Fit Travel Tune-Up Week 2: Slay Your Caffeine and Sugar Dragons!

Slaying Dragon of Caffeine and Sugary TreatsWe’re in Week 2 of the 4 Week Fit Travel Tune-Up, which means exploring ways to increase our energy as we get ready for our next fabulous trip. Are you remembering to take a few slow, deep breaths throughout your day? Feeling the clarity, purpose, and relief from niggling thoughts that a few deep, purposeful breaths can bring? Enjoying the re-charge from a breathing mini-break? Great!

Let’s turn our attention now to two sworn enemies of energy: caffeinated drinks and sugary treats.

I’d like to throw down the gauntlet and challenge you to the following: in the next two days, notice when you reach for coffee or tea or other caffeinated drinks or a sugary treat.

Time for some detective work. Don’t worry about changing what you’re doing. Just notice. How are you feeling just before you slurp or munch? How do you feel after? Is there a particular person, time, place, or feeling that triggers you to reach for your personal dragon?

I’ll bet that you’re reaching for your scaly, slant-eyed ‘pick-me-up’ of choice at around the same time each day. It could be mid-morning; it could be mid-afternoon – or both. So, why is this a problem?

Let me count the ways:

  1. It is a placeholder for something else. Real food, sleep, moving your body, taking a true mental break to recharge… That cookie or cup of coffee is like a designer knock-off… it looks the same, but it isn’t, and your body knows it.
  2. It is like a mirage in the desert. You think that if you just have enough of it… a few more cups of coffee, another candy bar…you’ll feel better. But you never quite get there. You feel different for a while, but the caffeine and the sugar make promises they cannot keep. You never get to genuinely feel good.
  3. It’s the routine, stupid! Humans like routine and ritual. Our┬álate-morning or late-afternoon caffeine and sugar quickly become dear to us. Like a family member who bad-mouths us each Christmas or a favorite frenemy, we know we should say goodbye, but we don’t really want to.

What to do? Time to parent yourself! Would you feed your kid caffeinated drinks and sugar several times a day, every day? Face the hard truth that caffeine and sugar are lying liars that won’t ever give you what they promise, and channel your inner adult:

  1. Don’t cheat yourself. What’s missing? Sleep? Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. If this isn’t happening, try a quick nap between 1 and 3 pm (visit The Energy Project for more fascinating facts like these). Real food? You know what to do. Moving your body? Ditto. True mental breaks? Here’s what doesn’t count as a mental break: checking your email, watching TV, or listening to talk radio. Instead, give yourself over to something you love to do, get in the flow, and see how rejuvenating those minutes are.
  2. Don’t set the bar so low! You don’t need to settle for feeling ‘ok’. Allow yourself to experiment with actually feeling really, really good. Once you have, your past sugar or caffeine habit will appear as it really is – a pale, paper dragon facsimile of the real thing – YOU, feeling GGGGGRRREEEEEAT! (Cue Tony Tiger) And who knows what you’ll be able to create, complete, or begin anew once you’re feeling wonderfully yourself again?
  3. Experiment with a more energizing routine. Call on that love of new experiences and that curiosity for what’s different that you indulge when you travel, and use it to put these bad boys to bed. A bike ride, a walk, a nap, a visit with a beloved pet, a few minutes of relaxing breathing, really connecting with someone you love, a light, healthy snack, a minute of laughing …what will you use to slay your caffeine and sugar dragons?

Don’t wait until you’re on your trip, feeling sluggish, to realize you want more get-up-and-go!

Slay your caffeine and sugar dragons, start eating and sleeping and breaking for energy BEFORE you go, and have your best trip yet.

Slaying dragons of caffeine and sugary treats

Click here if you want to find out more about the 4 Week Travel Tune-Up.

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