Six Ways to Bring Self-Care to Your Next Vacation
With the wild and unpredictable year that is 2020, now more than ever is it important to look after ourselves and practice mindfulness and self-care. Stress relief doesn’t come naturally to some people but prioritizing it is the key to balancing your mind, body and spirit.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment and doing it intentionally through the observation of your own thoughts and emotions to reduce stress, increase focus and concentration, increase emotional intelligence, resilience; improve physical wellbeing and creativity, plus lower blood pressure.
Self-care, such as making time for yourself through meditation, yoga, walks, enjoying nature and hobbies – gives you the right ‘fuel’ for your body to ensure you have more than enough resources to draw on, and nail the day – whether at home, work or play.
Keeping this in mind for your daily life, it’s also important to bring self-care to your next holiday too. Travel is to be enjoyed, to be carefree, to learn about different cultures, to meet new people, and more often than not – it offers personal growth. But if you’re running off adrenalin, stressed and not present – you may not even notice or appreciate those important moments that can make your trip truly memorable.
Here are six tips to live a positive lifestyle and make the most of your next holiday through the practice of self-care:
- Remember to BREATHE. Engage in deep breathing or other relaxation skills such as meditation and yoga.
It may seem pretty straight forward to breathe, right? However, when you’re stressed, you may not be breathing properly as your breath and heart speed up and can cause adrenal fatigue which depletes you and can lead to illness. Remember to stop and take a deep breath, as this sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax and is one of the best ways to lower stress in your body.
Throughout Europe, New Zealand, Asia, South and the Americas – how about soak in the mineral-rich geothermal seawaters of various lagoons surrounded by steam, lay back and experience Mother Nature’s premium spa experience
Or specifically, for all the millennials and Gen Z’s who have taken the lead in awareness when it comes to taking time out for themselves to practice mindfulness – wake up with morning yoga at the Chateau de Cruix Beaujolais in France – gazing across vineyards in the palatial grounds of Contiki’s 16th Century Chateau.
- Give your body and brain a chance to recharge.
Researchers say napping is good for your heart health. A power nap of 15 to 20 minutes can reduce fatigue, increase alertness, improve performance and mood.
The Spanish and Portuguese have this sorted with their traditional, siestas. Taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal to feel refreshed after sleep for the stamina to work and stay out until late in the evening.
Conclusion: No matter what city you’re travelling through on your holiday – it’s totally OK after your long walk exploring the iconic sites, backstreets and beaches – to retreat to your accommodation and reset for the evening ahead of delicious dining and local entertainment.
- Treat yourself to a spa vacation, visit a wellness retreat and spend time in natural beauty.
This is self-explanatory – there are thousands of spa, health, fitness and yoga retreats, and award-winning wellness programs around the world.
Line up the massages, facials and skin treatments; dine on vegan, vegetarian, organic and sustainable meals that are aligned with your body type based on a personalized diet from a nutritionist; Get your zen on with yoga and meditation, often hosted by a spiritual practitioner to take you on a journey of personal growth, discovery and relaxation.
And turn your phone off – give yourself a digital detox, cut off from the outside world and shake off the hyper-connectivity you have between your phone and social media.
Red Carnation Hotels offers award-winning sustainable spa packages across all its properties throughout Europe to the UK, Southern Africa and America. Keep an eye out for Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana – an ultra-luxurious escape which opens in December 2020.
The tranquil haven offers Wellness in the Wilderness – soul-soothing, individually customized treatments that re-energize and nurture the body and mind by tapping into the natural healing powers of the peace and tranquility of the bush. The signature B | Africa spa treatments includes holistic spa healing rituals offer a multi-sensorial escape.
- Go on a guided holiday / tour for a seamless and stress-free travel experience.
If you’re one of those people who meticulously plan the most perfect holiday getaway, yet find yourself stressed out running to a tight schedule and trying to organize everything and everyone, are concerned about logistics, concerned about due to the ‘new world’ post pandemic – consider a guided-holiday where literally everything is taken care of, you just need to board your flight and show up.
Companies such Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, AAT Kings and Luxury Gold take the stress out of your hands and enable you the time to actually sit back, RELAX and ENJOY your holiday. Covering all corners of the world, their wellbeing protocols and enhanced hygiene measures follow the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
Working alongside an expert Travel Director and professionally trained Driver for 24-7 support – you have the added reassurance and confidence to explore amazing destinations knowing that every stop, venue, establishment and activity are carefully selected with your wellbeing at heart.
- Give back for the greater good.
This may seem like an oxymoron – give back to others for self-care? But how good does it feel when giving back to the community. Perhaps it’s volunteering your time at a soup kitchen, at a wildlife rehabilitation centre, at an animal rescue shelter, or doing beach cleans in your local area to serve the planet.
Doing good for others makes you feel good on the inside, which projects onto the outside world – which gives good vibes all round and should fill you up with joy!
When choosing who to travel with, be mindful to select a company that shares the same values to ensure you’re travelling with a brand that cares about its impact.
The TreadRight Foundation has committed to sustainable and regenerative tourism alongside more than 40 award-winning brands by The Travel Corporation, to address climate change, over-tourism and animal welfare. TreadRight’s Make Travel Matter Experiences ensure a positive social or environmental impact, measured by a criteria set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Experiences include a visit to Sheroes’s Café in India with Insight Vacations, a café that is owned by women who have suffered acid attacks and advances; or the Berlin Refugee Voices with Contiki – unique walking tours led by Syrian refugees who share their story, the struggles, and the challenges of creating a new home. It’s Berlin from a different perspective.
To #MakeTravelMatter with peace of mind, knowing that you’re making a positive impact by helping to preserve the planet, people and wildlife – is certainly a well-rounded vacation when you can holiday with a conscience.
- Practice gratitude for the people, events and every-day moments in your life.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful towards a specific person or experience in your world. Those that feel grateful are thankful for what they already have, as they aren’t constantly seeking more and ‘chasing the dragon’.
The scientifically proven benefits of gratitude include: Better relationships as everyone is treated with kindness; Improves physical and psychological health, improving mental strength – grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier according to a study published in Personality and Individual Differences. It also effectively increases happiness, reducing stress and depression.
So in summary, be mindful of everything you have to be grateful for and acknowledge the ‘little things’ that are already in your life, as these little things actually make up the bigger picture to keep you feeling fulfilled, refreshed and grounded – perhaps it’s your health, family, friends, support network, an income, nature, your home, relationship, an opportunity to be thankful for a new day – whatever that may be whether at home, work, or on your vacation! Namaste.