Travelling is one of the most crucial aspects of your life. Learning about different cultures, cuisines, history, and local customs motivates you to think, ideate, and put your life goals into perspective. In the end, it inspires you to live a better and happier life. Though it is not easy to set aside responsibilities and take the time to travel, you should try to do it as often as you can.
For all the great things traveling can bring, it comes with one flip side – post-trip fatigue. Even the most experienced travelers can also get physically tired and mentally worn out, especially after a long journey. Aching muscles and an exhausted mind not only make it difficult to get back to your routine but also makes the wonderful trip a little less appealing. Heading back to work on Monday morning in this awful physical and mental state is next to impossible.
Here are a few remedies that will help you overcome post travel fatigue.
Set Aside Some Recovery Time When Your Return
Coming home from a long trip and throwing yourself back into the daily work routine is the last thing you should do. You need to set aside some recovery time before going back to your routine. You may be tempted to enjoy every last minute of your vacation time. However, it is better to set a day or two of your time off to rest and acclimate yourself to the routine.
For example, if you are planning to go back to work on Monday, try to reach home by Saturday night or early Sunday morning. It will give you enough time to unpack, catch up with your friends, and relax. The best way is to take a long nap (at least 4-6 hours) without any disturbance. It will refresh your body and mind.
Take the rest even though you haven’t crossed any time zones. If you are going to travel multiple time zones, however, make sure to add a stopover to your return journey. For example, if you are traveling from Sydney to New York, use your layover in Los Angeles or Dallas (depending on your flight) to rest and adjust yourself to the different time zones one by one. It will avoid the jet lag as well as post-trip fatigue.
Prepare for Your Return
Another way to make sure you get complete rest upon your return is to ensure there are no pressing to-dos. What is point of returning ahead of time if you spend the extra day taking out the trash, cleaning your refrigerator or stocking the pantry? Before you leave for the long trip, make sure to weatherproof your home, take proper security precautions, and make the necessary arrangements in advance to ensure you have ample time to rest and recover.
You should also avoid coming in blind to your office as the work-related stress is more likely to worsen your post-trip fatigue. So, make sure to call your colleague a day or two before your return to find out about the latest developments in your office. However, this doesn’t mean you should let work-related stress ruin your trip. The sole purpose of this phone call is to know what to expect on your return and prepare accordingly.
Get a Massage
A simple body massage is a great way to relive the muscle pain and refresh your mind as well. Although getting a full body massage from a certified therapist isn’t going be cheap, it is worth every penny you spend. It will allow you to sleep better. So, an hour of boy massage followed by a hot bath and a few hours of sleep is the perfect cure for post-trip fatigue. Getting just a foot massage also works as your legs need to rest and blow off the physical pressure caused by weeks of sightseeing.
Whether it is a foot massage or a full body massage, make sure to use essential oils. Essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, they can relieve muscle pain efficiently. Smoothly rubbing your legs and arms with these oils can also improve blood circulation providing warmth to your body, while the pleasant aroma will boost your mood. Jojoba, lemongrass, lavender, pine, and coconut are a few examples essential oils that you should try.
Take a Leisurely and Therapeutic Bath
After the massage, take a leisurely bath to relax your body completely. Taking an Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) bath is highly recommended. The salt dissolves in water and enters your body through the skin. It relaxes your muscles and loosens stiff joints. Plus, it will detoxify your skin. You don’t need to be an expert to draw an Epsom salt bath.
Make sure the water is comfortably warm, not very hot. Add approximately 1-2 cups of salt to a standard sized bathtub. Add the salt while the water is running to ensure it dissolves completely. Stay in the warm water for 10-15 minutes. You can soak just the part of your body that hurts such as your legs in the water or take a full body bath.
Practice Self-Care during the Journey
Taking care of your health before and during the trip can reduce the post-trip fatigue considerably. Stick with healthy habits such as having a morning workout or yoga routine, eating healthy and hearty meals, and drinking lots of water. Choose a fitness-friendly hotel where you can get your daily dose of exercise. Or you can also learn about light stretching and simple workouts that will keep you in shape and reduce the stress while traveling.
Sure, it can be tempting to eat lots of junk food and drink alcohol while vacationing. However, too much of deep fried food and alcohol can disrupt your body’s ability to fight off the post-trip fatigue. So, try to keep it under control without killing your holiday spirit. Make sure to drink plenty of water, especially if your trip involves a lot of walking and sightseeing. Flying also dehydrates your body. So, drink plenty of water while flying too. Always have a bottle of water beside the bed and drink at least a glass of water every morning as soon as you wake up. Before heading for sightseeing, always drink at least a glass of water.
We all need a long break from our daily routine every once in a while. However, returning home after a great trip and dealing with the post-trip fatigue is easier said than done. Hopefully, the above tips will help you get over the emotional slump and be ready to face the daily challenges with a rested and restored mind and body. What about you? How do you deal with post-trip fatigue? We would love to hear from you. Share your tips and ideas in the comments.