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12 Top Tips for Staying Healthy During Graduation Season

Are congratulations in order for a graduate in your life? Graduation is a very exciting time! Years of effort and investment have finally paid off, and now it’s time to celebrate!  But staying on a healthy track while traveling and celebrating can be challenging. Check out my tips below and enjoy the celebration!

Do the festivities require travel?

Traveling, whether you are driving or flying, can mean traffic jams, flight delays and unhealthy food choices that can lead to regret. Basic planning is essential to your well-being. Seeking out restaurants and grocery stores along your travel route is a simple step that will provide you options and prevent any surprises. Fortunately, there are free apps that help you locate healthy options.  My favorite is Happy Cow.

A lot of airports today have healthy choices, so familiarize yourself with your departure and arrival airports. A quick search online reveals plenty of options that will help you plan your meals. There’s only so much you can pack in your luggage!

1. Invest in coolers and food storage items

2. Identify food options along your travel route

3. If you’re staying at a hotel, inquire about refrigerator availability

4. If you’re staying with family and friends, talk with them in advance about your food needs.  Clients sometimes tell me that this can feel uncomfortable because they don’t want to be a “burden,” but friendly communication can actually ease the stress on everyone involved and can ensure a better experience for all.

The big day

What’s the plan for the big day? Planning and packing can be a challenge, for example, if the ceremony is outdoors and followed by a fine-dining celebratory dinner. Thinking through event day in terms of lifestyle, food, and attire can be overwhelming.  Hopefully some of these tips will help you think and plan ahead.

5. Pack accordingly. Be sure to bring a pair of walking shoes in the event there’s time to get in a little exercise, or at least tour the campus (nothing like walking a mile in heels).

6. Stay hydrated! Hydration is essential especially at an outdoor ceremony. Dehydration can lead to headaches and fatigue, which can ruin any plans for celebration after the ceremony. Bring your own bottle!  Check out this HYDAWAY Collapsible pocket-sized water bottle.  I never leave home without it!

7. Be sure to bring your own snacks. Ceremonies are typically long and vending-type foods are sometimes the only option. Some good options include your favorite nuts (pack them in a Ziploc bag), a banana or a protein bar.  Which protein bar is your favorite? 

8. Plan for the celebration dinner. Be sure to check out the menu in advance to be sure it’s going to work for you (or have a back-up plan).

After parties

After parties are where all the fun is. Usually, after party fun includes alcohol, carbs and lots of sugar. Be prepared with the below tips and enjoy!

9. Have a plan for what you’re going to eat and drink and what you’d prefer to avoid.  Thinking it through in advance (I can help you with this) will help you feel prepared, in control and keep you on the right track! 

10. Eat something before the party or bring your own healthy snack to curb your appetite. This will help you avoid temptations that you might regret later.

11. Don’t be intimidated by food pushers.  Saying, “maybe later” instead of “no thank you” can sometimes keep them at bay.

12. Drink lots of water!

Celebrating shouldn’t mean that your wellness goals have to fall by the wayside. Remember to plan ahead. With a little thought and effort, you can preserve your wellness (and your sanity) throughout graduation festivities.  Have fun and hats off to the graduate!

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