Tips for Resetting Your Mind + Body After Traveling

If your summer has been anything like mine, it's been jam-packed with weekend getaways and a bit (or more than a bit) of overindulging. As someone who keeps a pretty routine schedule from day-to-day, this can do wonders to my digestive system, brain function, and overall mental health. I've created some magical memories this summer, and have become so in tune with my body that I'm able to reset rather quickly after ingesting foods and drinks that aren't a part of my typical routine. 

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I recently took a little weekend trip up to my family's cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - it was magical, dreamy, and the perfect rejuvenating weekend that I needed. I spent my time floating in the lake, reading, napping in a hammock, laughing til my ribs hurt, and indulging in all the gluten/alcohol/sugar/snacks my heart desired. Needless to say, I woke up feeling a bit like a beached whale on Monday morning. But, I didn't freak out as I normally would have a couple of months ago. I've quickly come to realize that the experiences and memories outweigh the physical symptoms tenfold.

symptoms I experience

There are a slew of symptoms that I can experience after my body has been out of its typical routine. These include:

  • Bloating
  • Brain fog
  • IBS or IBS-C  
  • Breakouts
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Inflammation

These may not be the same symptoms others experience, our bodies are all different. But we could all benefit from a little body reset after a well-deserved vacation.

how I reset

PHYSICALLY

  1. Green juice. This is a great way to reset your metabolism, lower inflammation, stabilize blood sugar, and quick start proper digestion. There are also so many benefits for the skin (post-vacation breakouts really blow) and this helps me de-bloat on those extra puffy mornings. Recipe is here.
  2. Hot water with lemon. Every morning I sip on this to kick start my metabolism and detox the body.
  3. Lighter, simpler meals. There's no need to overcomplicate anything, just a few ingredients will do the trick. Chances are, your body is already working overtime trying to digest, so adding even more foods into that equation could stress your body out even more. Avoid raw foods if they're hard for your body to digest and gravitate towards warmer, cooked meals. 
  4. Fiber-rich foods. Getting both soluble and insoluble fiber is essential for proper digestion, and both can be found in plant-based foods. Soluble fiber is liquid-absorbing and filling and can be found in oats, berries, beans, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Insoluble fiber helps move things through the bowel/shuttle all the crud out and can be found in vegetables, brown rice, or wheat. 
  5. Get your gut in check. Gut health is a hot topic today, but it's being talked about for a reason. The bacteria in your gut line your entire digestive system and affect everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immunity. Incorporate more fermented and fiber-rich foods into your diet and lower your sugar intake which can kill the good bacteria. When your gut bacteria is off, it can cause bloating, IBS, IBS-C, anxiety, depression, inflammation, and a slew of other symptoms. The gut-mind connection is no joke, peeps.
  6. Hydrate. Seems like such a simple thing, but often times we forget to drink water throughout the day and after filling up with sodium-packed foods and alcohol, that post-vacay body can pack some serious bloat. Drink tons of water (half your body weight in ounces is the recommended amount) throughout the day to help flush out excess toxins and release that extra weight and bloat. I carry a 40oz HydroFlask with me everywhere so I'm always reminded to sip!
  7. Eliminate foods that cause sensitivities. When I travel I tend to consume foods I don't typically incorporate into my diet. For me, these include gluten, processed sugars, alcohol, and processed food (Skinny Pop where you at). I used to be very rigid about eliminating these foods all the time, and while I definitely feel the affects after consuming them, it's not the end of the world to consume them in small quantities while on vacation. But, I know that I feel my best eliminating these foods 95% of the time. Becoming aware of the foods that cause sensitivities for you is super important if you find that you're experiencing some of these symptoms on a more consistent basis. Try eliminating gluten or processed sugars for a couple of days, reincorporate it into your diet, and notice if anything happens. Maybe nothing will, but that's the trial and error type of practice that needs to take place to become aware of these things. 

