You’ll Go Far with a Self-Care Travel Kit
Your long-awaited vacation has finally arrived! If only travel was as luxurious as the destination. Traveling takes a toll on anybody, whether you are an infrequent flyer or a jet-setter. Frequent travel can lead to unhealthy lifestyles like eating poorly or drinking excessively and lack of exercise. Adding insult to injury, jet lag can cause stress, mood swings, sleep and gastrointestinal problems that can impair well-being. Studies have shown that it can take up to a day per time zone traveled to recuperate from jet lag.
Business travelers have it worse. A recent scientific study showed that long-haul travel can increase chances of stroke, heart attack, and blood clotting. In addition, pathological levels of germs and viruses and the length of exposure to them can increase the chances of serious illnesses. So how do you arm yourself against these hazards?
There are many things that you can do to prepare your body to handle the stresses and strains of travel. Massage therapy has many benefits in order to prepare your body to endure the menacing symptoms of stress and being on the go. Here are 5 things to pack in your self-care travel kit:
- Get a massage before you go. It loosens and prepares the muscles for long periods of sitting, lifting heavy suitcases and doing activities that you may not normally do in a short period of time, such as hiking or water skiing. Take along a massage ball or foam roller to help keep loose.
- Pack a great pillow. We see a lot of clients with neck issues after they have slept on those big fluffy pillows in the hotels. Our bodies need to be in proper alignment, our heads level with our hips when lying down in bed. If our heads or inclined, that is setting you up for potential neck pain or headaches.
- Essential Oils. Take some therapeutic-grade essential oils that will help protect you from bacteria and viruses that your body will invariably come in contact with. Oils not only smell good, they help alleviate stress, they also act as an antibacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral solution. Diffuse it or put it on a cotton ball in a small zippered bag. You can even use some oils for sore muscles or pain.
- Take a zippered bag for ice. Pack some large zippered bags to put ice in from the hotel in case you have pain. Ice helps with pain control and decreases inflammation when you have hurt yourself. Add to that, packing a heatable pack like a Bucky Hottie that you can easily microwave. It is a great thing to have on hand when you’re sore from falling down the ski slopes.
- Carry a water bottle. Take an empty water bottle so that you have easy access to water at all times. The guideline is to drink half of your body weight in ounces on any normal day and to add 8 oz. per cup of coffee, tea or alcohol that you have consumed or when you have been outside in the sun. This flushes out toxins and waste from your body while helping the immune system and your cells receive the necessary oxygen for a healthy immune system and to repair tissues.
Reducing stress throughout the year by receiving a regular massage at least once a month, eating healthy and exercising can go a long way in preparing your body for whatever you do. The most important thing is to take care of yourself so that you can continue to do the things that bring you joy.
Featured Essential Oils
A blend of oils to purify the air and balance the emotions. It supports a time of year that brings fond memories and calm the stresses also associated with extended holiday periods. The oils, Orange, Cinnamon Bark and Spruce are antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral all wrapped up as a comforting fragrance that can be worn as a cologne, sprinkled on pine logs or diffused.
Such a versatile oil, this nostalgic, fresh aroma can be used to pep up brownies or hot chocolate, diffused to create a traditional holiday atmosphere and added to bath salts and carrier oils to enhance massage. Just one drop in cooking or eating, 3-5 drops in massage oil and 10 drops in bath salts. Diffuse to create a stimulating, focused atmosphere for daily tasks. Apply topically to create a cool, tingling sensation on the skin, which can be very soothing after hard physical activity.
Sandy Saldano, Lic. Massage Therapist
Owner of Therapeutic Kneads, Ltd.