“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.” - Asian Proverb
Last month my dear friend said to me, “We should drive to New York City for the long weekend and see some Broadway shows!” After some back and forth in my head, I thought, “Let’s do this!” We all know that traveling takes planning and mental preparation: finding a cat sitter, rescheduling clients, packing, planning a departure time, snacks (obviously), arrival time, hotel reservation, dinner reservations, sightseeing, etc. It felt like a lot, but I loved the idea and wanted to make it happen!
During the trip I truly kept up with my self-care: got plenty of restful sleep, stayed hydrated, ate delicious meals, spent time outside walking and exploring, and had a decent amount of relaxing time in the morning. AND…in addition to that, I saw multiple Broadway shows, walked among swarms of people and was surrounded by the bright lights of New York City. On our drive home to New Hampshire, I got in the passenger's seat, put on my sunglasses and began zoning out through the window. My friend looked at me and said, “Wow, you’re totally beat, aren't you?” Although I had been exquisite with my self care during the trip, my digestion was now completely off and my nervous system was shaken up from the trip.
Traveling can be amazing, but even with the best of planning, hard on the body. Here are five items I always pack with me during travel times to try and keep me at my best, most glowing self.
- Oil: The sanskrit word Sneha translates to both “love” and “oil.” In Ayurveda, it is believed that self massage with oil (Abhyanga) can have an enormous amount of benefits. Some benefits include: feeling of warmth and stability, increased sleep pattern, nourishment for the whole body, and proper circulation. Ayurveda encourages daily self massage before the shower or tub for at least 15 minutes while placing your attention on the love you’re giving to your skin. For more information on Abhyanga and the benefits of oil, check out this article written by Dr. John Douillard.
- Digestive Tea: It is not uncommon to experience constipation and/or digestive issues during travel. This can sometimes occur by vata dosha increasing and creating dis-ease in the home of vata: the colon. The act of traveling has the possibility of creating “too much” movement, air, space, and mobility. Yogi Tea and Traditional Medicinals have a number of excellent options for digestive teas.
- Immune Support: Whether you’re heading to the airport to catch a plane or jumping in your car for a little road trip, you may feel under the weather at some point during the trip. This can happen due to: lack of sleep, falling out of your usual routine/eating habits, squeezing in a lot of activities and sightseeing into a short amount of time. My mother used to tell me constantly, “Don’t burn the candle at both ends or you’re going to get sick.” Having some immune support tea, or herb can help you stay ahead of that possibility. Check with your healthcare provider for recommendations on immune boosting supplements and herbs.
- Muscle Rub: I’m a huge fan of road trips, so every couple of months I’ll be hopping in my car to drive 4-5 hours somewhere for a long weekend with the music blasting. With this much sitting and driving, muscles can tend to get stiff. This can also happen when sleeping in a new bed with a new pillow. My new favorite muscle salve was introduced tome from my acupuncturist, Dani, called 37. Other options for muscle rub include: Doterra Deep Blue, Dr. Bronners and TigerBalm.
- Yoga Tune Up Balls: I bring these with me to help ease my muscles after a long car ride or flight. These balls are wonderful for easing muscle tension and releasing knots. You can use these tune-up balls either on the floor or up against a wall while using your bodyweight against them. In addition to using these yoga tune up balls, some gentle stretching can be incredibly relieving. Some of my favorite poses for relieving tension in the hips and low back are: child’s pose, figure four/pigeon pose, and supine spinal twist. Check out YogaJournal and YouTube for additional options and sequences.
When I returned home from my amazing trip, I immediately took a relaxing bath with epsom salt and bubbles. I had an early dinner of roasted veggies and grains which was both warming and grounding for me. A couple days later, I had acupuncture (in silence) to assist getting my nervous system and digestive system back on track. Please, take care of yourself when you are traveling and be gentle with yourself upon your arrival back. Find what works for you!
“By taking care of myself I have so much more to offer the world than I do when I am running on empty.” - Ali Washington
Meagan Visnaskas, LMT is a licensed massage therapist at the NH Health & Wellness Center. She is currently enrolled at the Kripalu School of Ayurveda working towards becoming an Ayurveda Health Counselor in summer 2024. To
schedule a session or for more information, call 603-801-2777 or email email@example.com.