For those of us who absolutely love to travel and see the world, staying home for the past year and a half most likely put a huge crimp in all of your vacationing plans. While the shelter-in-place ordinances were definitely incredibly important for our safety during the pandemic, staying at home all the time can start to wear you down. With the world finally opening up again, we can probably all agree that we’re ready to pack up our bags and finally start checking places off our bucket lists once more. Whether you’re excited to go wine tasting in France with your BFFs, or you’re wanting to check out the slopes in Tahoe, there’s really nothing like indulging your wanderlust.
That said, however, there is one other thing that can throw a huge wrench in your traveling plans: getting sick. When you’ve already booked your non-refundable tickets and snagged your hotel room months before, and you got that time-off request from work approved by your HR department ages ago, feeling the first signs of a sniffle before you hit the road can be a huge downer. Fortunately, staying healthy before you travel doesn’t have to mean drinking nothing but green smoothies and doing a half-hour of yoga every day. To help me stay feeling my very best in the days leading up to my trip, here’s what I like to do.
Focus On Your Shut-Eye
Okay, look. It’s totally understandable to be excited about your upcoming vacation, but the last thing you want to do is let that excitement affect your sleep. Research has shown that a good night’s rest does so more than just help you wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. Your body actually uses that time to focus on keeping you healthy, and skimping on those important seven to nine hours can seriously backfire. Not getting enough sleep can also hurt your body’s immune system, meaning that by pulling that all-nighter in the days leading up to your trip, you’re basically setting out a welcome mat for germs. If you want to stay healthy, then you need to hit the hay.
Eat a Balanced Diet
First and foremost, I already promised you that you don’t have to sustain yourself on a steady stream of green smoothies before your trip. If you like them, then more kudos to you. That said, filling up on nutritionally poor food is pretty much setting yourself up for a health disaster. Your body not only needs a diet rich in fruits and vegetables for those much-needed vitamins and minerals to help keep you healthy, but it also needs enough protein, fat, and carbs to keep it running at its peak, too. On that note, now is also not the time to crash diet, as that can also suppress your immune system, increasing your chances of getting sick.
Wash Those Hands
I really cannot stress this one enough, friends. Wash your hands. This isn’t a one-and-done deal, either. Your hands come in contact with so many yucky things in a day, and that doorknob at the office can literally be much dirtier than a toilet seat. Of course, you still want to wash your hands after using the facilities, but also wash them before eating, when cooking, and even before you touch your face. Thoroughly washing your hands can remove up to 99.9% of germs, just as long as you do it long enough. And if you’re wondering how long that is, it’s just two rounds of “Happy Birthday” hummed to yourself while you scrub.
Take a Proactive Approach
As women, we have our work cut out for us when it comes to staying healthy. On top of the usual things that can get us sick, it can sometimes feel like our anatomy is also out to get us, too. When you’re lounging on the beaches of Mexico, the last thing you want to be worrying about is an uncomfortable itch or some other unpleasant feminine issue cropping up. At the first sign of something being amiss, your first step should be a quick call to your doctor to schedule an Aptima® Multitest Swab. The sooner you find out what’s going on and you treat it, the sooner you can look forward to wearing that barely-there swimsuit in Cancun.
Be Kind to Yourself
And finally, and I can’t emphasize this one strongly enough, now is the time to be kind to yourself. Feeling guilty about being away from work, or letting the stress of knowing there’s going to be a mountain of paperwork on your desk when you return, can make you more susceptible to getting sick. For instance, if you find yourself grabbing a fast-food meal on your way home from work, just forgive yourself and move on. The bottom line is, staying healthy isn’t just about doing one thing perfectly. By giving yourself a little bit of grace, and following these five tips, you can help make sure you feel incredible when you finally do get to take that long-overdue trip!