Summer brings with it beautiful weather, a change in daily activities and—for many people—a complete lifestyle makeover. Family reunions, summer camps, social activities, and vacations are in full swing, which can affect the time we rise and sleep, the nutritional choices we make, our exercise routine, and our schedule.
Healthy habits take a long time to form, but sometimes not much time for them to fall away. When you’re on vacation with your family during the summertime, how do you maintain your daily routine? Keep in mind that it took dedication and commitment to establish your daily routine … and it will require dedication and commitment to maintain your healthy lifestyle practices when the season—and your schedule—changes.
Here are five ways to maintain to your Ayurvedic routine while on vacation:
Rise and Shine
Wake up 30 minutes earlier. The sun rises earlier in summer months, which makes it a little easier for us to do the same. Giving yourself some extra time in the morning will provide a buffer of space and time to mindfully choose how to unfold the day. If your days are already planned and packed full of activity, these precious 30 minutes will be set aside just for you.
Connect to Stillness and Silence
Get your meditation in. If you’re vacationing with family and sharing close quarters, finding a quiet place to meditate can be challenging. Tap into the field of infinite possibilities and consider finding a seat on the front porch, in a hotel stairwell, nestle yourself into a coat closet, sit inside your rental car (while parked, ignition off), climb a tree or—if you must—meditate in the loo! Pack a set of ear plugs for those ‘off-the-map’ meditation locations and remember, there is no substitute for your silent, mantra-based meditation practice.
Choose Your Meals Consciously
If you know you’re going to be eating on the go, be sure to pack healthy snacks and lots of water. When you take the time to plan ahead, you can elicit the creative response by preparing some simple, delicious, and healthy meals to go. Eat and drink your greens and avoid processed foods that have no nutritional value. Select foods that have all the colors of the rainbow. This will keep you feeling healthy, strong, and vibrant on your vacation and throughout the summer months.
Move Your Body
When you’re sitting in airports, at rest stops, on airplanes, or as a passenger on long car rides, try chair yoga. It’s a fabulous way to increase your circulation and create movement in your body while traveling. For more movement, jog around a city block, stroll the decks and corridors of the cruise ship, do crunches in your hotel bed, and practice standing balancing poses while waiting for your toast to brown.
Laugh Often and Laugh Out Loud
Laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Crack jokes, play Twister, tell stories, tickle yourself (or someone else!), watch comedy, partake in child’s play, get frosting on your face, giggle for no reason, and have fun!
Remember, your lifestyle choices directly affect your overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Be sure to enjoy your next vacation—but avoid taking a vacation from making healthy choices.