you’ll want to book ahead of time. If you leave it too late, you might miss out so make sure to prioritise this as soon as you arrive! Another great idea is to find a dry-bar or hairdresser and have your hair blow-waved. This is especially great when you’re visiting cities or family during a special time like Christmas and will make you feel great for days. If you’re going somewhere sunny and are in the pool or water often, book in a blow-dry for before you leave so you can take home the refreshed feeling and hit the ground feeling fabulous on your arrival home.
With any luck, some of the healthy habits and improved well-being from your holiday will stick around when you get home. If you start on a good path of eating and taking care of your body properly, it’s so much easier to carry on and have it impact your life each and every day thereafter.
I’d love to hear from you and hear your comments if you have any recharging practices on your holidays, please share them. You can leave your comments below.
If you want to read more about me or Habitots, you can do so here. As serial travelers and expats, we have lots of adventures to share here. You can catch up on our French Adventures here or all of our travel related blogs here.
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