Trying to keep up a healthy lifestyle while going on a vacation or traveling can be tough, but it's definitely not impossible. And it doesn't have to be super complicated either.
I just got back from a week long vacation which included a lot of time on the road and in the woods. I knew I was going to have to do things a bit differently to maintain the progress I have made. Over this past month I have been doing really well with building certain habits and I didn't want to lose that momentum!
You may think it's all or nothing when it comes to this type of thing, but my thought process was a bit different...
I had the following 3 options to choose from:
Stay super on top of my daily wellness habits like my nutrition targets, workouts, meditation, journaling, etc. and be super planned out about everything. (This would be the ALL option)
HECK IT! This is vacation and all those habits I've built up will be there when I get back! (This is the NOTHING option)
Still incorporate my wellness habits but modify them so they're easier to do while traveling. ( This is the option people seem to like to pretend doesn't exist...or truly don't realize exists.)
I didn't want to be hardcore about everything, but I've been working diligently to build up habits that have noticeably improved my wellness so I didn't want to just completely table them either.
Option 3 seemed to be the best bet for me.
NOTE: Wellness strategies aren't just about exercise and what you eat.
They also include how you're managing your stress, your sleep quality, personal development, water intake, and more. So with that in mind...
There are a few different ways you can decide to modify your wellness habits:
Pick 2 or 3 habits and set ranges instead of specific targets
For example, it could be journaling for 5-10 minutes each morning instead of 15 minutes. It could be tracking calories and protein instead of macros. You could set a range of 8,000-10,000 for your step goal instead of your normal goal of at least 10,000 steps a day. Whatever 2-3 habits are the most important to you at this time-set a range for them rather than a specific target-and continue to implement them.
Keep up with your habits but make them bite-sized versions as needed
What I mean by this is that some habits you may not need to modify at all while others will need some noticeable adjustments. An example could be knowing you won't have much control over what you eat so rather than tracking macros you decide to focus on hitting a calorie goal. Another could be that you listen to an audiobook with headphones because you share a room with someone at night rather than reading for 30 minutes before bed. Consider what actions help you to continue implementing your habits even if they are just bite sized versions of them.
Simply choose just ONE habit to stick with on point
Pick one thing that you will stick with just like you would at home. This could be 10,000 steps every day-even if you're walking laps in your hotel room. Maybe it's ensuring you drink 100 ounces of water every day. Maybe it's doing a 30 minute yoga session every morning. Whatever that ONE thing is-MAKE IT HAPPEN.
I chose to keep most of my habits in place, but implemented the bite-size strategy when needed. Let me offer some clarity here by giving you a quick run down of what my current wellness habits are like:
-Daily Greatness journal morning and evening
-Brain dump journaling most days
-Daily movement either by getting in 10K steps, yoga, pilates, or a gym workout
-Tracking my nutrition and staying within a range of calories and protein
- Night time routine and a general ish bed time (this always seems to be a work in progress. Ha!)
These are the modifications I made:
-Daily Greatness journal once per day
-One brain dump journal entry the whole trip
-Daily meditation (this practice has been so helpful for me lately)
-Daily movement which was mostly through hiking but I did do a couple light banded workouts at the hotels we stayed at (I didn't do much yoga and I actually really missed it)
-Tracked my nutrition just for awareness, but I didn't aim for any targets
-Night time routine and bed time were pretty variable-the one habit I pretty much totally dropped.
I didn't have this planned out exactly ahead of time. I went with the flow of things, but was still thoughtful and purposeful about it. Honestly, it felt good to keep my habits mostly in place and when I got home it wasn't a big deal to go back to normal.
My own clients have done different variations of this when they've traveled. Sometimes they'll meet with me through zoom for personal training sessions. Other times I've made workouts for them to do on their own while they're gone. Some still hit their nutrition targets on point and others choose to eat more intuitively. They do what works for them.
Consider your current habits and how they're supporting you-which of the above options would work the best for you? The all and nothing approaches are still choices you can make, but my hope is that the wellness strategies you have in place are the type that you don't want to just drop, yet still have the ability to modify when needed without freaking out about it.
Another thing to reflect on: If every time you travel or go on vacation you feel like you can't possibly stick with the habits you have in place at home or you feel relieved that you get some time away from them-you may want to reconsider the actions you're taking.
Your wellness habits shouldn't be something you feel like you need to take a break from. They're meant to support you regardless of where you are, who you're with, and what's going on in life.
They don't have to be strict or non-existent. There is a happy middle ground!
Have questions? I'm here to help! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to help you figure out how to incorporate wellness into your every day life-traveling or not.