Are you abandoning yourself while you're on vacation?

It’s hard enough for us humans to get a good handle on healthy eating, exercise and self-care when we’re at home, so how do we maintain habits that help us feel good when we’re vacationing or on extended business trips?

Too often, a visit, trip or life event that takes you away from home is an opportunity to abandon what helps you feel good about you.  If this happens frequently enough, you may resist travel or at the very worst, be disappointed or angry with yourself when you don’t stick to your healthy habits.  You could end up associating feeling bad with specific places, people or events.  When this happens, you miss the joy that’s available.  It’s important to learn to navigate time away from home with positive feelings within so you can feel at home and comfortable in your body no matter where you are.

First, let’s get real! You’re not going to maintain your exact routine 100% of the time while away, so, in the words of a stereotypical east coast mobster, “forget about it.”  Instead, set a goal of maintaining a mere 25% of your healthy regular habits.  If you make 50%, you’re a rock star in your own life! 

To maintain your self-respect and self-confidence and keep some habits that work best for you when you’re away from your environment, remember to: 

  • Practice one habit that works well for your body—Mornings or breakfast is a good place to concentrate on keeping a usual habit because it sets the tone for the entire day.  What can you do in the morning that helps you feel good and sets you up to feel positive and healthy all day?  Is there a particular food you eat for breakfast.  Do you have a morning ritual?
  • Incorporate one usual activity while you’re gone that helps you feel grounded and positive in your body—Do you work out at the gym regularly?  Do you go for a long walk every day?  Can you do this one day or even two while you’re away?
  • Focus on the people, sights or reason you’re away and how good it is to have new experiences—Are you getting extra rest, laughing with loved ones, or making connections for your career?  While it’s important to feel within yourself, it’s also important to be able to choose your focus outside yourself and enjoy all the nuances life presents.

Once you return home, you may find that your usual routine is hard to get back into so give yourself an adjustment period, then get back to basics.  Start by sitting with your body quietly for five minutes a day to see what it’s telling you. Within a few days, you’ll probably find that you’re back on track and feeling like your regular, usual self.  

Your life doesn’t start again when your vacation, trip or event is over.  Your life is happening now!  Be in it!  Celebrate it!  Feel good in it!