Author & Professional Tree Hugger
Most recently in: Augusta, Georgia (man that sounds so exotic)
The one snack you can always find in my carry on is: Bananas or LaraBars
Tell us your in-flight ritual: When I first get seated, I pull out my journal and use that first 15 minutes do some gratitude reflection. The headphones go on too. I find that I can avoid the tension of boarding an airplane by putting on music that puts me in a happy, peaceful state. Once I'm up in the air, I pull out my laptop and use that time to work on my books, send thank you letters, or just journal more random thoughts. If it's a long flight, I usually always take a nice nap. For my food choices on the plane, I almost never eat what they give out, even if I'm in first class. As a vegan, there is NEVER an option for me, so I just bring my own stuff. The bottom-line for me on planes: plane time is my game time; I've literally written entire books by using airplane time effectively.
How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? Immediately upon landing, I chug 20 ounces of water, sometimes with a packet of Amazing Grass added in if I have one. Once at the hotel, I move my body by taking a short walk, a short run, 25 push-ups or if anything that moves me. Moving definitely decreases the effects jet lag.
Describe your workout on the road style: Growing up as a pro cyclist, I love biking. However, on the road it's pretty tough. Up until 2 years ago I was still racing actively, so I'd rent a bike if I were able to. Nowadays I'm more of a runner. The first run in a new city is always really fun for me. I put on music, lace up and head out to explore what's around. I love finding new parks, new restaurants, cool museums and always make the first run just a complete surprise. If the weather is bad, I do a short run on the treadmill, and some weight training. Truth me told though, I hate gyms so I also do push-ups in my room, step-ups on chairs, wall sits etc. Music is always a must for me. My hotel neighbors probably hate me.
How do you keep sickness at bay? Hydration is huge for me. In the morning I do 40 ounces of water or liquid green drink before my coffee. If I feel like my body is just really tired, I do supplement with zinc and vitamin C. Staying away from sugar is key. I meet with hundreds of people each weekend, so washing my hands is huge too. When we sick on the road, I think that we build up a stronger immunity to things, yet I've very, very rarely been sick in 6 years of travel to hundreds of locations.
What's your 'go-to' restaurant item when traveling? Being vegan an awesome salad is great, but veggie burrito is definitely a favorite.
What do you do to stay grounded? I have a pretty specific morning routine, which really grounds me for the entire day: waking up with gratitude journaling, working out, and a short meditation. I also love to take short power naps!
What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? I really like to video chat. It offers a feeling of greater connection versus just texting or talking for a few minutes on the phone. It definitely can be hard. Sending funny messages and laughing even though we are in different places is really great too.
Growing up is hard to do. From the time we get our first homework assignment we’re expected to be masters at time management and stress reduction. Early on my mother decided that once a year, when things became too stressful, her kids could have a mental-health day—the opportunity to call in sick and use the next 24 hours as we saw fit for recovery.
As a teenager, this would mean sleeping in, eating whatever I wanted, and watching as much TV as I could stand. Now, as the founder of Pravassa, I recognize the significance of a day like this, albeit a much healthier version.
As a nation, we consistently average 47-hour workweeks and drink 3.1 cups of coffee a day. 130 million of us are not getting enough sleep, and 26 percent report going to work completely burned out after sleepless nights. Each year, statistics are released that show that Americans do not use all of their allotted vacation time. Some save days only to let them expire come December, while others hope to take big chunks of time off for an extended trip that never materializes because they are too busy to plan it.
Now more than ever, it’s time to pause your busy life and create a wellness retreat day—an occasion dedicated to restoration and recovery that will have significant impact on your well-being. - Linden Schaffer
How To Create A 1-Day Wellness Vacation
Choose your day.
Look at your schedule and find a weekday that works within the next few weeks. Why a weekday? With friends and loved ones committed to their daily routines, a weekday will offer the best opportunity for free time without interruption. Personally I like Wednesdays as it allows me to catch up from the weekend and then totally disrupt my routine, allowing for greater appreciation of change and a more mindful awareness of my self-care.
