There's nothing more exciting than boarding a flight with your new spouse and jetting off to a bucket list destination for your honeymoon. After spending months planning a wedding and all the celebratory activities surrounding the big day, you'll likely both be more than ready to unplug, relax, and enjoy some interrupted time together away from your day-to-day lives.
But this concept of "unplugging" is easier said than done. In a world where we're constantly using social media, and our colleagues are only a Slack away, it can be tough to distance oneself from a routine and actually enjoy a vacation. Considering how much time and money goes into planning a honeymoon, you want to take advantage of the opportunity to take a break from how overwhelming life can feel.
"In our lives, we're so used to doing things; we're very uncomfortable with doing nothing," says Toby Maguire, wellness manager at Amanyara, a luxury resort in Turks & Caicos. "It takes a couple of days for people to stop and realize, 'hey, we actually don't need to do anything.' That's when they really start to relax," he says.
Meet the Expert
Toby Maguire is the resident wellness manager at Amanyara, a luxury resort in Turks & Caicos. Maguire has over a decade of experience with professional stress management, breath work, meditation, and Chinese medicine.
Here, we speak to Maguire about tips for managing stress ahead of and during your honeymoon (or any romantic vacation that you're planning).
Consider Meditating Before the Trip
"Busy minds cause busy lives," says Maguire. "It's almost like we're socially conditioned to work hard, to always push ourselves and compare ourselves to other people." He suggests that couples who try meditation—even if it's for five or ten minutes—before they actually go on the trip are likely to go into the vacation feeling centered. "When you start to meditate on a regular basis, your mind starts to settle. When you start to feel comfortable with just being, rather than planning all of these things, you get a lot more clarity about what's important in your life and what isn't," explains Maguire. "Life doesn't have to be stressful." If you're not sure where to start, Maguire suggests apps like HeadSpace or Insight Timer for those in search of something simple and easy to incorporate into a busy workday.
Remind Yourself: You Don't Have to Do Anything
Step number one of decompressing before you even get to the airport is to just remind yourself that you don't have to do anything. So often when we travel, we put pressure on ourselves to see everything as fast as humanly possible—and we forget to just be present. Maguire suggests getting out of that "I've got to do something" mindset, which can feel like autopilot, and instead reminding yourself and your partner that simply being present is always enough.
Book Holistic Therapies Upon Arrival
If you're heading to a hotel or a resort, or anywhere with a wellness space nearby, Maguire recommends heading straight to the spa when you arrive. This will put you in the mindset for relaxation from the outset of the trip, setting you up for success when it comes to unwinding. "That's probably about the best thing [couples] can do to start relaxing straight away," says Maguire. If you're not in the mood for a spa day, you could also consider finding a local yoga class, or just incorporating calming activities—like long walks or reading a book—into your first day or two of the trip.
Communicate with Your Partner
When one or two members of a couple are tightly wound, it can obviously lead to friction. And of course, arguing is completely normal (healthy, even) but if you head into a long honeymoon getaway feeling stressed or wired from the business of daily life, it's more likely that you'll wind up bickering with your partner. Ensure that the two of you are communicating about your feelings ahead of the trip, during travel, and while on your honeymoon. This is another reason that meditation can help quell stress before a big trip; the calmer your mind is, the more likely you are to clearly communicate to your partner and avoid arguments before and during this special time in your married life.
Try to Take a Break from Screens
This one may sound obvious, but it's not to be underestimated. A huge part of the concept of unplugging is doing just that—distancing yourself from stimulation like social media, FaceTime with friends and family, mindless television, and any screen-related activity. Consider using this quality time with your partner as an excuse to set all of those external stimuli aside for a little while. It will allow you both to practice being present in the moment while appreciating spending time one-on-one.