Family Travel A to Z: Wellbeing
Preparing for a holiday usually involves a whole lot of busyness. It’s easy to forget your own needs and wellbeing in the midst of the planning and preparation process. However, our own wellbeing should be at the top of the list of priorities for travelling families.
It’s not uncommon to push yourself so hard in those last weeks before a holiday, that you find you fall ill just as you’re ready to take off. The pressures of finishing tasks at work, the strain of getting your kids ready for the trip, the stress of making sure you don’t forget anything – it can all combine to raise your anxiety, affect your sleep and undermine your overall wellbeing.
Wellbeing (physical, emotional and mental) should be one of our top priorities as we ready ourselves for travel. If you don’t take the time to look after yourself in the lead up to the holiday, you will most likely fall ill the moment you start to relax. It’s something our bodies tend to do, after sustained periods of stress and strain.
To avoid falling ill on your family holiday, make sure you prioritise your wellbeing in those last weeks before heading off.
6 STRATEGIES FOR PRIORITISING YOUR WELLBEING IN THE LEAD UP TO YOUR HOLIDAY
Ensure you keep exercising at least 3 times a week
Exercise is good for physical wellbeing (obviously) but it also helps maintain your emotional and mental health too. Committing to exercising 3 times a week before you leave, will help keep you fit and healthy. It will also build up your stamina if you’re going to be doing lots of walking or exploring during your trip. I find walking is a welcome relief from the pressures of everyday life and gives me some “me time,” when I need it most. So, try to keep exercise in your routine in those final busy weeks of holiday preparation – you’ll be glad you did when you finally arrive at your destination.
Work on your perseverance skills
A couple of posts back, I talked about developing perseverance as part of a strategy for dealing with unexpected events during your holiday. Building flexible thinking, practising rational thought processes, cultivating a more positive outlook and adjusting your expectations will help you better deal with things going wrong on holiday. Working on these skills will also help increase your emotional wellbeing too. You’ll find it easier to process your emotions and react more positively to events as you travel (as well as when you return home again). Working on perseverance is definitely something to prioritise for your emotional wellbeing.
Identify activities that will keep you calm and focused
It’s important to have some go-to activities that will keep you calm, focused and content while you’re away. Knowing you can find calm in a favourite activity will help manage anxiety and give you the chance to recover if things don’t go to plan. You might like doing crossword or sudoku puzzles. You might enjoy meditation, yoga or pilates. You may prefer playing games on your smartphone, knitting, reading a book or going for a walk. Whatever activity helps you, ensure you’re in a position to enjoy it while you’re away. And, don’t forget to enjoy these things before you leave too, so you keep on top of your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Use technology to help maintain your wellbeing
There are countless apps, games and products to help keep you on track with your wellbeing goals. Noise cancelling headphones can be a lifesaver if you need some quiet time in the midst of the chaos. If mindfulness is on your list, search for meditation and mindfulness apps for your device and trial these before you leave, so you’ll know if they’ll work for you. If fitness is your goal, there are so many apps and products to choose from to help with your physical wellbeing. I’ve used Runkeeper, My Fitness Pal and Fitbit to keep track of my exercise, diet and sleep. If you need a bit of extra accountability to meet your wellbeing goals, there’s bound to be an app to suit you!
Check in with your GP
It’s never a bad idea to check in with your GP, especially if you have any concerns about your physical or mental health. Plan a check-up with your GP well in advance of departure and get everything checked out. It’s far better to identify any potential issues before you head away than have to deal with a health crisis far from home. Knowing there are no underlying issues will also help your mental wellbeing as you won’t have any cause for worry or concern. And, if there are issues to resolve, you’ll be in a position to work on them. It’s a simple step that will do the world of good for your wellbeing in the lead up to travel.
Take time out for you
One of the most effective ways to improve your wellbeing is to take time out for you. The very act of taking time out from your responsibilities, and indulging in what makes you happy, will go a long way to helping your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Whether you catch up with friends, go for a run, listen to your favourite playlist, indulge in coffee and cake – the activity itself doesn’t matter. What matters, is you allow yourself to have time out and that you make it a regular event in the lead up to going away. You might think you don’t have time or you have better things to do, but this is something you should prioritise, for the sake of your overall wellbeing.
Do you have other suggestions for prioritising your wellbeing in the lead up to travel?
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