Research ahead of time.
The last thing you want to do is waste precious hours of your retreat day trying to figure out how to spend it. Instead treat this day as vacation, and do some advanced planning. Make a list of all the places you want to go, including everything from spas to museums, restaurants to yoga studios. Then sit down to commit your schedule to paper, with all the particulars in place.
Set expectations of those around you.
Decide how available or unavailable you want to be, and prepare those around you. Let your coworkers know in advance that you’re taking a vacation day and will be completely unreachable. Set up an auto-away message on your email to drive home the point. If you do not live alone and are working with a larger budget, consider checking into a hotel for the night or even for a few hours during the day (thank you, Day Use).
Gift yourself eight hours.
Setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep will only enhance the effects of your wellness retreat day. By 9 p.m. the night before your big day, shut down all your electronics and rock the sweetest sleep routine you’ve ever seen. Start with a long, hot bath or shower, then make yourself a cup of tea and write down what you’re looking forward to tomorrow while you drink it. Apply some calming essential oils to your feet and as you curl up in bed, mindfully relaxing each part of your body until you drift off to sleep.
Savor your schedule.
Make the most out of your wellness vacation day and wake up with the sunrise. On my retreat days, I gather my belongings and head out before most people are awake. The sound of silence is somewhat of a luxury these days, but by starting out early and leaving your phone at home you remove sensory input, allowing the brain to relax and restrict the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. I’ll spend my first hour outdoors in nature taking in everything around me and writing in my journal. Next I’ll head to a new café, one where no one knows me, and take up residence in a comfy area to mindfully eat my breakfast. Oftentimes I’ll eat all my meals on this retreat day with my headphones in, the cording trailing to nothing in my pocket, in order to dampen the sounds around me. Then without hurrying through the rest of the day I’ll head to the baths or a spa, where I can linger in self-care bliss, take in an exhibit at a museum, enjoy an early dinner in an uncrowded restaurant, and end at a restorative yoga class where I’m being fully supported by props.
Throughout the wellness retreat day, try to use minimal language and keep a smile plastered to your face. By the time your head hits the pillow for the second night of sweet retreat sleep you’ll feel completely refreshed, de-stressed, and ready to head back into real life with a better attitude and a brighter outlook.
Article was written for and originally appeared on MindBodyGreen.
Solo travel is awesome, exhilarating, challenging, character building, lonely, blissful, and everything in between. Solo travel is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as it shows you that you are stronger than you think, that you can be more creative in your approach to problem solving, and is a great confidence builder. And it can teach you more than that. Travel writer Ann Abel, delves into 4 more things that you can only learn from a solo travel adventure.
Read the full article on Well+Good now.
Les Clefs d’Or Concierge and Host/Producer of Ask A Concierge
Most recently in: Berlin, Prague, Paris, Chattanooga, Huntsville, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and San Diego (it’s been a busy 4 months)
The one snack you can always find in my carry on is: Almonds! They are a lifesaver when I’m hungry. Plus they go through TSA easily.
Tell us your in-flight ritual: I always get a window seat, don’t put anything under the seat in front of me, keep out my phone and earphones, travel with a scarf, and wear sneakers. As soon as I sit down I buckle up, wrap up, stretch out my legs, and put on some fun music. Very often I end up falling asleep before the plane even takes off.
How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? I sleep with the window shades open so I can rise naturally in the morning. Then the first thing I do is get a work out in! Getting in a good sweat immediately settles me into the current time zone.
Describe your workout on the road style: I always pack running shoes, because no matter what, you can always go for a run! I usually work out a little less than when I am at home, but I do try to stay as consistent as possible. I aim to work out for about 30 minutes, and I combine weights and cardio. But I also factor in my daily activities, and if it’s going to be an active day, I might not force a workout. After all, sometimes you have to take full advantage of being in a location that is other than your home… why spend 30 minutes in a gym when you can get active outside or get on with your day!
