Something I did not appreciate nearly enough about my teens and (at least early) twenties was how easy it was to physically bounce back from pretty much anything. Emotional bouncing back, that’s another story, but things like late nights, too many drinks, travel–no sweat.
Nowadays, it feels more like this:
That said, it’s important to make room for enjoyment in life. It’s too damn short not to do what we love, eat and drink for pleasure, and travel. Travel can be fun, eye-opening, and for many of us, it’s sometimes necessary for work and life events. However, it can be a challenge for staying in a healthy routine.
On the trip is one thing, but what about when you get back? I actually find that the week after a trip is when my clients struggle most. Coming home to an empty fridge and a packed schedule or a pile of stuff to catch up on makes it hard to get back into a good groove after having been out of your healthy routine.
When travel is a regular part of your life, this can make it harder to stay on track with your health and fitness goals, but the good news is, a little planning can seriously streamline your approach and help you get back on track.
-Make Yourself A Priority
People sometimes look at me like I’m nuts when I say this, but put your own name on your calendar. Seeing yourself there as a priority alongside all the other stuff you have going on is powerful shit. If you can, give yourself a day or even half a day after you return and block out time for what I like to call the “little human things”: groceries, food prep, laundry, errands, cleaning, a workout, or whatever else you need to feel set. If you’re struggling with justifying it, remind yourself that when you feel taken care of, you show up as a better version of yourself in all areas of your life.
-Make It Convenient To Eat Well
Be realistic with yourself about what you’ll be able to get done. If you have time when you get home to go to the grocery store and meal-prep, awesome! If not, also okay. I was hesitant at first to try grocery delivery because of the added cost, but I’ve found that $6.99 delivery charge is well worth it, and when you shop sales and use it as an opportunity to stock up on your favorite healthy staples or buy household goods you’ll need in bulk. Just keep in mind that if you’re traveling by plane or a very long distance, choose a time slot that builds in room for delays. For example, when I’m flying, I like to schedule a delivery for the morning after I return.
If grocery delivery isn’t an option for you, stocking up on some frozen fruits and veggies and shelf-stable basics like beans, tinned fish, whole grain or bean-based pasta, and your favorite nuts/seeds and nut butters before you go can make it much easier to eat well when you return. Even a few healthier frozen entree options can make a big difference.
Also something to try: make a little note in your phone of some healthy grab-and-go or takeout options you like so you don’t have to think too hard about it when you get back.
Enjoying some exercise after a trip has many benefits. Many people focus on the calorie burn, but it’s also great for relieving stress and helping you feel more energized and focused. It also helps stimulate digestion to help alleviate travel-related constipation. To help yourself Put workouts or classes on your calendar
-Pay Attention To Digestion
Gastrointestinal disturbances are an annoying but completely normal thing to experience during and after travel. Constipation is the most common issue people struggle with after a trip. To help get back to (your version of) normal, make sure to work in plenty of high-fiber foods like veggies, fruit, beans, nuts or seeds, and whole grains. Some people also find fiber supplements helpful. Drinking extra water also helps get things moving.
In general, I don’t encourage laxatives, but for people with more severe constipation, they exist for a reason. As a gentler alternative, a magnesium citrate supplement can be a good in-between. this one is my go-to. I do, however, recommend making sure you’re eating plenty of probiotic-rich foods or taking a probiotic supplement to support regular digestion.
-Be patient with yourself
It can be frustrating to feel off your game, but know that you will get there. Sure, it might take a few days, but that’s totally normal, especially after a longer trip. If you find yourself struggling with the Overthink Monster or feel like your negative self-talk is related to a deeper underlying issue, consider touching base with a registered dietitian or a therapist.
What was the last place you traveled to ? How do you get back on track after a trip?
This has been another installment of the Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.