The school summer holidays are under way, most of our classes have broken up for August (back again in September), and people are jetting off on holiday, so I thought I would theme the next couple of blogs on holistic ways to healthy, happy holidays.
Most holidays start with a long journey, and even if the actual travel time isn’t too long, there’s often a lot of waiting around and early starts. I don’t have a problem with car journeys but I am not a good flyer, here are some things that I find help me and I’m pretty sure they will work for any means of transport!
Staying healthy whilst in a germ tube
One of the main reasons I don’t like flying is the lack of fresh air that circulates, everyone’s germs are just being recycled round and round throughout the journey, so we are all exposed to a whole host of germs and bacteria. How often have you come down with a cold after a flight?
Before I go on holiday I always make a conscious effort to eat more fruit and veg to up my vitamin C intake. I also find those fizzy vitamin C tablets work a treat, I take them just before I board. Don’t forget to take some zinc too, also a key immune boosting nutrient.
My other favourite thing is to put a drop each of Tea Tree, Lavender and Bergamot essential oils (please check out contra-indications before using essential oils) on a hanky and keep having a smell of it whilst in transit, to fight off all those germs – it also smells nice and is great if you’re feeling anxious and / or nauseous.
For nervous travellers
This I can tell you works, not just from personal experience, but from other people telling me it how effective it was. When we feel anxious we generally start chest breathing, which just adds to the stress, and the mind is often running wild. Best way to combat this is to focus on the breath. This is my favourite breathing technique for bringing calm to a stressful situation. As with all breathing practices these need to be done mindfully and with respect for your own body. Breathing should always be comfortable, if you feel light headed or it is making you feel more anxious stop immediately. This is also a technique that will work best for those who have some experience of correct breathing and yoga pranayama, and know how to control the breath – speak to your yoga tutor for more information.
First think about how you are breathing and without forcing it or getting upset if it’s not working, see if you can deepen your breath into your abdomen. If that feels OK, can you equalise the in and the out breath? How about pausing (not holding) between each part of the breath (do not pause the breath if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, ulcers, hernias or recent surgery)? So you might find yourself working to a 4:4:4:4 rhythm, or whatever count works for you. Now, imagine a square in your mind’s eye, inhale as you travel up the left side of the square, let the breath naturally pause as you imagine the top line of the square, exhale, your mind’s eye travels down the right side of the square and naturally pause as it travels along the bottom line.
This gives the mind something else to think about other than impending doom 🙂 and helps you to deepen and slow your breath, all great for relaxation. I find by the time I’ve done a few rounds of this, we’re up in the air and away.
Calm a queasy stomach
Travel sickness is just awful! Here’s an acupressure point that always works wonders for me – keep continuous firm pressure on each wrist (you have to alternate, or even better use those great Travel Bands that you can get in Boots), about 3 fingers up the arm from the crease of your wrist in the middle, where there’s a natural dip.
Everyone’s aware of DVT’s now, with movement being one of the key preventative measures. Yoga provides plenty of ideas for moving each part of your body from the comfort of your own seat. Check out the information cards that most airlines now provide – those of you that go to a regular yoga class will recognise many of the moves they advise! Be creative, be inspired by the yoga we practice and keep your body moving.
Hydration is key
All travel, regardless of the mode or length is dehydrating and dehydration makes you look and feel grotty! Your skin looks tired, you lack energy, body functions such as digestion slow down, whilst the spine and joints will ache more as they lose essential lubrication. Best to stay off the caffeine and alcohol and stick to water. If you’re well hydrated your urine will be pale yellow and odourless.
Hope you arrive safe and well at your destination. Until next time, when we’ll look at jet lag, bites, upset tummies, heat and sun, take care. Ix