PCS season is a time of trials unlike those you’ve ever experienced. Even those of us who have moved in the double digits know that no two are alike and you can’t prepare for what’s ahead. And one of the most challenging parts about moving is staying healthy.
Once your sleep-deprived, stressed out and exhausted from getting everything out of your house, then you have to clean it, putting all that dust back into the air. Then you live on top of the rest of your family members in hotel rooms and cars as you drive across the country. It’s a few weeks before your body gets used to the new time zone, the new allergens, the new house. It’s quite easy to fall sick during this time frame.
It is preventable! By eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep, you can prevent most of the “PCS plague.”
Here are some ways to stay healthy while you are moving your life from one place to the next:
Eat your veggies
Have you noticed that when you eat out, you hardly pick green things? Sometimes the options for sides include broccoli or green beans. Occasionally you may opt for a salad, but most people focus on proteins and carbs when eating out. This is fine for a meal or two, but when you are moving, you tend to eat out a lot. Making it a point to add veggies to your meals when moving will help keep you healthy.
Sometimes it’s hard to get enough vegetables in when you’re not cooking. You could add spinach to an omelet or scrambled eggs. Try a salad with grilled chicken for lunch and make sure one of your sides are vegetables at dinner. You could also cook in your hotel room or visit the salad bar at your grocery store instead of ordering pizza
Get enough sleep
Sleep is hard when you’re stressed out. Quality sleep in a hotel room seems impossible. It is especially tricky when you have kids or a pet or a spouse who snores. But, quality sleep is essential when you are moving. Try to take advantage of the downtime in the hotel by turning off the lights earlier than usual. Give your body a chance to relax before falling asleep.
If you have small kids, who need to go to bed early, take advantage of that! Early to bed and then early to rise. You’ll get a headstart on the breakfast lines and hit the road first thing. A bonus tip, if you’re driving for several days, get a hotel with a pool so you can tire out those little bodies and they can fall asleep faster. So you can too.
Enjoy the fresh air
Hotel rooms always seem stuffy, and without windows to open it’s easy to feel like you are stuck inside. One of the best things for keeping your immune system up is fresh air! When you go from a dusty house full of moving boxes to the car to the hotel, you often forget about being outside. Try driving for a few minutes each hour with the windows open. Take a walk outside your hotel when you arrive, and each day you’re there, to get a little exercise and load up on Vitamin D and fresh air.
If you have pets, they are great at reminding you about getting outside. Treat your dog to an extra long walk after a long day in the car. Consider stopping at a rest area with lots of grass to run and play (for both of you), instead of just cruising through the drive-thru. A few extra minutes of time outside during the day can improve your mood and your health.
Try these three things when moving this next PCS season. Keep them in mind for any vacations you may take as well! The key to enjoying your travels is to stay healthy!