The Gazelli Guide to Holiday Wellness
Holidays are something we look forward to – at golden time of relaxation and unwinding, pleasure and the leisure to immerse ourselves in the things we want to do. But that freedom can come at a cost if our wellness routines – the rituals that anchor our physical and emotional wellbeing – are abandoned along with our daily routine. We asked our experts for tips on the best ways to prepare for a holiday and to continue to look after ourselves whatever our time off throws at us.
Boost your system: Changes in routine can often unbalance our bodies, so oriental medicine expert Phoebus Tian recommends a course of acupuncture before the trip to boost your ability to ward off sickness. Acupuncture can also work well to rebalance systems suffering from jetlag.
Boost your willpower: Habit coach Dr Heather McKee suggests choosing just one intention to maintain holiday wellness. So make one commitment before you set off – it could be as simple as drinking more water, eating a healthy breakfast every day, meditating or ensuring you have a 30-minute walk.
Boost your enjoyment: Reiki master Jasmin Harsono likes to create a mood board before her holiday, collecting images or words that evoke what she hopes to find: specific foods and drinks, scenery or sights, activities such as swimming, reading, walking or sightseeing. This gentle preparation can help to focus your mindset before the holiday and ensure you get the most out of it once you are there.
Pack for pleasure: Jasmin suggests selecting a range of favourite things, old and new, to take with you – a new book or an old favourite, your holiday journal, a much loved dress that has associations with good times in the past, something you have bought just for this trip that encapsulates all you hope to enjoy…
Healthy hand luggage: Heather recommends packing snacks such as nuts, hard fruits, protein bars, tea, seeds or rye bread to replace unhealthy in-flight meals or as snacks for the holiday to come. Having a healthy snack can help us to avoid getting so hungry we forget our healthy eating goals and instead just grab whatever is available.
Learn to lift: Your suitcase may be bulging, but you can learn how to move it without strain. When lifting heavy luggage, says Phoebus, it is important to keep your back straight, squat as low as you feel comfortable, then lift the bag using power from your legs instead of your back.
Combat sickness: Phoebus recommends applying pressure to acupuncture point PC6 (about the width of two fingers down the arm from the wrist crease, between the two tendons) if you feel queasy during the journey – or try placing a piece of fresh ginger on this part of the arm, held in place by a bandage.
Sit smart: dangling or stretched-out legs can cause stress on the lower back so try to sit with the knees at a 90-degree angle. Use a small pillow or rolled blanket to support the lower back and stretch or walk around to break up long periods of sitting.
Eat, drink and be mindful
Water, water everywhere: Keeping hydrated is a summer essential – and because research has shown we can misinterpret thirst for hunger, drinking copiously can help us to avoid the temptation to eat less healthily, says Heather. She recommends investing in a reusable water bottle, carrying it with you throughout the day and keeping it in view as a visual prompt to keep hydrated.
Eat cool: Our nutritional therapist Alice Mackintosh suggests that one of the reasons we fail to eat well when we travel is because we are low on energy. Alice recommends choosing foods with a high water content such as cantaloupe melon, cucumber, grapefruit, strawberries and watermelon or foods containing electrolytes that help keep the body’s fluid balanced – examples include bananas, coconut, avocados and spinach.
Skin safe: Collagen is easier to repair than to replace, so use an SPF every day and an antioxidant-rich formulation at night such as our Intensive Age-Repair Cream with peptides to help improve elasticity and strengthen the skin, recommends our skin expert Valerija Lifanova. Warmer weather can cause skin to become oilier and more congested so it’s important to exfoliate gently to remove dry skin and regulate excessive sebum production. Our illuminating Perfecting Skin Polish is formulated with regenerative Gazelli White Oil for a radiant and healthy complexion.
Sun scarred: If the worst comes to the worst and you are left with sunburnt skin, Valerija suggests gently cleansing with Skin Balancing Cleaner, then splashing with cold water followed by cold compresses. Apply Ultimate Firming Serum to repair damage and finally Ultra Nourishing Saviour mask cold from the fridge to lock in moisture.
Keep fit: Exercise isn’t just for the gym – you can keep yourself in shape by going for long walks on the beach, in the countryside or through the city, practising some gentle stretching, sea bathing or doing laps of the pool, suggests Heather.
Breathe deep: If you find your mind is wandering and taking you away from enjoying the present, Jasmin suggests focusing on your breath, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth and noticing what you feel: the temperature, where the breath travels and where it may need to expand. You’ll find your attention returns to the present.
Try something new: Heather recommends a holiday as the perfect time to try out a new healthy habit such as meditation, which can help you manage the stress of travelling on a plane or train – all you need is an app and your headphones. Practising a new skill on holiday makes it more likely you will adopt it as a habit on your return.
Make the most of every moment: Jasmin suggests being mindful to maximise your appreciation of every moment of your time away: “If you are walking, be aware of your footsteps and take in your surroundings. If you are eating, think of where the food came from, its look, taste and textures. Using your senses to take in what’s around allows you to live in the moment.”
Gazelli House, our wellness space in South Kensington, offers a range of treatments to help you to get holiday ready. You can find out more here.