I am a creature of comforts.
I enjoy the feeling of familiarity and relief that comes with being in touch with what makes me feel comfortable, warm and relaxed. Don’t you?
Feeling comfortable for me is especially important when I’m on-the-go and traveling. Frequently, my professional and personal lives bring me to places outside of where I live in Atlanta, Georgia. From out-of-state conferences and professional development trainings, to family get-togethers and girls’ trips, I am traveling about 25 to 50 percent of the time.
Being in new places and spaces is exciting and engaging, yet traveling also requires a different type of energy and discomfort with learning an unfamiliar environment. Having access to my comforts helps me give attention to the heavy feelings of anxiety, low energy and restlessness that sometimes come with being away from home. Here are some ideas for how you can create a specific self-care plan around your travels:
Know what your comforts are.
There is a good chance that you are aware of the things, sounds, touches and sights that are comforting to you. Write a list, draw them out or record yourself talking about the things that give you comfort.
Then reflect on why these things give you comfort. What about your favorite smell or a certain song gives you comfort? Be as specific and as detailed as you can with breaking down why your comforts are your comforts. Feel free to utilize the Self Explore, Self Restore journal to help with this work.
Idenitfy your travel stressors.
Reflect on what comes up for you when you are feeling stressed while traveling. Think of the last time(s) you experienced stress or anxiety while traveling and give words to those moments.
Some of my travel stressors include going through airport security and handling the tight spaces on the plane. The variety of inspections, checks and impatience that comes with experiencing TSA heighten my feelings of stress. Similarly, the lack of personal space and being in close quarters with unfamiliar folks also takes my energy away.
Match your travel stressors to your comforts.
To create your self-care plan, match your comforts to your travel stressors. Here are some examples of how to do this:
- Bring an electronic, portable travel fan when feeling hot and a loose sweater for when the plane or airport is cool
- Pack travel-size essential oils to smell to feel calm and centered
- Take a pen and notebook to ‘dump’ and release anxious thoughts that come up
- Keep your phone and phone charger fully charged access to connection and fun
- Create playlists of your favorite songs on music apps to connect for validation and relaxation
There are a variety of ways to practice self-care while you’re on-the-go. Reflect on what your needs and comforts are. Plan ahead for what your travel stressors are to take care of yourself and enjoy your different adventures!
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care while traveling?