More and more world travelers are starting to understand the impact small travel decisions have on the local community. Jessica Blotter and Sean Krejci are early adopters of the mindset that traveling is an opportunity to positively affect the places we visit. Inspired by this idea, they co-founded Kind Traveler in 2016, which is the “first socially-conscious Give + Get hotel booking and media platform that empowers travelers to positively impact the communities and environment in the destinations they visit.”
Kind Traveler posted a blog on their site, written by Ellie Huizenga, that I found relevant and powerful enough to share here at Travel With Meaning. Titled “5 Global Wellness Experts Share Self-Care Tips for Uncertain Times,” it does just that - emphasizes the importance of self-care and creative ways to achieve that at home. So, for now, I am going to summarize the key points so you can put yourself first!
1) Leisure Excursions - Anne Dimon, President/CEO of Wellness Tourism Association, Denver, CO
Taking the time out of your daily routine to leave the house for a “leisure excursion” is essential for reducing stress. Dimon believes that these excursions and local travel will begin to replace long-distance tourist vacations, as people will “want to avoid crowded tourist attractions in favor of more remote, nature-embraced regions.” But, for now, she recommends daily leisurely breaks, while following local guidelines, of course!
2) At-Home Spas - Mary Bemis, Editorial Director of Insider’s Guide to Spas, Gold Hill, OR
With years of experience in the spa world, Bemis believes that a “spa is a cornerstone of personal health and healing… the best thing you can do is to take good care of yourself - be kind to yourself.” She lists the basic elements of spa therapy and suggests ways to incorporate that at home.
Water: connection with fluid and hydration
Bath, possibly with Epsom salts
Contrast shower (alternating between hot and cold)
Enjoy the scent of a bowl of steaming water with essential oils
Hot tea (chamomile or peppermint)
Touch: promotes fluid movement throughout the body
Foam roller or tennis ball
Movement: tremendous effect on mood
10 minute walk
Food: the “greatest source of real pleasure”
Cooking is a ritual that can open your eyes to new cultures
3) Balance - Joanna Roche, Executive Director of Green Spa Network, Nantucket, MA
Joanna offers six different ways that all contribute to “nurturing good health and wellbeing.”
Get a good night’s sleep: Developing a soothing bedtime ritual helps tremendously. You’ve heard it a million times, but it really makes a difference to store your device away from your bed. Other tips include an epsom salt bath, listening to relaxing music, or drinking herbal tea.
Meditation Practice: It only takes a few minutes each day to explore meditation. Do it right before you get out of bed to start your day or right after you crawl into bed to close out the day.
Movement: Take a walk and “be mindful of your surroundings and focus on your breath.”
Nature: Try spending time outdoors barefoot. Just 20 minutes a day induces an interaction with the earth’s negative ions and reduces anxiety and stress.
Water: hydrate hydrate hydrate and take care of the Earth’s water sources.
Connection: When you may not be able to physically be with a friend or family member, it is especially important to reach out and be there for them. “We all need to feel valued and we can all offer value.”
4) “Self-Care Box” - Abbey Stone, Executive Editor of Well+Good, Brooklyn, NY
Not so shockingly, “there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for self care.” It may take some time to try out different practices, but the key to self-care is practicing what truly makes you feel happy. Abbey has a metaphorical “self-care box” that she turns to at least one a week or when she feels stressed. The beauty is you can fill your box with whatever you want, whether that’s reading or doing yoga or playing music - it’s your choice!
5) Creativity with Food - Felicia Tomasko, Editor in Chief at LA YOGA Magazine, Los Angeles, CA
Felicia has taken this time to “be more carefully conscientious about food. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean just eating organic, but being more thoughtful and creative.” Hit up your local Farmer’s Market or buy produce that is in-season. Try a fun recipe from a country you have always wanted to visit! Or look up ways to use the entire plant, like making pesto with radish leaves, as Felicia did. The possibilities are infinite!
As our communities begin to open up and transition into a more social state, it is all the more important to practice self-care. Change can be overwhelming, so we want to encourage and inspire you to put yourself first!
To hear more about the Kind Traveler story, check out the Travel With Meaning Podcast episode #5 with Jessica Blotter. You can also find their website here: Kind Traveler. For now, comment with what your favorite self-care ritual is!
Written by Garland Horwitz