With all the packing, switching time zones, and rushing to get to your destination, traveling creates stress on your mind and body, and can disrupt the natural rhythm of our hormones.
Our adrenal glands are sparked from rushing from point A to point B, becoming jetlagged, and not getting enough sleep.
Since our body only knows stress as stress, finding ways to keep stress hormones from being released can ensure you have a much calmer and healthier travel experience.
Alex Goldberg, acupuncturist, herbalist, and women's health expert told mindbodygreen, "Traveling can cause significant endocrine (hormonal) shifts for people, and unfortunately females tend to get the brunt of this more than males on average due to their general hormonal fluctuations each month due to their menstrual cycles."
This makes sense since jumping time zones also disrupts our circadian rhythm, taking us out of alignment with our natural stress hormone release.
When traveling, I use to get major jetlag. My body was so confused on what time it was, I would find myself staying up really late and have a hard time waking up in the morning. Feeling groggy, I’d then reach for caffeine, and try to keep up with my cardio workouts.
Today, I do things differently.
Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee to "push through", here are my top seven tips to keep your hormones balanced while traveling:
1. STAY HYDRATED
The atmosphere on an airplane can be super dehydrating and to keep your hormones balanced, your body needs fluid! You might have also noticed your belly bloats whenever you’re up in the air from all the extra pressure. Staying hydrated can help!
Instead of opting for a pre-flight drink or cocktail en route, I buy an electrolyte infused water once I make it through security. I also travel with an empty water bottle so I can fill this up too.
2. TRAVEL WITH PREPACKED GOODIES
It can be tough to fit all your necessities into your luggage AND bring your favorite snacks.
I pack my own tea bags (you can get a free cup of hot water once you pass security), so I have something calming to sip on (Kava Stress Relief is one of my faves). I also travel with small packets of protein powders, almond butter, coconut oil, nut mixes, and turmeric.
When you live a gluten and dairy free lifestyle, it can be hard to find what your body needs in most airport and hotel spots. This way I can have a healthy protein smoothie, to ensure I keep my blood sugar stable (avoids added stress to the body). I also bring an avocado with me to balance out any travel meal!
3. KINDLY DECLINE CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL
With so many avenues sparking your adrenal glands, choosing to not drink caffeine and alcohol for the first few days of traveling, can lessen your stress hormones.
There are also foods (like beets!) that can flush out cortisol! Find a trendy new coffee shop that serves the beet latte, and you won't miss that caffeine!
You can also stock up on meals with hemp seeds, basil, and lots of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and coconut treats, which can lower cortisol.
Needing an evening treat? Make sure you invite your friends to make a fun Boochtail 😉
4. CONTROL STRESS HORMONES WITH EXERCISE
I schedule calming exercise for day one of my trip like yoga or a barre class. These help calm our adrenal glands and since we just spent so much time sitting on a plane, our body needs a good stretch!
Walking lowers cortisol, so it's a great excuse to head out for some sightseeing!
On day two and onward, your body will have adjusted more and you may have enough to take on those cardio workouts.
5. GET IN YOUR NEW TIME ZONE BEFORE YOU LEAVE
On the morning of travel day, I wake up at a time that would be considered early for the time zone I’m traveling to. So if I’m flying from California to New York City, I do my best to wake up by 5 or 5:30 a.m. This automatically puts my body into an earlier time, so later that evening when I arrive, I have a much easier time getting to sleep.
At night - whatever time it is - I visualize and tell my body it’s time to go to bed. I might stay up a little bit later than normal, but telling my body that it’s already time to go to bed, helps me get to sleep faster.
6. PERFECT YOUR SLEEP
If you don’t already, take a look at whether or not you take additional magnesium.
This calming mineral relaxes muscles, soothes our adrenals, and helps produce melatonin, which we need to be able to get to sleep. I ALWAYS travel with magnesium! Natural Vitality makes these great travel packs 😊
I also pack an eye mask to shut out excess lights from hotels and Airbnbs, sip on calming tea, and travel with lavender essential oil.
7. SCHEDULE YOU TIME
The hustle and bustle of life doesn’t always settle when we’re traveling. With so much excitement, new sites to see, and people to hang out with, it’s a good idea to take some solo time.
Take a morning stroll, get your nails done, head to a yoga class, read a book, have tea time - anything to take some time for you. Keeping your body in a constant, elevated, excited state will exhaust you, your central nervous system and spark your adrenal glands which can store stress hormones in your belly. Make sure to protect your brain with time to reflect.
Now you can travel with ease and keep that hot bod of yours balanced, energized, and humming along - like nature intended 😉
Where will your next destination be?!