How do you keep sickness at bay? I eat lots of fruits and veggies! Recently I discovered a Ginger Extract and a Wellness Shot Spray. Both of these are little one-ounce bottles of goodness. I drink some of the ginger extract in a little glass of water and I’ll spray the back of my throat with the Wellness Shot. I let it coat the back of my throat before drinking more water, but those two gems are amazing!
What's your 'go-to' restaurant item when traveling? I love leafy salads, but I’m also a huge fan of burrata. I’m vegetarian, so that normally narrows down the menu a bit. But I can always find something to eat!
What do you do to stay grounded? Funny enough, I try to stay off my phone. Of course much of my job is capturing so many moments on camera, but I’ll often stop and take note. Where I can, I’ll just enjoy the moment, the scenery, the culture, without trying to document it… but take a moment to actually experience it.
What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? I stay in touch with loved ones by texting and sharing photos/ videos of my day. Since I share so much content online, many times they can follow along on my adventures. But I’ll send different or personal messages to my family as we have inside jokes and stories constantly running between us.
Based in Los Angeles when she's not traveling the world, you can follow Sarah's adventures across social media at @AskAConcierge and view her web series at www.askaconcierge.tv
Before launching Pravassa, I had a booming fashion career that required constant business travel. It was during these long stretches of time on the road that I decided to explore during her off-hours. Usually, that meant hitting up a local fitness class, sprinting through the city streets for an early morning running tour, and patronizing local cafes and restaurants for a great, healthy meal. Eventually left I left the fashion world to create Pravassa and I just shared some of my top travel trips with Sporteluxe.
Sit down for a full meal at the airport.
Approach food options mindfully by sitting to have a proper meal. Choose high-value vegetarian options, where it’s easier to stay away from high-sodium, added sugar ingredients, both of which will leave you dehydrated and more bloated on the plane.
Food allergies or intolerances? Research before you hit the road.
If you have a serious allergy or illness, get a Food Allergy Card, which translates your needs into the local language. If your dietary needs are purely a lifestyle choice, then relaxing your guidelines a little while traveling will make for a much more enjoyable experience. If your diet is non-negotiable, use websites like Happy Cow or Gluten Free Travel or book your trip with an experienced travel provider, like Pravassa.
Don’t eat on the plane!
The best wellness travel food hack I’ve learned is to fast on the airplane. The food airlines serve is not healthy. Instead, opt to give your body the opportunity to rest and reset. A Harvard University study concluded that fasting resets your stomach and helps to overcome the effects of jet lag faster.
As an expert traveler, you have to learn to be flexible and exploring a new location helps your body settle into a new routine. There is no better way to see a place than on a morning jog, a hike up a mountain, or on a bicycle.
Dedicate 5-minutes a day to self-care.
My number one, non-negotiable wellness practice? Meditation. You only need 5-minutes and no props. This self-care practice prepares you to handle airport chaos, lost taxi drivers, and language barriers.
Read the full article with more great tips here.
How would you like to be able to meet anyone, from any culture, and without any previous knowledge of their culture, without even knowing what country they are from, to be able to identify their cultural orientations? A kind of “universal culture translator”, that works with everyone you meet?
Fact is, our modern world is one with an incredible cultural diversity. We no longer need to travel to another country to meet people from other cultures. Today, we work with them side-by-side in the office. We go to school with them. We meet them on the street, and at our clubs. Odds are quite good that someone you know has dated or married someone from another culture.
Cultural Intelligence is a new paradigm, that gives us the tools to be better able to integrate and Thrive in this new world. It does away with cultural stereotypes (“Chinese are like this” and “Germans are like this”), and instead teaches you to regard every person as an individual. And then, simply from observing their behavior, language, and reactions, you can begin to put together a picture of who this other person actually is.
This article originally appeared on Thrive Global.
