How can you switch up your surroundings without wrecking your habits and feeling "off"?
A friend who recently visited told me she couldn't wait to get back home. Um, OK. But I totally understand, actually. She wanted to get back to her normal eating, workout, and life routines — you know, her habits and home surroundings. Back to herself.
"I had fun, but, like, I can't wait to go home and take a comfortable shit." (Is there anything girlfriends don't share with each other? Not really.) And, let's be honest — it's hard to feel like yourself when your routine is off and you're not at your home base.
So how do people keep centered and normalized when they are traveling? Whether you have to travel or you're traveling for fun, how can you switch up your surroundings without wrecking your habits? I was on the case.
When I spoke to YouTube fitness star, Rebecca-Louise, she had just gotten back from a trip to Korea, and she was soon on her way to Mexico. Jackpot. This girl is a fitness guru for the internet generation, she travels all the time, and she has to keep everything organized and habits intact for her business. Of course that means she has incentives, but it also means she has tips.
So, I picked that pretty, blonde brain of hers for insider info on how to stay feeling good when you're not at home, and here's what I found.
Take a big water bottle with you on trips. Anywhere. If you are flying, take an empty water bottle with you on your flights and ask the attendants to fill it up for you. Granted, this has got to be massively annoying for the flight attendants, but, seriously, how genius?!
"There's nothing more important to the body than hydration," she told me, and help me if I don't believe her. When she told me this, I legit thought she was a dang genius and silently chastised myself for not thinking of this myself. And then she also said do not drink alcohol on flights, either, and then I was like, "Well, let's slow down here. We're not all superheroes."
Snacks: pack 'em and stash 'em. Rebecca told me she also carries around her own little stash of almonds for a healthy snack when she travels, and protein packs. She said the servings sizes are portioned and can travel well, and it helps her make healthy choices when she's offered airplane food or needs a quick energy boost.
YouTube. Well, for Rebecca-Louise this is an easy one. YouTube her, duh. Most of us now have mobile access to YouTube or travel with our phones, computer, iPads, what have you and whatnots. So, we have access to an internet library of fitness videos. Rebecca told me that her Best Abs Ever video was recently going nuts with viewers.
Resistance bands. Resistance bands are flexible, compact, and lightweight, which makes them super-convenient travel buddies.
Calendar 30 fitness routines. She recommended searching for fitness schedules that were already laid out for what you have to do each day. This takes the stress off of you when trying to find something to do or an exercise routine. It's already scheduled for you — you just have to do it. Kinda like how half of my closest is dedicated to black clothes, so I don't have to think about what I put in the morning, I just have to put it on.
Bedtime to Boss Time Tips
Sleep. Get some rest. Your body needs it, your emotional health loves it, and your brain functions better for it. If you are traveling into a different time zone, though, do not go to bed when you get there and think you can sleep your way into a new schedule.
Rebecca-Louise, who is no stranger to different time zones and adapting, offered up a tip she learned when she was training for her pilot's license (I know, right? What doesn't she do?): "Jump straight into the new zone." Adjust your schedule to the time zone you are in; it's not going to happen the other way around. If you've been traveling for 24 hours and you find yourself in a place where it's 2 p.m., start immediately doing what you would do around 2 p.m. and your body will find it's way to the schedule.
Lavender packs to help you sleep. Rebecca-Louise told me about her love of face masks for traveling and for sleeping and suggested finding a lavender mask to help calm down the senses when it was time for some shut eye.
Move your body as soon as you wake. Do not hit snooze on that alarm. (I wish it was so easy, Rebecca.) She's a big fan of getting her body moving as soon as her alarm goes off by waking up and immediately doing some full-body stretches. She also is a fan of listening to pop music or motivational podcasts in morning before going out into the world.
For a girl who seems to have it all together I had to ask if there was anything she wanted to improve on or wishes she could get into better habits about, because we're all human, right? We can't be perfect all the time. Right? Rebecca-Louise told me she always packs way too much and doesn't give herself enough time before trips to organize herself. I hear ya. OK, she is human. Oh, and she wishes her dogs were always with her, because they're the coziest to sleep next, too. And now I want a puppy.
Incorporating healthy habits into a changing environment can definitely help keep you feeling centered, but also be forgiving to yourself. Nothing is forever, so don't beat yourself up if you eat that deep-fried Oreo and drink gallons of margaritas while you're on vacation.
What do you do to stay feeling "normal" when you're not at home?
How often do you travel?
Do you watch any YouTube fitness videos?