One of my nutrition coaching clients travels a LOT. One thing she's working on is changing up the habits that have caused her to gain weight on these trips in the past.
I think we've all been there: Whether it's Miami with our girlfriends or in Paris with our spouses and kids or Shanghai for work, it can be very difficult to practice abroad the healthy living habits we have at home. Over-indulgence is real, it can happen for many reasons, and it can leave us feeling crappy when we come home.
When my client dug deeper into why the travel over-indulgence happened, it all came down to stress: Stress about having to be "on" for parents and siblings; stress from having to be available for the kids all the time throughout the trip; stress from having very little time to recharge batteries. Even when it's FUN, these stresses can pop up. And so she would dull said stresses with sugary drinks, ice cream and other snacks, and alcohol. But she wasn't having it anymore. (Amen, Sister!)
Does this sound familiar to anyone? I know it does for me!
When I asked how she could see herself replacing those old habits, here is what she told me: She made a self-care kit! She took a beautiful bag that she had and filled it with items that would help her take steps to pause, breathe and do something just for HER that could help her recharge.
How cool is that?
I think it's SO cool that I'm going to list 10 items I would put in MY self care kit that I think you'll like, too!
1. Calming essential oil roll-on. My friend and business coach Pamela gave me a Stress Away roll-on before I had to give a big talk and I swear it calmed my nerves. Maybe it was the power of the scent, maybe it was a placebo effect but either way I felt (and smelled) ready to conquer! Lavender oil is also said to have calming powers and may be easier to find in person.
2. Your favorite tea. Black, green, herbal, whatever: Sometimes a nice warming drink you can put in a mug and wrap your hands around it like a hug can also warm up the heart and soul. Just make sure you don't caffeinate too late in the day...
3. That book you can read again and again. (My favorite is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; it takes me away to Hogwarts where I would have been a Ravenclaw...)
4. Mini Band. Movement heals so if you can step away for a few minutes and knock out some exercises, it might just elevate your mood! Mini bands are so easy to travel with because they take up VERY little space and there's a whole lot you can do with one!
5. A Journal. You can use it as a diary, as a sketch pad or even something you can just scribble in. Putting a pen to paper can help you sort out your feelings in ways ruminating in your mind won't. So get yourself something you'd be excited to put your emotions down in and get going.
6. A Checklist. I'm in good company when I'm surrounded by other people who write down a to-do item they have ALREADY done just to cross it off. Sometimes I only get through my workouts just so I can mark every set as done. This checklist from Steel Petal Press (where I get all my cards) is pretty awesome for my fellow crosser-offers.
7. Balls. TruFit trainer Kathryn Lehner introduced me to these TuneUp therapy balls that are softer than Lacrosse balls and harder than tennis balls. So, in other words, they are balls that are perfect for working out the kinks (between your shoulder blades, behind your knees, under your feet... the list goes on).
8. A clone of your furry friend. Being out of town sans the pet you cuddle with all the time can feel really strange and we know how much animals can bring happiness to your life... which is why companies that make stuffed animal clones of your pets even exist (and isn't it rad that they do?)!
There's no shame in adults having stuffed animals, y'all!
9. Silly Putty. If you are someone who uses their hands a lot or who bites their nails/twirls their hair/etc when they're anxious, carrying some silly putty around can be a very handy alternative to those habits AND it can help ground you a little more in that stressful moment. Keep an egg in your kit, place some of that putty in your pocket and live your life!
10. Index cards. Yes, they're old school, but just like there's something different about putting pen to paper, there's something about reading from a physical piece of paper rather than from a device. What are these index cards for, you ask? They are affirmations you will write to yourself. You can remind yourself of all the reasons you're trying to stick to healthy habits; you can remind yourself that whatever stress you may feel will be temporary; you can remind yourself of all the reasons you are so special. Basically, you can pull the cards out at times of weariness to get your groove back.
I hope this started getting your creativity going with how you can make your OWN self care kit! Is there something you would have listed that wasn't mentioned? List it in the comments below!