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Traveling During the Holidays? Here’s How to Stick to Your Routine.

Dec 8, 2017 | Senior Living, Assisted Living

This past holiday season, AAA reported a record-breaking 103 million Americans traveling for year-end festivities. Setting aside the stress of delayed flights, long car rides, and last-minute travel plans, the biggest problem this holiday season will be sticking to your routine.

You’ve worked hard to build a routine to provide structure, maintain good habits, and participate in the activities you love. Holiday travel does not need to ruin your hard work.

Here are a few tips to help stick to your routine.

Maintain Sleep Patterns

Set a bedtime and stick with it. If you are in a different time zone, work backward from the time you typically wake up to calculate your target bedtime. This approach will ensure you get the right number of hours to support the energy you need throughout the day. A few extra tips to make sure you can sleep comfortably include:

  • If you’re a light sleeper, pack earplugs to drown out extra noise.
  • Bring an eye mask to block out light and help your body fall asleep faster.
  • Pack a small bottle of lavender spray, as the scent will help you relax before falling asleep.
  • Have neck or back pain? Bring your pillow from home to help you stay comfortable.

Staying well-rested is the best way to enjoy your trip.

Eat Your Meals

You understand your body better than anyone. Make sure you eat the same number of meals while you travel as you would at home. Your body has created a “meal clock” to anticipate when you will eat based on your routine. Messing with your “meal clock” could result in reduced energy and fatigue, excessive hunger and indigestion.

Meals may be more out of your control while you travel. You may be eating later than normal to meet up with friends, or you may skip lunch in anticipation for the evening’s feast. To avoid changes to your meal schedule, have snacks available to help you get to the next planned meal. Snacks can also prevent you from overeating and feeling sick as a result.

Stay Healthy in Mind and Body

Create an activity goal before your trip to set an expectation for how much time you would like to devote to exercise. If you are visiting for a week, try setting your goal to be active for 30-minutes at least three out of the seven days.

Staying active may be easier while you travel if you spend time outdoors with family. Chase after the grandkids, or play a round of golf with an old friend. If opportunities for activity aren’t as easy to come by, try taking a walk in the neighborhood or practice a few chair exercises to stay active. Setting your goal will keep you honest with yourself and give you the satisfaction of a job well done when you’ve surpassed it.

Stay mindful as you travel. Make certain you give yourself time to decompress and relax. This may mean setting aside time to read, knit, write, or listen to music, whatever helps you unwind. Setting aside alone time will help you stay calm and fully present during your travels.