Self care on a cruise

Going on a cruise vacation is really fun and exciting, and it is really easy to get caught up in all the excitement, and push your body too hard. With all the activities and access

Going on a cruise vacation is really fun and exciting, and it is really easy to get caught up in all the excitement, and push your body too hard. With all the activities and access to unlimited consumables, sometimes we need to remind ourselves to take a step back and practice some self care on a cruise.

Overindulging

Food is everywhere on a cruise ship. You have access to the buffet, multiple restaurants and shops, all offering food, all day. You can choose to have food brought directly to your room if you want. Have a pizza delivered to your deck chair on the lido deck.. or eat multiple courses in the main dining room, and order 2 desserts if you wish. With all these options and the freedom to eat anything you want, whenever you want, its very easy to overindulge.

Eating all day might sound like fun at first, I mean, it is vacation, right? But if you end up eating all day and not doing something to counteract all those calories, you’ll be sleepy and probably have an upset stomach. It’s a great idea to take advantage of the jogging track or the gym. Take a class, walk on the treadmill, or go shoot some hoops on the basketball court. There are lots of ways to stay active onboard. 

Cruise ships are large! Walking everywhere you go onboard will help you avoid packing on the pounds. It’s also suggested to take the stairs as much as possible when navigating the ship. Try to avoid taking the elevators if you’re able. Not only is it better for you to take the stairs, but its often much faster too. Cruise ship elevators are a busy place and will often be very crowded. Leave the elevators free for people who have mobility issues.

Alcohol is also abundant on a cruise ship. You can get a different kind of cocktail in every venue of the ship. Morning mimosas for breakfast, a bloody mary for brunch, a few beers by the pool, wine with dinner, and a martini in the nightclub.. you get the picture. It is very easy to drink more than you’re used to on a cruise and end up feeling a bit under the weather as a result.

Preparation can be your best friend in this situation. Stay ahead of the game by drinking plenty of water. Keep hydrated. With every alcoholic drink you have, have a glass of water. It’s a good idea to carry a water bottle with you so you always have the ability to drink water.  I suggest bringing a filtered, travel water bottle such as this one.

 

 

Also make sure to eat throughout a day of drinking. Having some food regularly will keep you feeling grounded. One of the worst mistakes you can make is drinking too much on an empty stomach – add that to running around in the sun all day, and that is a recipe for a hangover.

If you do end up overdoing it with the alcohol and wake up feeling terrible, here are a few ways you can bounce back quickly so you don’t waste a whole day of your cruise laying in your bed.

-Take a painkiller. Whatever your OTC painkiller med of choice is, bring some along and take it immediately when you wake up with a headache. Bonus points if you remember to take a dose *before* you go to sleep the night before.

-Drink water. Drink lots of it. Then drink some more. Water is life and your body needs as much as you can give it after a night of alcohol, which dehydrates you.

-Eat food. Something you can keep down. Order room service if you need to, or brave the buffet and get some salad, mac and cheese, soup and crackers.. anything that you like and will give you some energy. Carbs are your friend here. Think comfort food.

-Fresh air and a walk. If you can, get out there on the promenade deck and take a walk. The fresh sea air will make you feel so much better, trust me. Walking will stimulate your endorphins and give you energy. Moving your body wiIl also help you digest the food you just ate.

-Sit in a hot tub and/or sauna. Sweating out the toxins and relaxing your body and mind will help you feel better. Speaking of relaxing..

-Get a massage. This one can get expensive, but is very worth it, in my opinion. I know firsthand how much better you’ll feel after a massage. Let a trained professional rub the stress away. You’ll feel refreshed and energized and ready to enjoy the remainder of your day.

Too much sun

Laying out on a beach, taking an outdoor excursion, or spending hours of your afternoon by the pool can lead to lots of sun exposure. Sunscreen is not really optional on a cruise. Getting sunburned can absolutely ruin your vacation. We all know that ultraviolet rays can cause cancer, so it’s better to apply and reapply throughout your day.

Make sure to bring your favorite kind of sunscreen with you, because if you forget and need to purchase it on the ship, it can be quite expensive -and your selection will be limited. You also won’t want to waste your precious time in port wandering around a random town in search of some on land, either. Just be prepared and pack it right away.

Moderation is the key to staying well in anything you do, not just cruising. I know it’s vacation, and overindulging is going to happen. You want to know your limits and how to balance your indulgences with self care. Making yourself sick by eating too much and drinking too much will cause you to miss out on other experiences that you may be looking forward to on your vacation. Do you really want to spend half your vacation sleeping the days away? Or would you rather be exploring, watching, participating? Too much of anything can lead to a bad time, so be sure to know your limits and practice self care on a cruise. You’ll be happier when you can enjoy each day to the fullest.

Comments are welcome, what are some other ways you’d suggest to care for yourself while on a cruise? I’d love to hear your suggestions and stories! Happy cruising! -Kate

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