Simple Wellness Reminders I brought Home From Thailand
Thailand is a beautiful country through and though. When I decided to travel to South-east Asia, I knew I would be soaking up all of the sun, beauty and culture I could find. But what I didn’t expect was to bring home a new outlook on finding peace, wellness and overall health. It turns out that the country is filled with healthy forward thinkers! Here are some of the wellness tips and reminders that I brought home from my travels in Thailand. Try to apply any (or all) of these to your routine and enjoy the difference!
Wake up early
Thailand in April is as hot as an oven and by 8 in the morning, the sun is already up and at em’- and so was I. To me, being on vacation usually means a lengthy celebration of sleeping in, but not this time- the sun kept peeking through my curtains much too early. As a result, I found myself rising earlier in the am, falling asleep earlier and feeling WAY better for it. In fact, studies will show that sleeping in is bad for your health and makes you feel more tired than usual. So next weekend, rethink hitting your snooze button.
Eat simple ingredients
On a hectic day, I usually skip the whole ingredients and grab something quick and satisfying (and loaded with empty calories). I grab and go because I need fuel but are my regular choices providing energy or making me feel sluggish? For breakfast one morning, I tried simple whole steel oats with banana and pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top. To my surprise, I didn’t miss my usual sausage, hash brown and eggs- the burst of the pomegranate was tasty enough. Afterwards, I felt lighter and ready to hit the beach more than ever before.
Stretch it out
If you’ve never gone for a professional Thai massage before, brace yourself for some serious stretching! I was fortunate to have 2 massages during my stay and although I was sore for a day, it made quite the difference overall. Stretching increases circulation, blood flow and the flow of oxygen to the muscles. Want to get the most out of stretching? Try a yoga class- active stretching strength (stretching muscles while moving) is a very productive way to limber up and strengthen new muscles.
Drink water (and tea)
I know I don’t meet my required water intake on a regular basis, but when in Thailand, it’s drink water or risk getting heat stroke. On excursions, we always had water on hand to hydrate, cool down and flush a few toxins out of our system. To my delight, I didn’t feel my usual mid-day fatigue and had fewer cravings for unhealthy snacks. I also got into the habit of drinking ginger tea. Known for its medicinal benefits, drinking ginger tea is great for alleviating stomach pain or even bloating after a heavy meal. Quick tip: ” Old ginger” is better for making tea. The old and dried up roots produce more of an intense taste than the young pink ginger we’re used to. Find the old ginger at your local Chinese health store and make your own brew. Mix your tea with a dollop of honey, and you’ll have your new favourite beverage with major benefits!
For city girls, it’s hard to separate yourself from the go-go-go spirit. We’ve got plenty of to-dos, engagements and we’re always on the career hustle. That’s all fine and dandy but you need to be able to enjoy simply doing nothing. Read a book, take a walk, sit for tea or even meditate. At first, this may seem hard but when you focus on calming the mind and simply being present, you’ll meet your inner zen, like I did!
Say hi to people!
Everyone (well, just about) in Thailand greets you with a smile and their hands in prayer and it’s lovely! I felt so connected with others, generally happier and more social all around. Imagine greeting strangers like this in Toronto? They would think you’re nuts but I bet they would eventually stop and think “well that was nice”. As the saying goes: when you smile at the world, the world smiles back at you.
Wear sun protection
As I’m getting older, I’m noticing the effects the sun has in my skin. This time, I made a conscious effort to reapply my sun block all day and it really worked out for me. The others chuckled at me (I’m always the palest of the bunch) and ignored their protection. The result? Blistered, peeling, sore and red skin! Talk about a travel bummer. But imagine how the sun is affecting your skin one day at a time? I’d rather be sun kissed than sun scorched, thanks.