Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Healthy and Centered as You Travel During the Holidays
This holiday season, many people are planning to gather with loved ones, perhaps traveling for the first time in a couple years. Holiday travel can always be a bit stressful, and this year perhaps even more than usual. But the delight of coming together to connect and celebrate with family and friends is, for many, a bright light of hope after the challenges of recent times.
No matter where you find yourself this holiday season, here’s how to connect with a deeper sense of home and how to support your well-being through it all.
Going Home for the Holidays
Whether it is to see close family, old friends, in-laws, or even distant relatives, there is something about traveling to see loved ones that can provide a sense of comfort, security, and familiarity. Not that it’s always easy or free of tension, but there can be a sense of being able to let our guard down and just be ourselves.
When we experience this sense of home, it offers an opportunity for nourishment, renewal, and healing. It provides a sense of belonging and gives us permission to relax. So even if the travelling part feels hectic and stressful, the reward waiting on the other end is usually worth it.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, the home is a vital and integral part of an individual’s well-being. Health starts with the simple daily activities of the home. Eating a home-cooked meal appropriate to your constitution has a powerful impact on staying healthy and balanced, while proper rest and nourishing daily routines serve as a foundation of health.
On an emotional level, the compassionate care of loved ones at home serves as a buffer to the stresses in life and provides a network of support. Even if you live alone—or choose to spend the holidays in your own sweet company—home provides a sanctuary that we can turn to for stillness and stability.
Finding Inner Stillness Amidst Movement
From an Ayurvedic perspective, the act of traveling and moving from one place to another increases vata dosha. While there can be a thrill and excitement in the act of traveling, it inherently brings with it an energy of stimulation, mobility, and lightness.
These vata-like qualities that come with travel can lead to feelings of being stirred up, ungrounded, restless, scattered, and experiencing a sense of anxiousness.
Knowing this before embarking on a journey can be incredibly helpful. By following basic Ayurvedic principles of bringing balance with opposite qualities, we can prepare for holiday travel in the best way possible, setting ourselves up to maintain a sense of grounding and calm even as our bodies move across space.
Whatever time and attention we take to maintain this inner balance will be well worth the effort, leading to an experience of being settled and at home in ourselves, even when we're outside of our own physical home and familiar routines.
In this state of being, your mind is calm, your nervous system feels relaxed and grounded, and you feel peaceful and content in your surroundings. Even if conflict or challenges arise, you feel equipped to meet them with patience and grace.
6 Tips to Feel Calm, Connected, and Healthy
Whether you travel near or far, here are some practical tips to support you this holiday season so you can stay healthy and connected to a sense of joyful well-being:
1. Maintain a Centering Routine. With the celebrations and travel that accompany the holidays, a routine is of utmost importance to support your well-being and help you stay connected to yourself. This can be meditation, yoga, prayer, or anything else that gives you a chance to replenish.
2. Incorporate Self-Massage. Start your morning or end your day with abhyanga, or self-massage with warm herbal oil. This nourishing routine lubricates the skin and supports a calm, grounded nervous system—it’s the perfect way to land more fully in your body.
3. Nurture Your Mental Well-Being. Working with herbs is an intelligent way to provide a little extra strength and support as you navigate the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
- Stress Ease and Tranquil Mind are a winning pair to help the body cope with stress and maintain a calm, centered mind.
- I Travel Well offers well-rounded support, helping you adapt to stress, adjust to changes in time zones, and maintain healthy sleep patterns as you travel.
4. Support Your Physical Well-Being. Physical movement is a great way to release any excess tension or stress that we may pick up while traveling or interacting with our fellow humans.
- If you start feeling cooped up or restless, make time for some moderate exercise or yoga to keep your life energy moving and flowing freely.
- Don’t forget herbs that support your immune system, like Immune Strong and Immune Health NOW!
5. Make Time for YOU. As nourishing as it can be to share space and time with loved ones, it’s also important to step away occasionally to check in with your body and connect with yourself.
A moment alone with a warm cup of tea? A solo walk in the woods? An extra hour of sleep? Prioritize your self-care and inner well-being before you hit a wall.
6. Practice Moderation. With all the sweet treats, goodies, and interesting conversations readily available during the holidays, it is natural to enjoy and partake in the festivities. Just do so in moderation and listen to your body when it says you’ve had enough.
Whatever the holiday season has in store, we can all benefit from the things that help us stay centered, calm, and connected to ourselves. After all, the more comfortable and “at home” we feel within ourselves, the more we can show up to love and support the people we hold dear.
We hope these suggestions help you to relish the holidays and soak in all the love and cheer that is waiting to pour in. From the whole Banyan family, we wish you and your loved ones a season of health, celebration, and hope.
“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”