I am an avid fan of fun bath art, beautifully scented candles, and baking myself warm treats to eat in the evenings. These are my favorite forms of self-care, as they allow me to step away from the hustle and bustle of my everyday life and focus back on myself.
However, you will not find any of the above items in my traveling “home” (my suitcase). As such, I have had to learn to care for myself in other ways – ways that do not require several gallons of water or create a fire hazard. Thus, I present to you, Emma’s tips for self-care on the road!
Some of my favorite finds over the past few months have been rather technical, beautifully designed methods of self-care…also known as apps! Phone applications are great because they don’t take up any space in my luggage, and many are free or low-cost. Some require a membership or a small one time fee, but for the price of a coffee or two, I have access to some truly incredible combinations of technology and psychology.
Headspace, a meditation app, is great for clearing the mind and helping me to reset after a long day, or before a busy one starts. I’m proud to say I have been meditating now for more than 30 days! While it certainly takes time, and some days are better than others, I can tell that meditating is giving me the tools I need to handle whatever life throws at me next.
Moods, a mood tracker app, can show over time what is impacting your mood throughout the days, weeks, and months. This is actually a wonderful tool that utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, a form of psychological therapy proven to be highly effective. I’ve also come to appreciate that it doubles as a mini journal for my thoughts and feelings as well, that I can look back on to see my progress.
For more suggestions like these, check out your local app store for more options!
Coloring books are another great self-care tool that don’t take up much space and can make a big impact on my mental health. I have a particular artist I am a fan of, and I regularly find myself pulling out her coloring book to pass the time or clear my mind.
The Johanna Basford coloring books are great, as she really includes a lot of detail in her work. I try to focus on one section at a time, and before I know it, an hour is up and I’m ready to face the next challenge that comes my way.
Start Where You Are, a journal for self-exploration, is another great tool to use, with prompts to get you thinking and considering from a different perspective, with lovely visuals as well. Each page looks different, so I have a little surprise to look forward to each day as well.
Self-care on the road can also look much like self-care when at home, too. From sticking to a daily routine so you can feel confident and grounded when faced with new challenges, to remembering to call home from time to time, there are little things you may already be doing that translate well into a suitcase-based lifestyle. The most important thing to remember is that you should do what works best for you. If you haven’t yet found the best ways to care for yourself, try something new – and who knows, it just might change your mind.