These dark, cold November evenings are made a little easier as the promise of turkey and pumpkin pie is right around the corner. The holidays are a time for celebration, but the excess of your Thanksgiving feast, and all the travel this time of year entails, can undoubtedly have an impact on your body.
Vata dosha is easily disturbed during autumn, and travel only further throws it out of whack. When Vata is aggravated, you may experience increased anxiety, worry, and poor quality sleep. The body thrives when it has a regular and consistent routine. If you are constantly jumping from one thing to the next, it gets confused and is left scrambling to figure out what's about to happen. While of course, each day is different, you want to try and keep at least the essentials - waking, eating, sleeping - at the same time each day. Routine is bound to be disrupted around the holidays and travel, but there are some measures you can keep in place to ensure a smooth transition.
When traveling, it is a good idea to set some time aside ahead of your trip and plan how you are going to best manage it. Yes, this may seem like turning a holiday into a chore, but being prepared can significantly reduce the negative effects of travel. Organize what you need to take with you to feel comfortable on the road, and plan your route well in advance so you don't feel overwhelmed before taking off. As simple as it sounds, make sure your wardrobe is prepared for any change of climate too. Above all, stay hydrated when traveling and bring a thermos of hot water to sip throughout your journey. Dehydration will leave you feeling fatigued and deflated by the time you arrive at your destination.
If you're changing time zones, set your clock for the time zone you are traveling to before you depart. This will help you get on that time as quick as possible. Traveling with an eye mask and some lavender essential oil (just add a few drops to your pillow) is also useful to help you get back to your normal sleep cycle as soon as possible. It's very common to feel the correlation between travel and poor sleeping patterns, even if you don't change time zones. This is because Vata dosha gets easily aggravated by travel and can lead to bouts of insomnia.
To gently calm the nervous system and send yourself into a deep and comfortable sleep, enjoy this Ojas Building Milk. Or, if you don't have all the ingredients available, simply warm a cup of almond milk and add a small pinch of nutmeg. Nutmeg acts as a mild sedative inducing sound sleep, and can calm an agitated mind. It also helps absorption for those feeling like digestion is a little off kilter due to travel too.
Long days of travel lead to rumbling stomachs and cravings for something sweet. Prepare a lunch box in advance will some Coconut Energy Balls or a little jar of Date Butter to spread on wholemeal crackers. These tasty treats will help tide you over on a long journey and keep you away from processed candy in airports or gas stations. When you arrive at your destination, a great way to start your day is with this festive Pumpkin Smoothie that balances Vata. It is nourishing, easy to digest and will bring you back to earth if you feel flighty after your trip.
Enjoy a simple diet when traveling, and when picking from a menu, ensure you include as many well cooked and warm foods as possible. While Thanksgiving is a tempting day to overindulge, try to eat mindfully, and sip warm water throughout your meal. A delicious meal can be quickly spoiled by gas, bloating or fatigue that can follow over indulgence.
Desserts can be especially tempting, so why not try some homemade treats to satisfy your sweet tooth such as Chocolate Avocado Fudge or this Chocolate Mousse. Even if you do eat too much during the holidays, there are plenty of ways to overcome indulgence. Eating lighter meals for a few days, such as this Detox Lentil Soup, will offset the heavy, burden on digestion after your Thanksgiving feast.
Don't let your exercise routine fall apart when you travel. Of course, this is far easier said than done, especially if you don't have access to your normal gym or yoga studio. You don't need to put in hours of workouts, but try to fit 30 minutes of movement in each day. By movement, you can simply go for a long walk (remember to wrap up warm in blustery weather!) or do some yoga stretching in your bedroom. Or, get creative and try some new and exciting activities that work for your body type. It doesn't need to be intense, but remember how much your body loves movement, and how you will be rewarded with more energy, better sleep and less jet lag.
November is, of course, a month for reflection, gratitude and giving thanks. Take this opportunity to thank your body for all it does for you each day! These tips will help you stay feeling your best throughout the whirlwind that is the holidays and travel well. No one wants to spend their Thanksgiving wiped out in bed or return to work feeling totally drained. Take a little time to plan and prepare and enjoy the festivities!
If you would like to talk with me, I offer a complimentary consultation where we can chat about your health problems and goals. Just go to my online scheduler and find a time that works.
Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season from the Holistic Highway Team!