Dr. Andréa Paige
VITALITY CONNOISSEUR & BIOHACKING EPIGENETICIST
Most recently in: Amsterdam and Bali
The one snack you can always find in my carry on is: WATER!
Tell us your in-flight ritual: 1 liter of water per hour for long haul flights, making sure to get up every hour to urinate or else I consider myself dehydrated + my lymphatic system sluggish! Also inflight you'll find me doing squats in the back of the plane, which pumps the lymphatic system. Sitting for extended hours on a plane paired with dehydration creates massive jet lag.
How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? I've mastered preventing jet-lag after a dozen years of cross-continental flights. As I water-fast inflight and move every hour, my body acclimates so much faster.
Describe your workout on the road style: Ohhh Yeaaa.. Well, if I'm not feeling motivated, I'll always pop on some HOT dance tracks and groove to the beat for a song or two. By the time my blood is flowing freely, I'll hop on my mat and do my morning Ashtanga Yoga Primary & Intermediate Series practice. It's really an honor to be with myself in this way, daily!
How do you keep sickness at bay? I regularly BOOST my immune system (clinically proven!) by fasting! Yes - you heard me... fasting! I go for certain periods of time without eating solid, fibrous matter. (The human body and THRIVE & SURVIVE 40-50 days on water alone!) I do regular juice cleanses. I also make sure to always stay hydrated, get enough sleep at proper hours and infuse my diet with mostly all fruits & vegetables!
What's your 'go-to' restaurant item when traveling? Does the grocery store produce section count?
What do you do to stay grounded? Imagine a nail through the top of my foot into K1 - Kidney one point on the bottom of my foot between the big toe mounds. My Chinese Medicine Reflexology practice is one of the fastest ways to change my energetics.
What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? FaceTime! Really - I talk to my mother at least once every 24 hours. It just creates connection + thus freedom for everyone! We are always near... no matter how far.
Splitting her time between Amsterdam and the world, Dr. Andrea Paige can be found teaching workshops and trainings in the fields of yoga, energy work, and nutrition and fasting. Follow her adventures online via video on Facebook and Instagram.
Join Dr. Paige this fall as she leads Pravassa's upcoming Bali wellness vacation.
My career as a Performance Enhancement Coach and Speaker requires traveling on a weekly basis. For those of you who travel, it can take a toll on our physical, mental and emotional well-being at times. I need to be on my game when I arrive to meet my clients, so taking care of myself is an important part of my self-care. Not only it is physical as I’m frequently changing time zones, but it’s mental. And, my mental state plays a large role in my body’s ability to be resilient.
Throughout my years of traveling, I’ve seen it all . . . delays and cancellations, the long security lines, the crying baby, sprinting to make your connection and my all-time favorite: being told by the security checkpoint that I had to go back and get a printed boarding pass because the App for that airline wasn’t accepted in that airport.
Here are some tips that keep will keep you mindful amidst the chaos:
- 4-Part Breathing When I can feel my mind and body becoming tense, I use this breathing technique, which is a rhythmic counting through each part of the breath; inhaling for 5 counts, holding the breath in for 5 counts, exhaling for 5 counts and hold the breath out for 5 counts. Go through several rounds until you feel grounded and rooted. This exercise gives your mind something to focus on and the body reaps the benefits.
- Alternate Nostril Breathing For those days when you have to sprint to the gate, incorporate Alternate Nostril Breathing, which changes the pattern of how the breathe enters the brain. Once seated raise your left hand and use your thumb to close off the nostril breathing into the right nostril, then use your left middle finger to close off the right nostril and exhale out the left nostril. Repeat on the left side, alternately breathing. This brings the heart rate down quickly and encourages a serotonin release putting you back at ease.
- Self-talk Survey Travel often throws up roadblocks both literal and figurative. The airlines, staff, and others traveling aren't necessarily there to purposefully challenge you as we are all in the same boat and doing the best we can under the circumstances. Yet, when challenging situations arise, pay attention to your self-talk. See how you can use the opportunity to see where I’m judging and labeling others.
