fitness · gadgets · habits · self care · trackers · traveling

More movement = a less cranky traveller

Unless I’m in a car, I’m not a good traveller.

I’m not afraid of flying or anything like that. I just feel disconcerted by the whole ‘hurry up and wait’ nature of flying anywhere.

I feel like I’m stuck in the in-between the whole time I am travelling, and the fact that I usually have to head to the airport around 3am never helps. (Such are the travel woes of living on this island – fewer flights and limited departure times.)

So, really, it’s the perfect recipe for a cranky Christine – disturbed sleep, a lack of control over my schedule, feeling crowded, disrupted meal times, limited bathroom access, and an even looser sense of time than usual.

A view of a plane’s wing as taken from a passenger window.
Image description: a photo of the plane’s wing as taken from my window. The sky is various shades of blue and there are clouds quite a distance below the wing.

I do my best to minimize how disruptive these things are for me and I do what I can to remember that travelling makes me cranky so I need to be patient with myself and with everyone else.

I think (I hope!) I’ve gotten pretty good at being patient with other people but I sometimes forget about being patient with myself so I often arrive at my destination feeling rumpled, frustrated, and fed up.

But, on a recent trip to Sudbury for a conference, I discovered that I had an unexpected ally in my desire to arrive at my destination a little less frazzled…

My wrist spy! (Content warning: the post at that link is about grief.)

Yep. My Apple watch made a HUGE difference for me in this trip.

The fact that it changed time on its own helped me to *be* in whatever time zone I was in, which helped me feel a little less in-between.

My reminder to take my meds was obviously helpful.

But really, the most useful thing was being able to see that I wasn’t getting my usual movement in – I was sitting too long, my exercise minutes weren’t increasing, and I wasn’t working toward my move goal.

When I was on the plane, those flat numbers inspired me to stretch a little instead of just sitting still. (Yes, I was careful not to disturb my seat mates.)

In airports, I did a little chair yoga, stood up to wait, and did a little extra walking around, just to keep those numbers moving. (Like I’ve said before, I love how my Apple watch helps me to remember that little bits of movement all count…and they add up!)

A photo of a person’s right foot resting on their left knee.
Three important things to notice in this photo – 1) my sneakers! With gold stars! 2) my water bottle – which was another ally in the battle against crankiness 3) the strangely mesmerizing airport carpet. Image description: In this photo, I’m sitting on a chair and I’ve taken the photo looking down at my right foot and ankle resting on my left knee and I am about to lean forward to stretch my right hip. I’m wearing black leggings and white canvas sneakers with gold stars on them. My light green water bottle is standing on the floor to my left.

By the way, if you ever find yourself in need of a way to baffle some burly young men in an airport, I highly recommend chair yoga. They were perfectly nice burly young men and I’m sure the fact that they moved slightly further away from me was merely a coincidence. 😉

As a bonus, my watch also helped me during every day of the conference, reminding me that I needed to stand, reminding me to work toward my move goal, and showing me that I hadn’t gotten my exercise minutes yet.

Continuing to track (and work toward) those things was a wonderfully familiar thing amid the chaos of travel and the fun but out-of-my-usual-routine days of the conference.

Keep up with those three things not only helped anchor me while I was away from home but the fact that I kept moving helped me to feel less tense, less stiff, and more relaxed the whole time.

I didn’t transform into the poster girl for contented travel but I was definitely less cranky.

I’m calling that a victory.

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