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8 ways to live and travel well

8 ways to live well header

When life gets busy, it can feel like there’s no time to think beyond the next item on our to-do list. However, as counterproductive as it may feel, it’s always important to pause and check in on your state of wellbeing.

Studies have shown that improving overall wellbeing often leads to better satisfaction and performance in both professional and personal aspects of life, and it doesn’t take much to start making a change.

Based on our proprietary eight pillars of wellbeing – developed through years of scientific research – here are eight simple practices that can be integrated into your daily routine to help you move towards a place of health, happiness and harmony.

1. Rest: Make time to recharge

Resting and restoring our energy levels ensures we are better prepared for whatever each new day holds. But sleeping is not the only way to recharge our batteries.

Physician and book author Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith suggests there are seven types of rest, with common ones being physical, mental and emotional. There’s also sensory (reducing background noise), creative (making time for fun activities), spiritual (having a sense of purpose) and social (spending time with people you feel comfortable with).

Consider these other aspects of rest next time you feel exhausted. And when it comes to sleep, it could help to invest in black-out curtains and a comfortable pillow, or turn your bedroom into a sanctuary with soothing scented incense cones and soy wax candles from Banyan Tree Essentials.

2. Movement: Find a fitness routine that suits you

Maintaining physical health is an investment that will reward you in the long-term, and this can be done by building an active lifestyle through a regular fitness routine.

Start small and set realistic targets. That might mean a 10-minute walk each day and extending it gradually until you can manage an hour. For added motivation and more social interaction, invite an exercise buddy to your workout or exercise class.

Pick an activity you truly enjoy, as it will be easier to build consistency. For example, if you’re someone who enjoys nature, don’t enclose yourself in a gym. Instead, head out and breathe some fresh air on a hiking trail, or grab your bike and discover some cycling routes.

3. Nourishment: Meet your nutritional needs

Everyone’s dietary needs are different, but a few key principles still hold true. To eat well means focusing on fresh, nutritious meals, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, while consuming sweet treats and savoury snacks in moderation.

Beyond that, it helps to take a more personalised approach such as speaking to resident nutritionists at Banyan Tree Veya who can help create bespoke dietary programmes based on a plant-forward menu.

It also helps to know where your food comes from, in order to make responsible food choices that support your health and the environment. That’s where seasonal, locally grown produce offers a great option. ORI9IN, an organic farm in Chiang Mai in Thailand, allows visitors to learn more about their food, and even dine at the onsite restaurant Waiting for May.

4. Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness

Just as physical exercise strengthens the body, practising mindfulness brings mental resilience and clarity. This simply means being fully present in the moment, and acknowledging and accepting thoughts, feelings and sensations as they appear.

Even a short meditation session can help bring clarity to your mind, while exercises like yoga promote focus on the breath even as you work through a series of centuries-old poses. A quick retreat could help kickstart your mindfulness journey, especially one at a Banyan Tree Wellbeing Sanctuary under the guidance of wellbeing experts.

5. Connection: Support your social side

We are social creatures who need to feel a sense of belonging around people in order to feel emotionally healthy. Even if you have a busy schedule, seek opportunities for connection in your everyday life. Catch up with friends, play a team sport or try a new experience with a loved one to help you forge deeper bonds and create new memories.

For example, taking part in group activities like a paper lotus-making class with your children at Banyan Tree Lăng Cô or a kayaking tour around Mayakoba can help you build shared experiences while having some fun.

6. Growth: Pick up new skills

Never passing up an opportunity to expand your knowledge means the whole world becomes your classroom. Especially during travel, there are often many opportunities to learn something new in an unfamiliar, exhilarating environment.

Sign up to a workshop for a dose of inspiration and enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes with every achievement. What learning adventure will you embark upon? Perhaps try a new sport like Muay Thai or master authentic recipes during a cookery class, both of which are available at Banyan Tree Bangkok.

7. Groundedness: Get in touch with the environment

Sometimes we can be so wrapped up in our fast-paced life of phone and emails, that we forget to pay attention to the natural world around us. As natural beings ourselves, it is important to stay connected to our environment, as studies have shown that spending at least two hours a week in a natural habitat can play a significant role in boosting emotional and mental wellbeing.

One meaningful way to travel can be to seek experiences that help you connect with the physical destination, such as taking a cruise down the Sebung River, listening to monkeys swinging in the trees and spotting snakes as the boat meanders past mangroves.

8. Practice: One step at a time

The Chinese proverb, ‘A journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step,’ relates well to the concept of wellbeing, which is in fact a lifelong journey. Rather than seeing it as a daunting one-off big change in your life, it’s more beneficial to approach wellbeing with small, consistent steps.

So rather than tackling Mt Fuji in Japan, introduce small changes such as 10-minute meditation sessions or barefoot walks into your daily routine. When something feels good, it’s worth making it a sustained practice.

Follow these wellbeing pathways whenever you can to chart a path towards a calmer mind, increased happiness and deeper connectedness.

Our inaugural anniversary campaign Live Well, Travel Well runs till 4 October 2022, with 33% off stays and spa journeys.

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