- Alba Cid
THE LUXURY OF A SELF-CARE VACATION
– Let's prioritise our wellbeing while travelling
In your daily life, do you often feel that you don't have enough time to devote to your loved ones and hobbies? That you are too busy and lack the time to fully connect with your environment? And then, when you go on a trip, do you feel that you come back more tired than you left and still thinking about your usual concerns?
Don't worry, it's very common. And more important: it can be solved!
Nowadays, we can easily be exposed to time-consuming work and it is very usual that we spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen or with our mobile phone. This leads to significant fatigue and stress, that entails symptoms of discomfort in our daily lives, such as migraines caused by screen time, also in adolescents and young adults. We don’t have time to devote to the self-care that we need so much: physically, mentally and emotionally. So let’s embrace the luxury of self-care during our vacations.
What is self-care?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), self-care is “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker”.
Following this definition, we see that we can empower ourselves as individuals or families to practise self-care and look after ourselves. To do this, we need to make healthy choices that can impact on a more sustainable way of life. A good way to start practising this, away from the chores of everyday life, is during our holidays.
Travelling, beyond having a good time, is the ideal occasion to invest in our wellbeing, taking time for oneself and (re)connecting with our loved ones and nature.
It is also a great moment to spend time doing what you love. If you are interested in art, it is the perfect occasion for an artistic immersion, not only in galleries and museums with interesting exhibitions, but also strolling around, with the architectural heritage and living culture of the place. In this sense, Japan has a long list of festivals throughout the year, which are the perfect place to connect with the local culture and escape from your usual worries.
Thus, self-care is a luxury that we should all indulge in during our holidays.
How to practise self-care while travelling?
Now the question is how to do so during our vacation. Self-care is not the same for everyone. Perhaps you are one of those who need to pay special attention to accumulated physical ailments, or rather one of those who need to reduce mental activity and soothe the mind. Perhaps you may need a focus on relaxation and meditation, or rather on physical activity and training.
So, let's take a look at some ideas for self-care while travelling, and choose the ones that best suit your needs:
SLOW TRAVEL: avoid visiting as many sites as possible with countless scheduled visits in your agenda and embrace travelling at your own pace. This will lead to more quality time in one place, building deep connections. That also means being able to do things more responsibly, rather than rushing from one place to another without being aware of what we are experiencing. Make sure you take the time to do nothing too; that's also what holidays are for. In modern times of fast-paced stimuli, it is a luxury to slow down and take time to explore and taste local culture, don’t you think? If you want to learn more about this new Luxury, check this other article we’ve made for you.
DISCONNECT FROM WORK: as we saw at the beginning of this article, screen time is one of the biggest sources of contemporary stress. Try to truly disconnect from work by switching off your phone and leaving your computer at home. Reduce the amount of time you use digital devices to take a break from your digital presence and to connect with the here and now. A way back to the roots to embrace self-reflection and new discoveries.
BENEFIT FROM NATURE: when it comes to self-care, we don't have to go far, we can already find everything we need in nature. From the fresh air of mountains to the fresh water of lakes and the ocean, we can look to nature to revitalise us. In Japan you will find it very easy, as you can benefit from the properties of the hot springs in many onsen around the country. Nature offers us the ideal setting to relax and connect with ourselves (what about a reflective walk in the middle of a bamboo forest?), but it also offers us nourishment to revitalise our bodies. Taste fresh local fruits and smoothies, take advantage of the benefits of local gastronomy with local products and traditional recipes, and drink a lot of water; a perfect natural detox.
PEACE OF MIND AND RELAXATION: if what you need is to disconnect mentally and rest physically, take advantage of your holidays to do those activities that you don't manage to include in your day to day life. Yoga by the beach in a Japanese island or a private hot spring bath are perfect options to keep the stress away. Treat yourself to a spa day with a beauty treatment or try mindfulness for the first time. Start your day with a meditation session, accompany it with a local experience such as an exclusive tea session, and then spend time reading by the beautiful views from your room. If you suffer from physical pain, it is a good opportunity to have a massage or a physiotherapy session and then relax in a bubble bath.
EXERCISE TO STAY HEALTHY: if what you miss most is physical activity, either because you have sedentary work habits or lack of time, make up for lost time on holiday. Stay active making the most of your accommodation's sports facilities or by hiking and cycling. Walking and cycling routes are not only healthy, but also an immersive and active way of discovering the environment. If you have not yet acquired physical exercise habits, you can introduce them now: start with a 10' daily routine in the morning and make a difference when you get back home.
SLEEP ENOUGH: whether you've had an active day or a more self-reflective one, good rest is essential for self-care. Since you have no rush, no urgencies, no important meetings to attend to; add some extra time off and prioritise a good night's sleep. Health agencies insist on the need for quality sleep to maintain a healthy body and mind. An essential self-care is to maintain balanced sleep parameters. Some of the benefits derived from this practice include thinking more clearly at work, getting sick less often and maintaining a healthy weight. What are you waiting for to prioritise a good rest during your holidays?
Self-care: contributing to sustainability while taking care of yourself
Travelling by taking the time to listen to oneself is a luxury way of travel. Connecting with nature and local communities, practising slow travel and doing things consciously and responsibly is also travelling sustainably.
By travelling slower and doing activities like hiking or cycling, you are also contributing to reducing your carbon footprint on earth. By eating local and fresh food, you are helping to the economic and environmental sustainability of local communities. Your self-care has an impact on both your health and the health of the planet. Let’s face it, sometimes it is not easy to devote the necessary time to oneself and to those around us. But with these ideas, we can contribute to the wellbeing of our family and the places we visit while travelling.
We hope we have helped you to prioritise your wellbeing, at home and on the road.
Now is your turn, let us know how you practise self-care during your vacation on the comments!
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