Post-Vacation Healthy Reset

I recently returned from an awesome vacation to Sonoma, CA with some close friends and I still find myself laughing when I recall some of our adventures. We went wine tasting, biked through downtown Sonoma, made it through an escape room, and had our “fancy dinner night.” We had such an amazing time and I am so glad that we have made this an annual event.

Me and my lovely friend Zoe at Domaine Chandon, Yountville, CA.

Me and my lovely friend Zoe at Domaine Chandon, Yountville, CA.

Beautiful vineyard at Starmont Winery, Napa, CA

Beautiful vineyard at Starmont Winery, Napa, CA

The backyard at the AirBnB we rented in Sonoma, CA

The backyard at the AirBnB we rented in Sonoma, CA

The Reset

Now that I am back to reality, the jet-lag, dehydration, and inadequate fuel has has made it a bit of a struggle to get back on track with my healthy habits. I was lucky enough to be able to take a couple of days off after we returned to Virginia, and it has given me some time to think about what I can do to feel at my best again.

Hydrate

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Getting re-hydrated is at the top of my list when it comes to my post-vacation healthy reset. I had been working really hard on my water intake recently (especially with my hyperhidrosis) and although I had great intentions of drinking lots of water on this trip, I think I really fell short of my goal. I usually travel with a re-usable water bottle and I’m not quite sure what got in the way of me bringing it with me and refilling it every time we went out.

Now I am starting each morning with a big glass of water (sometimes with sliced lemon), before breakfast and coffee.

Healthy Fuel and a Proper Schedule

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While I wouldn’t say I ate totally poorly during the trip, I can definitely say that I probably didn’t eat enough. This all culminated in an almost-melt-down when we arrived at SFO airport to go home. (No stress management tool in the world can save me from turning into a monster when my blood sugar gets too low.) There was always plenty of food but I think my eating schedule got so skewed to the point where I didn’t realize I wasn’t fueling properly.

We had nothing in our pantry and fridge when we got home, so I took this as an opportunity to stock up on lots of fruit, veg…and maybe a bag of vegan chicken tenders from Trader Joe’s. I already feel better after a few home cooked meals eaten at my normal intervals.

Sleep

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Coast to coast jet-lag is no joke. It’s all fun and games when you travel east-west and you’re waking up early (with no alarm clock other than the rooster that lived next door) and going to bed early. It’s a whole other story when you make the return trip back to the east coast. We landed at around 1230 AM and didn’t make it home until around 130 AM. When I woke up the next morning (afternoon?) I almost didn’t know what planet I was on. As a night owl, it was challenging not to stay up until the wee hours of the morning and curse myself after inadequate sleep.

Getting back on a regular sleep schedule is really important, especially after being in a different time zone for a longer period of time. Staying up a little later and getting up early was really helpful in making sure that I would be tired when it was time for me to go to bed.

Is there anything you do to get back to your healthy habits after vacation? What makes the most difference for you in getting back on track?

5 Tips to Restful Sleep


Recently, I've come to find that peaceful, productive mornings are actually made in the evenings.

Here are 5 tips to a more restful night's sleep.


1. Keep your phone charging in another room. I can't tell you how many hours of precious sleep I have lost to mindless scrolling on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Knowing it would always tempt me on my nightstand, I have since started charging it overnight in my office. I knew I was going to have to invest in an alarm clock since I wouldn't have my phone handy and ultimately decided on this "retro-future" alarm clock radio by Electrohome (pictured above).


2. Switch from an electronic reader to physical books to reduce the blue light strain on your eyes. I really wanted to incorporate reading before bedtime, but trying to read on my iPad was starting to affect my eyes and I would tend to get distracted with the apps I mentioned above. If you are on a budget, or like to keep minimal books around, your local used book store or library would be a great resource. We happen to have a few book shelves filled with books, many of which I haven't read before. I read a lot of personal development and science books for school, so I like to chill out with some fantasy novels before bed. I'm currently loving the Wizard's First Rule series by Terry Goodkind and the Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks. (I JUST realized while typing this that there are two extremely popular fantasy authors named Terry.)


3. Be aware and bring attention to your body's sleep needs. We usually hear "get at least 8 hours of sleep" (which I try to follow) but everyone's sleep to functioning ratio might be a little different (more or less.) The right amount of sleep will leave you feeling alert and refreshed upon waking. For me that can be anywhere from 8-9 hours, depending on how much activity I've done during the day.


4. Try allowing 15-20 minutes to meditate before you go to sleep. Those evenings when I've allowed enough time to do meditation have provided me with some of the best sleep. I was using the "Body Scan" meditation from Palouse Mindfulness and really want to incorporate it back into my routine. There are also lots of meditation options available on the calm.com and Headspace apps.


5. Keep a gratitude journal. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude contributes positively to our well-being. Ending the night on a high note, even when you've had a rough day, can provide you with some peace before you fall asleep. Right now I am using a regular notebook and will probably upgrade to this beautiful yet simple option from Etsy seller The Lively Pen (bonus- it's customizable!).


I've also heard great things about The Five Minute Journal which has a space for both morning and evening entries. I will probably check this out in the new year, considering it's almost October.

I will be sharing my new nightly sleep routine soon so you can get a glimpse into the things I do to prepare myself to be well rested for the next day.

Did one of these tips resonate with you? My challenge to you is to find one tiny step you could take to improve your sleep.