You know the feeling, it’s the last day of an amazing trip, you’re packing up your things, not quite ready to leave, basking in that post-vacation high…but feeling a little ‘blah.’ It could be from a bit too much wine, sun or salty foods – whatever it’s from, you know you’re feeling the repercussions of overindulging for a week. I’ve been in this situation so many times, announcing on the plane ride home that my post-vacation diet or detox starts the next day. But I don’t think that’s the healthiest or happiest cycle (and totally kills that post-vacation high). Rather, I’ve found a few easy habits to maintain throughout my vacation that keep me feeling good during my vacation and after, but don’t prevent me from feeling like I’m taking full advantage of new foods, experiences, and opportunities to relax.
- Drink water. I feel like I pose this as a solution to every possible problem….but it really is. Staying hydrated will keep your energy up, your skin clear, and prevent any bloating or sluggishness. While I was in Antigua, I made it a habit of drinking a full bottle of water as soon as I woke up every morning. When you are spending the day out in the sun and drinking an extra cocktail or two at night, water is especially crucial.
- Maintain your meal schedule. Your body gets used to eating at certain times, and changing that schedule too much can throw your body off. So if you don’t usually snack all day, try to stick to three whole meals while on vacation, too. This applies to the types of your meals as well. If you typically eat a big breakfast and a lighter dinner, your body will respond better if you keep up that habit while away from home.
- Stay active. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for spending the day lounging by the pool, a drink in one hand and a good book in the other. But, getting in a little exercise everyday is so important. It will give you a boost of energy, and keep your metabolism running quickly and smoothly. I like to get up and exercise first thing in the morning on vacation, so that I don’t have to worry about it later in the day (when I’m ready for that poolside drink), but it also works well to do more active activities throughout the day. I love to rent bikes, take beach walks, or play lawn games.
- Eat your vegetables. This is a big one for me. I tend to eat clean at home in my regular routine, but once I’m in vacation-mode, it’s hard not to throw everything out the window and have whatever I want “because I’m on vacation.” While I wish I could get away with this, my body just doesn’t love that – especially foods with ingredients that I’m sensitive to, like dairy and sugar. However, I’m not quite willing to completely pass up on the amazing dishes I encounter on vacation, so I try to balance out my indulgent meals with plenty of my usual staples: fresh vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
- Wake up at your usual time (or close to it). Your body loves consistency. This applies to your sleep schedule as well. So while it might sound amazing to stay up a few hours later and sleep in many hours later than you usually do, this will ultimately throw your body out of wack and leave you feeling more groggy than usual. My boyfriend thinks I’m a little crazy for this, but I love waking up early on vacation, especially when we’re somewhere tropical. So while in Antigua, I still set my alarm, and went outside as soon as it went off to wake up slowly with the sun. I’d say that’s more relaxing than sleeping in all week, and keeps my circadian rhythm in check. Win, win.
Do you have any specific habits you stick to on vacation or tips to feeling your best self all week long?