EMOTIONALLY/MENTALLY

Adaptogenic smoothie bowl with ashwagandha and cordyceps

Adaptogenic smoothie bowl with ashwagandha and cordyceps

  1. Rest. It's so important not to push yourself too much, especially the first couple of days after you're back. Maybe there's a workout class that you religiously attend on Monday mornings, but if you're body is still readjusting, you're just going to stress it out even more. If your sleep schedule has been thrown out of whack, sleep in a bit longer or take an afternoon nap without guilt. Be okay with allowing yourself to rest and take things slow. 
  2. Adaptogens. They're a specific group of healing plants that support your health and adjust your body to natural stressors. I find that incorporating specific adaptogens into my diet really increases my mental clarity, digestion, and alertness throughout the day. As always, do your research and buy from reputable brands such as Sun Potion and Mountain Rose Herbs. Some adaptogens I like to incorporate into my diet include: ashwagandha (soothes the nervous system and boosts mood), reishi (supports immunity), triphala (supports digestion), and cordyceps (supports brain, kidney, and liver function). Start small by incorporating a half teaspoon into a smoothie or your morning latte.
  3. Say no to things you don't want to do. I find that this is so important for my mental health. If the thought of engaging in something causes anxiety or irritation, I inherently know that I will not be present and authentic. It's okay to cancel plans to make time for yourself. Take this time to practice some type of self care, whether it's a bath, reading, napping, or creating. This will recharge your mental clarity and allow for you to be more present when you're around others. 
  4. Meditate. Take just five minutes every day to sit and be still. If your mind is full of thoughts and ideas, let it be full. There's a misconception that your mind needs to be completely clear or blank in order to practice "proper" meditation, but this is not the case. Meditation for me is a time to sit, to be present, to tap inward. These have been some of the most pivotal moments of personal growth and not one time was my mind completely clear. There's merit in calming the mind through various breathing and mindfulness techniques, but there's also merit in simply sitting and breathing. 
  5. Routines. Whether it's my skin care routine or meal prepping, this is a sure fire way to get me back on track mentally. I covet my routines and when they're out of whack, I tend to get antsy and anxious. I'm one of those travelers where the second I get home I unpack everything and get my apartment back in working order, even if it's 1am. For some people, this may heighten their anxiety and stress, but for me, this is insanely therapeutic. Find a routine that brings joy to you and make it a priority. 

The biggest tip I have when it comes to resetting your body after traveling is to have self compassion. It can be easy to get caught up in the self deprecating thoughts such as "I shouldn't have eaten that" or "I shouldn't have drank so much alcohol," but it's important to remember that these are not life-altering things. Yeah, you might feel uncomfortable for a day or two, but chances are you created some beautiful memories, as well. I used to get so stressed out about getting my body back to normal that it would completely overshadow the experience I just had. It was almost like it never happened. Learning to soften around those times of rigidity has helped me reset quicker and more positively.

With love and light xx

 

 

Simple Self-Care Ideas to Boost Your Mood

Anyone else feel like winter dragged on for a bit too long this year? The dark, dreary days seemed to never end and I found myself majorly feeling the effects of that - the winter blues are no joke. I let a lot of my daily self-care routines fall to the wayside too often and put others before myself a lot. 

No matter the time of year, it’s important to incorporate self-care routines into your daily life. I find that when I’m down-in-the-dumps or in a funk is when I need these acts of self-care the most. There’s a reason you feel more refreshed and revitalized after a yoga class or after eating a meal full of whole, nutritious foods. These things matter and make such a difference. 

These are also little snippets or time where you can recenter, relax, and rejuvenate - either alone or with others. We have a tendency to always being doing things for others or going places with others, but we sometimes forget to pay attention to our own needs. It's important to spend some time alone and be okay with it.

CARVE SOME TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY TO JUST BE WITH YOURSELF AND ENJOY YOUR OWN COMPANY.

Self-care has gotten a bad rap recently. With people saying “I cant believe you spend that amount of money on a manicure” or “You should act your age and spend your Saturday nights hitting up the town,” it can be really easy to second-guess yourself and start to believe you’re not worthy of doing these things. That you should be putting others ahead of yourself. Well, let me tell you something:

YOU ARE WORTHY OF HAVING OR DOING ANYTHING THAT BRINGS YOU JOY AND PEACE.

With that being said, it’s important to note that not all acts of self-care have a price point attached to them. You don’t always need to buy things to feel joy - this is something I’m constantly trying to work on. Something as simple as eating your breakfast in silence without your phone can be a great act of self-care. But let’s not get it twisted, a good manicure can make your whole week.