- Take A Brain Break Yes, I’m that guy stretching and making noises at the airport gate. Take a few minutes to breathe and move your body in ways that support optimal brain function. This will help to alleviate musculoskeletal issues that arise from all the sitting and standing during your day of travel.
Taking good care of yourself is an essential part of any travel routine. It is up to you to maximize your time and use it wisely. When I hit the road, I can either get caught up in the fray and participate in the chaos OR I can focus on me. I choose ME. GO BE GREAT! – Ed Harrold
Learn more from Ed Harrold when we spend December 2nd – 7th in Costa Rica. You’ll learn ways to improve health, reduce stress, build resilience and exercise healthfully, all while using the breath as a starting point.
Daylight hours are expanding and summer is just around the corner. The idea of being cooped up indoors for the next few months is not on the agenda. As it is we work too many hours thus far. You are not alone, 42% of Americans did not take a vacation day last year. Many of us feel on the verge of burnout. In order to change direction, boost happiness, strengthen our relationships, increase creativity and up our total life satisfaction, it’s time to hit the buy button on a summer escape. These 5 wellness tips will ensure a less stressful, more interesting experience that will leave you changed by travel.
1. Choose Your Destination via Instagram
Technology can be used for good and Instagram is one of the best wanderlust inspiring options out there. Spend a few hours searching popular travel hashtags #welivetoexplore and #traveldeeper to find new destinations that visually excite you. Make a list of those places and determine which two or three could be ripe for a visit based on your timing and budget. Then head back to Instagram and post questions in the comment section of your favorite images to learn more. You’ll open your eyes to new parts of the world and may end up some place that wasn’t on your radar before.
2. Avoid Traveling on Holiday Weekends
It may sound obvious, but holiday weekend travel, by train, plane or car adds additional cost and stress to a vacation. The simple math of supply and demand means airfare and hotel rooms will cost more, routes and itineraries may be sold out and traffic will be worse. Save yourself the hassle and book the weekend before or after peak travel times to enjoy the benefits of less crowding and more quite. If you cannot avoid travel during summer holiday weekends, then embrace the fact that you’ll most likely pay more, be delayed, and not get your first choice for tour activities or restaurant reservations. Acknowledging this in advance allows your mind to move through these challenges and begin to view them as adventures instead of impediments.
3. Book a Workshop Led by a Local
Sitting on the beach doing nothing as a form of recovery has its appeal, but after a day or two most of us end up on our digital devices to combat boredom. Instead, stimulate your creativity center and book a workshop led by a local. Find a low cost option such as a nature hike led by a naturalist, tap into your inner foodie with a cultural cooking class, get your hands dirty in a printmaking session or discover an unknown area in your destination with a photography workshop. The added bonus: being able to make real life connections with new people, which boosts your confidence and happiness level.
4. Schedule Nap Time
Our bodies crave sleep and start to shut down when we don’t get enough of it. Vacation is the perfect time to get back to a natural rhythm and/or pay back your sleep debt. When you dedicate time to sleep – treating it like an important vacation activity – you feel rested, it improves your mood, immune system, and eating habits. Schedule time in the mid-afternoon to dose off for an hour and wake feeling refreshed and ready for the evening. If for you naptime leads to poor sleep habits at night, then skip the afternoon snooze in favor of turning in an hour earlier at night.
5. Create Digital Rules
Most days we go from our smart phone to the computer to the TV in an endless relationship with our digital devices. The constant connection these devices provide have become the biggest source of stress in adults and children alike. Summer vacation is the perfect time to return to IRL experiences and limit everyone’s screen time. Now sure where to start? Ban devices from the bedroom and wake up with the sun this summer. Insist all meals be sit-down screen-free time where you can lose yourself in conversation. Be bold and leave everything but your phone at home. Involve the whole family when creating these rules and you’ll find that each member is more likely to stick to the plan. - Linden Schaffer
This piece was written for and originally appeared on the Yogalicious Blog.