Road Trip Self-Care Tips

Jun 29, 2022


Summer and road trips seem to go together. This month I have had more travel than usual. Changing our routine and traveling can be something we look forward to, yet it can also create anxiety. After reflection, I came up with these tips to help you be your best. 

If you are traveling with someone else, manage expectations. That is best to do before you leave. Saying "Let's get an early start" is too ambiguous. Over the years, we have found it is best to agree on a specific time to leave the house. When going to the airport, Tim is more comfortable cutting it close. I like ample time. Our daughter needs an even bigger cushion. Know who you are and what you need. 

I encourage you to manage expectations on what you hope to have done before you head out the door. Do ALL the counters need to be cleaned, garbage cans emptied, and plants watered? I realized that I like to have my bills paid ahead of time, especially if my trip gets unexpectedly extended. I pay my bills online, but I have been caught without my passwords while traveling, so I prefer to get it done before I leave.  Being sensitive to each other's stressors can go a long way to foster harmony. 

On our recent road trip, we had a target range to leave the house by 10 a.m. and by noon at the latest. All was going well until a client needed referrals for a mental health crisis. I was able to take the time to make several phone calls and help them out, as we had a cushion for the unexpected. However, I then realized to hit our latest departure time, I had to let go of some of my need to clean everything before leaving. We got in the car at 12:01 -- acceptable in light of the unexpected. 

I've learned from past travels with kinks in my neck after a bad night's sleep. I now indulge myself by taking my pillow on road trips. I use it often in the car when Tim's driving, sometimes just to hug. 

As we pull away from our house, I like to offer a blessing for our home, for our adventurous travel, and for our safe return. 

Stay hydrated (a reminder I need again and again).

Stay grounded. I stay centered by tuning into my senses. I love noticing the changes in the cloud patterns, the nuances of colors in the fields, and the interactions of sunlight and shadow. This nourishes me the way others love music. 

Along the way, heighten your observation skills. What shifts are happening internally as you discover new landscapes, new people? 

In dealing with new environments and being out of my comfort zone, I encourage myself to be open-minded, adaptable, and resilient. 

I am inspired by eating new foods and cuisines. I like to visualize myself bringing some aspect of the meal to my own cooking upon my return. When I take the time to do that visualization, it bridges the memory of the travel to my kitchen, which keeps my travels enlivened. 

When I am returning from my trip, I like to reflect on what inspired me from my travels and what I am looking forward to upon my return, and how I want to integrate the two.