I’ve put together a short list of simple things you can incorporate into your days to add a little sweetness into your life. 


Jungle baths are where it's at

Jungle baths are where it's at

Create a peaceful shower or bath routine.

This is a great time to become in tune with our body's needs. Whether you choose to bathe at the beginning, middle, or end of the day, it's an opportunity to unwind, release, and, quite literally, cleanse. For me, bathing has shifted from something I feel like I need to do to something that I want and get to do, just for me. Bathing can be one of those mindless times throughout the day where you turn on autopilot mode and go about cleansing your body in the usual sequential order while thinking about all the stressors of the day. But what if you really tapped into your body's needs every day? Chances are they're not the same from one day to the next. Fill your space with candles, essential oils. and music. Start cleansing your body outside of the shower, as well. I've been dry brushing for some time now and have noticed a great difference in my skin's texture and appearance - it's brighter, smoother, and my cellulite has decreased. I tend to dry brush before my shower, but it can be done post-shower, as well. After you bathe, it's crucial that you do some sort of abhyanga, or self oil massage, to moisturize your skin. This can be such a soothing and somewhat meditative practice that allows you to become intimate with your body - your home. 

Stretch. Move. Meditate.

This is so freaking important. When we become stagnant, we tend to feel more irritable, achy, and lethargic. There is a direct correlation between your mood and moving your body. This can be as simple as incorporating a few yoga poses into your morning routine before you get out of bed, or trying out a new workout class once a week. Meditation doesn't mean you need to sit on a pillow and stare at a wall for an hour. I find that cooking and reading are both very meditative for me. But, there is something to be said for taking just 10 minutes out of your day to sit, breathe, and focus inward. Often times we get so caught up in our fast-paced lifestyles that we let our thoughts fall by the wayside. Sitting with those thoughts and exploring them is transformational. I leave a yoga mat out in my apartment at all times so I'm always reminded to stop and recenter myself. There are so many wonderful meditation apps if you prefer guided meditation. Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer are some of my favorites. Often times, fitness studios have great deals, sometimes including a free first class! Do some research, put your confidence pants on, and get movin'.

Opt outside.

Sunshine cures all blues am I right?! Once the weather started turning the corner for spring and the sunshine showed its face a little bit more each day, my mood instantly boosted. Whether it’s a ten minute walk after dinner or an afternoon hike on the weekends, I cannot stress enough the importance of exploring the outdoors. Taking some time to experience nature has been proven to reduce stress, fear, anger, and depression and increase feelings of positivity, joy, and pleasure. Search for a new park in your area, find an interesting podcast to listen to while you stroll around your neighborhood, or take your lunch break outside if you're stuck indoors all day. Notice the smells, colors, and feelings that come up while you're outside and tap into that. With warmer weather approaching, one of my favorite things is to take a book to a local park, set a blanket down, and bask in the sunny rays (with sunscreen on, of course). Such a peaceful way to spend an afternoon. Getting outside and unplugging from the chaos of everyday life is crucial for our mental health.

Plants. Plants. Plants.

Anyone else talk to their plants like they're your children? Just me? Plants in the home or at your office desk are an instant mood booster. They're beautiful, vibrant, and give you something to take care of and watch thrive. If you're new to the plant life, I would recommend purchasing more resilient plants, such as snake plants or succulents, that can thrive with little attention. Another great tip is to wrap a bundle of fresh eucalyptus around your shower head - your shower will instantly turn into a spa! Plants are also great for improving the air quality in your home and can reduce stress levels. Plus, they're so aesthetically pleasing! My apartment is starting to look like a jungle and I'm 100% okay with that.

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    Tidy up your home.

    When things are out of wack in my apartment, it almost instantly carries over into my life. I feel disheveled and unorganized and it sends my anxiety spiraling down a 60-foot cliff. Now, to the untrained eye, I keep my apartment and things very clean and organized. But I know my space like the back of my hand and if just one thing is off, I can sense an energetic shift throughout my whole home. Creating and maintaining a clean, clutter-free (start the spring purge, folks!), and organized environment is very satisfying and, chances are, will spill over into other parts of your life. Spend a Sunday afternoon going through your closets and cabinets and choose to donate things that no longer serve you. If you haven't worn a shirt in 5 years, chances are someone else could benefit from wearing it more than you. It feels really freaking good to let go. 

    Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

    There's a reason you feel sluggish and crappy the next day when you've only gotten four hours of sleep and you're thriving off of energy drinks. Getting enough quality sleep plays a huge factor in our immunity, hormones, and overall health. In Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, the hours between 10pm and 2am are dedicated to the Pitta dosha. During these hours, the liver begins detoxing the body and preparing it for the next day. The body also takes this time to make sense of the emotions and mental experiences you had throughout the day. Trying to get to bed either before or right around 10pm is a great way to set your body and mind up for success the next day. Some other tips for a good night's sleep include: setting your phone aside an hour or two before bedtime, reading before bed, having hot tea or an adaptogenic tonic, or practicing some sort of meditation. This can include seated meditation, abhyanga (self oil massage), or simply practicing a few restorative yoga poses to prepare the body for rest. This is a rejuvenating act of self-care that we can practice every single day. You'll wake up feeling refreshed, well-rested, and you might not even need a drop of caffeine! 

    Make yourself some tea or an adaptogenic latte.

    There's something so peaceful about making yourself a warm beverage and taking a few moments to relax and settle. I've incorporated this into my night time routine a couple of nights a week when I have more time. Adaptogens are great for adjusting the body to natural everyday stressors and I incorporate them into my diet every single day. I love to sip on turmeric-ginger tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, or this nighttime triphala latte to aid with digestion. 

    Nighttime Triphala Latte

    • 12oz non-dairy milk
    • 1 teaspoon triphala
    • 1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon 
    • A dash of cardamom
    • 1 medjool date
    1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix and blend for 2 minutes.
    2. Transfer liquid to a saucepan and heat on medium heat until warm.
    3. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

    Delete all social media apps from your phone for a day.

    This is crucial for mental health. Social media has the biggest effect on our mood and self-confidence. One moment you're innocently scrolling through Instagram and the next you're comparing yourself to fitness models and self-depricating. It's a vicious cycle. Practice becoming more mindful about the accounts you're following and how they make you feel about yourself. Experiment with choosing one day out of the week and deleting all social media apps from your phone. Notice how it feels to have an entire day to yourself without the hustle and bustle of notifications, emails, or the stress of how many likes you get on a picture. It will clear your mind and set you up to have a calm and peaceful day.

    Cook yourself a healthy, nutritious meal.

    I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been meal prepping and eating kimchi for my whole life. It took me awhile to truly adapt a healthy, nutritious diet. Ever heard of a junk food vegan? That was certainly me before I started seeing a nutritionist last August. She opened my eyes to so many new foods and, more importantly, the effects those foods have on your body and mind. When I find that I’m getting particularly overwhelmed or stressed, I turn to sugar. With sugar being more addictive than virtually any narcotic on the market, you can see how one medjool date turns into two and so on and so on… This often times leaves me feeling sluggish and bloated. Support your healthy gut bacteria by eating fiber rich foods (flax seeds, legumes, or almonds) and fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, or kombucha). You'll quickly notice that you feel more rejuvenated and energized when you choose greens and healthy fats over a drive-thru meal. 

    Sautéed kale and broccoli with Banza chickpea pasta,  cashew cream, and nutritional yeast.

    Sautéed kale and broccoli with Banza chickpea pasta,  cashew cream, and nutritional yeast.

    Find your creative outlet and flourish.

    Finding something you can put your time and energy into and actually enjoy in the process is extremely fulfilling and joyous. Start a journal, find a new hobby, do that thing you've always wanted but never had the courage to. Maybe you dedicate the first 10 minutes after waking up in the morning to journaling, or you spend some time before bed working on your website. Whatever it may be, incorporate it into your daily routine and let it stick. Set reminders if you have to. Notice the feelings that come up when you create space for these things.

    Laugh.

    Surround yourself with people who make your ribs ache from laughing or watch a funny tv show or movie. I find that laughing instantly lightens my mood if I'm feeling especially rigid and tense and it actually alters the cortisol levels in our body which can decrease stress and fight off harmful free radicals. Sounds like a good trade-off, huh? 

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    Whether it's a face mask, a phone call with your mama, or getting a massage, I encourage you to do something that brings you joy every single day - your body and mind will thank you.

    How do you practice self-care everyday?

    With love and light xx