Staying Healthy While Traveling to Investigate

Hours on the road, late nights, fast food, odd eating hours, excessive amounts of caffeine, and snacks at 1am are common occurrences when you investigate regularly. If you look at those of us in the field, you might notice that we aren’t all the healthiest either. It takes a lot of discipline to survive in the field while also making healthy choices. After a recent 4 day excursion, I decided that I needed to take better care of myself. Not only did I feel bad when I got home but my stomach made terrible sounds throughout our last night of investigation. So bad were the sounds that I had to remove myself from any area where EVP work was being done so no one thought they recorded the voice of a small child (which was really just the poor girl trapped in my stomach screaming about my bad food choices earlier in the day). Below are my thoughts on health while investigating and while these things work for me they may not work for you. Evaluate what is important to maintain your health and safety and form a plan that fits you. 

Staying healthy takes planning and a regular schedule when you aren’t on the road. If you don’t exercise at home, you are going to have problems walking up and down 5 flights of stairs at the prison and squatting to rest on a floor could lead to cramps and stiffness. Not to mention the sad groans you make trying to pull yourself back up off the floor. If you plan on doing this regularly, then you need to think about what parts of your body are going to be taxed every time you investigate. 

You are going to do a lot of walking and most locations have more stairs than most of us encounter on a daily basis (I’m looking at you Waverly Hills). You don’t want to be out of breath by the time you make it to the fifth floor so start a walking plan for yourself at home. I start everyday by either walking or jogging in my neighborhood. While I am neither the fastest or most athletic person, I have noticed an improvement in my breathing with just this addition to my day. I also aim to get 10,000 steps everyday because I am very likely going to do at least this many any time I am investigating. 

The next thing on my list is upper body exercise. Carrying equipment around can be tough if you aren’t used to it. I have incorporated daily weight lifting into my schedule while I review evidence. Once again, it’s to your advantage to be able to lift and carry the weight of an equipment case up a flight of stairs so shoot for that as your primary goal. 

When it comes to food, know what you can and cannot eat. Stomach cramps, bloating, and gas are not your friend while on the road. It is important to have a regular healthy diet at home so you know how much food you really need to eat in a day. Plan out foods for your trip that are portable and that can last the duration with minimal worries about refrigeration. I’m a big fan of grass-fed venison bars and cheese sticks. Small oranges, bananas, carrots, nuts, and hummus packs are also good carry along foods. When everyone takes that 1am investigation break, know what you can eat. You can even pre-sort your items into smaller portions to make sure you aren’t eating a ton when you don’t need to. Also, have an idea of what foods you want to eat when you sit down at a restaurant. Just because you are on a road trip does not mean you have to eat every fried food you find along the way. Be choosy otherwise you will be sitting in the command center watching DVR cameras all night. 

Next, water is your friend. Bring plenty to make it through the trip and plan to drink this as your primary beverage. You will feel better than if you down several sodas every day. If you need caffeine, think about the types of caffeine available and how each type makes you feel. While sugar may seem like a good idea, it will often lead to a crash so have sugar in moderation if you want to keep going throughout the night. Also remember that if you do not regularly consume caffeine, you may get anxious and jittery if you start drinking large quantities on an investigation. 

Say “no” to things you can’t physically do. If you can’t eat pizza, then don’t eat pizza. If you can’t climb into a tight dark space, then don’t do it. You are your own best advocate so don’t feel pressured to do something that will make you sick or end with injury. For many of us, our paranormal team is like family so please tell them when you feel uncomfortable or if you have medical issues that keep you from doing things. A good team will be understanding. 

Last, and certainly not least, you must sleep. Find time to rest while you are on the road. You are less effective when you are not rested and you are more likely to make poor choices. Sleep can be hard to come by when you are investigating but you must make this part of your plan. Know where you are going, what the sleeping arrangements are, and pre-schedule your sleep hours. If you are still at the location, make sure all your cameras have power and memory cards then take a nap. You likely won’t get 8 hours of sleep at any point during your trip but 4-5 hours will make a world of difference in how you feel each day. 

I recognize that many will want to make spiritual health part of their investigation plan. I am not a spiritual person and therefore did not include this in my plan. I occasionally participate in grounding or post-investigation cleansing activities out of respect for the person asking for my participation. This does not mean that I’m opposed to the process. Everyone should evaluate and understand how investigations may impact their own spiritual health. Do not feel wrong or awkward if you choose to perform some spiritual ritual to keep yourself safe. We are all on different paths and while we may meet along the way, we must do what is necessary for our own health and safety. With that thought, I leave you to create your own plan. Wishing you health and success on your paranormal journey. 

Until next time, Happy Hunting!

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