Do you know that feeling when you travel, you’re so excited to be away from home and your regular work schedule, yet somewhere along the way you end up feeling exhausted, sluggish, and not your best self?
I’m writing this post from Toronto, Canada where I am spending two weeks visiting family and friends and partying it up in the annual Caribana festivities. This used to be my home, so coming back means lots of time with people I love, which in Trinidadian culture (my family is from Trinidad) translates to excessive amounts of eating and drinking.
I love this. Taking a break from my normal day-to-day routine to celebrate life, dance, and enjoy my Caribbean roots, which is absent from my LA life. Toronto has a massive Trinidadian population, so every summer the city hosts Caribana, a festival complete with carnival parade, during which I get to act like a crazy person dancing in the streets in glitter and feathers to pounding soca and calypso beats.
As much fun as it is, for someone that leads such a clean lifestyle, letting loose can take its toll. But I’ve finally learned how to weave in a little bit of balance into these trips so I’m not left feeling completely off kilter, which keeps me glowing rather than grumpy.
#1) I let myself sleep. A lot. Even though my schedule is packed with social obligations, I make a point of never setting my alarm clock. What I’ve noticed is surprising in terms of how much I’m sleeping. Having no to-do list allows me to completely let go and enjoy rest. After a solid 8-9 hours a night, I ooze out of bed.
#2) I meditate. This I used to drop when travelling because I didn’t feel I had any privacy. But meditating is perhaps the most vital element of my wellness routine and I don’t want to let it go. So every morning, I find 15-20 min to close a door somewhere and be alone in silence. It makes all the difference.
#3) I move my body. Whether it’s long walks around the city, hopping on the treadmill in my brother’s condo gym, stretching on my grandmother’s carpeted floor, or dancing like a crazy person, I move my body and keep my energy flowing. This morning I woke up feeling lazy and very much in vacation mode, but I went down to the gym and did 45 minutes of yoga, and felt wonderfully energized after. It’s so worth it.
#4) I eat whatever I want, then I have a salad. This doesn’t always work out so well, because my body’s not used to it. I ate ice cream the other day, which made my taste buds smile, but my belly was not so happy after. So I made a massive hippy salad for dinner with homemade hummus, and voila, back to normal. Indulging in treats once in awhile keeps life fun and interesting, but don’t ditch the greens.
#5) I enjoy ample time with people I love. My family is very close, and I have beautiful friends in Toronto that feel like family as well. When I’m here, spending time with them matters most. Minimal time running around doing and seeing, lots of time being together, having fun, and connecting.
In the end, it’s about self-care. If I want to be fully present while I’m here, experiencing every moment to its maximum potential, it’s important to still do the things that make me feel nurtured and vibrant.
Happy Summer Folks! Have fun, take care of yourself, and enjoy time with people you love.
In the comments below, please share how you stay balanced when you’re away and removed from your regular routine.
Lots of Love,
P.S. Congratulations Louis Saldenah for being Band of the Year 2013!!