10 Healthy Rituals to Recharge Your Body and Soul on Vacation
We all know that taking regular time off work to unwind is good for you—but what you do while on vacation is just as important for your wellbeing. When you think about planning your next holiday, do you imagine yourself sitting on a beach sipping a piña colada or binge-watching your favourite television show in your pajamas? You might not feel any better after a week of lying out in the sun, consuming too many sugary cocktails, or completely abandoning your daily routines.
Roohi Qureshi, founder of Leaves of Trees, an all-natural line of superb skincare, believes it can be healthier and more productive to maintain good habits and everyday rituals while travelling. And she should know. As a practising physician, chemical engineer, textile designer, entrepreneur, and certified pastry chef, it seems there must be more than 24 hours in Qureshi’s days. “Highly successful people have keystone habits that help them achieve their goals,” she says. “If you do the same, simple thing each day at the same time, you’re less likely to skip it.”
Here are some ideas and packing tips to help you expand your knowledge, gain new perspective, and adopt or solidify healthy behaviours and daily rituals to truly benefit from your break.
1. Learn something newUse your vacation time as an opportunity to learn a new skill or try something you’ve always been curious about. Cooking classes, dance lessons or artistic workshops can be enriching ways to meet people and immerse yourself in the local culture. “Learning something new makes a trip memorable,” says Enrique Silva, one of the chefs at organic farm and restaurant Los Tamarindos in San José del Cabo, Mexico. “When people come here, they get to taste fresh herbs and vegetables, and they spend time in nature. It’s romantic.”
2. Make the most of each morningMany people feel more optimistic, focused and productive in the morning. Try to get up early, make your own bed, and consciously state an intention to set the tone for your day. “Practise at least three minutes of deep breathing or repeat a positive affirmation or mantra every morning,” advises Lola Castillo of Naam Yoga. “It allows you to be present in the moment, appreciate your surroundings, and amplify your experiences.”
Lululemon Unmat, $48.
3. Streamline your styleMinimize the stress of packing and simplify your daily routines by choosing classic combinations and beautiful basics. A selection of interchangeable black, white and denim pieces form a solid foundation when travelling. “Pack fewer products that can also do double duty,” says Qureshi. “Argan oil is fantastic because it can be used as a natural moisturizer on your hair, face and body.”
Leaves of Trees Argan Oil, $60.
4. Keep your mind activeIf you read each night before going to bed, continue that evening ritual while on vacation. Load an e-reader with the latest and greatest titles and get lost in a good story. Choose a device that allows you to read in direct sunlight with an anti-glare screen or in complete darkness with adjustable lighting options.
Kobo Glo HD eReader, $130.
5. Stay well hydratedSkip the soda pop and drink at least eight glasses or two litres of water a day. Whether on the airplane, adventuring through a new city, or lounging on the beach, carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times to make hydrating on-the-go easy. Invest in an ergonomic bottle that features a gel-filled freezer stick to keep drinks ice cold for hours.
PC Home Everyday Essentials Water Bottle, $5.
6. Be safe in the sunProtect your skin, lips and eyes from the sun! Buy organic or mineral sunscreen and lip balm, as well as durable, lightweight sunglasses with 100 per cent UVA/UVB protection. Bonus: if you buy a pair of Toms sunglasses, Toms will help restore sight by providing the necessary surgery, medical treatments or prescription glasses, allowing patients to return to work or school and live independent lives.
Traveler by TOMS, $98
Consonant Skincare's The Perfect Sunscreen, $45.
7. Plan ahead as much as possibleOrganize a few activities and dinner reservations in advance or book a hotel that offers a personal concierge service. “When you don’t have to worry about arranging transportation, finding the best spot for dinner, or going grocery shopping, it makes disconnecting that much easier and more enjoyable,” says Cathy Ross, avid traveller and CEO of Exclusive Resorts, a curated collection of privately-managed luxury residences that offer all-encompassing service.
8. Sneak in some extra sleepWhen was the last time you took a nap? Keep your travel plans flexible without comprising your sleep and tweak your sleeping patterns to squeeze in an extra hour of rest. Look for hotels that offer pillow menus or bring your own anti-aging pillow that aids the retention of water and minimizes the look of resting lines on the face.
Circadia pillowcase, WSkincare, $60.
9. Bring natural remediesAside from your standard medicine cabinet must-haves, pack a few of your favourite essential oils or natural remedies to help soothe minor headaches, sore muscles, stress, and digestive issues.
Saje Wellness Pocket Pharmacy, $60.
10. Stick to your skincare regimentTime away from the office is a perfect opportunity to reduce the amount of harsh cosmetic products you may use on your face daily or to try out a new mask or serum. Be sure to cleanse and exfoliate your skin to avoid any greasy build-up or acne-triggering residue caused by sunscreen. Try the powerful Clarisonic Mia 2, which comes with a compact case perfect for travel.
Clarisonic Mia 2, $180.