We’ve all done it: been on that overly indulgent holiday when we spent most of our time eating and drinking. I recently returned from a week’s holiday in London after catching up with some family members and friends. As most catch-ups tend to involve lots of food and drinks, the week turned out to be a daily food and wine festival! In fact, my daily menu included a full English breakfast, a three-course meal for lunch and dinner, topped off with a glass of wine or two each day. Just two days into this time off and I knew had already overly indulged.
My excuse—I’m on holiday, so there are no rules—was gradually causing me more discomfort than pleasure. So I decided to make some immediate changes to get rid of the yucky, I’m-so-stuffed-I-can’t-breathe feeling. Here are my tried and tested Top 4 self-care tips to turn around an overly indulgent holiday.
Change #1: Keep a food diary
Writing down what you’ve eaten immediately after a meal will make you more aware of whether you’ve consumed too much or too little of something. This will also help you make healthier choices for you next meal. For example, devoured scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausages for breakfast? That’s fine; just have plenty of greens for lunch with fruit for dessert instead of that chocolate soufflé you saw on the menu.
Change #2: In-room exercises
I stayed at a guesthouse in London that didn’t have a gym and my schedule was filled with activities involving little or no physical movement. Of course, I could have gone running (who am I kidding?) or done something outdoors, but I had conveniently forgotten to pack my sneakers. Solution? In-room exercises! Doing 8-10 reps of simple exercises for a couple of minutes was just what I needed for an instant pick-me-up. Some never-fail exercises to get your heart rate up include:
· On-the-spot jogging (lift those knees!)
· Jumping jacks
· Burpees (swearing out loud makes each rep easier)
· Push-ups and sit-ups
I usually like to reward myself with nice long stretches to cool down. Spinal twists not only do the trick but can also be a great way to aid digestion if you’re too stuffed to jump about.
Change #3: Go for long walks
Skip the taxi ride, bus, and subway and walk to your destination. Walking has always been under-rated, in my opinion. It’s also the best way to sightsee, explore the neighbourhood, and discover places you otherwise wouldn’t have visited. Simply taking in some fresh air can do wonders for your mind and body.
Change #4: Take a time-out from screens
There’s no better time to avoid screens than being away from home and out of your usual routine. Have a quiet date with yourself, and take some time to pause and reflect—no phones, reading devices, TVs, or laptops. Instead, buy a journal or scribble on a notepad or scrap paper. Take a mental snapshot of where you are and soak everything in. Unsure of what to write? Just keep moving your pen for at least three pages and you might be surprised by what comes up!
Finding a quiet spot to meditate is also a great way to practice self-care. Close your eyes and draw your attention inward, noticing what happens with each breath. Meditating is a great self-care holiday practice that will help you appreciate the present moment and not worry about the past or future.
Holidays are a great excuse to overindulge, and there’s nothing wrong with breaking the rules every now and then, just know that you can still have fun and take care of yourself at the same time.