Every holiday season millions of people enjoy time away from their busy routine by jumping on a plane or in a car for an often long journey to visit family, friends and loved ones. However, sometimes the intention to get away and have fun creates more unnecessary stress on the body, mind and emotional state. Listed below are a few tips to de-stress and relax this busy travel season.
- Pack plenty of healthy snacks. Being on the road or in an airport leads spontaneous, often poor, decisions when travelers get thirsty or hungry. If people know that there is a not-so-guilty snack in the bottom of the travel bag this creates some willpower to hold off of that high fat, sugary or salty treat that looks so tempting. Pack enough to share! Stay hydrated.
- Drink at least .5 ounces of pure water per pound of body weight. Start a few days before leaving. Set out your daily allowance in a marked water bottle. Drink even more water if any sugary, alcoholic or caffeinated beverages are consumed. Caffeine actually dehydrates the body!
- Breathe! Simply taking 15 long, slow intentional breaths on a busy day will help you carry on with enthusiasm. You will enjoy getting more oxygen to the brain and this little ‘mini vacation’ helps you reconnect and center. For relaxing use a 4 count inhale and an 8 count exhale. Attach a prayer or mantra for even more intention.
- Do some ‘Office Yoga’. You can stretch in your airplane seat or in the car on a long haul! While hustling about stop and lean up against a corner and press out a knot in your shoulder. Do some forward bending in the restroom. Go outside on a long trip and do a few downward facing dog poses! Be creative and move your body!
- Take time to be in the NOW. So many times when we are traveling, as in life, we are set on a destination. When I get there I will be able to relax… when I finish this project I will take a breather… after this date I will eat more consciously. The list never seems to end. TODAY is the now, do it now! There is no better time than this very moment to implement these tips into your day.
- STOP, listen to your body, still your inner thoughts and simply BE for a moment. Let your surroundings be a part of your inner stillness, no matter how chaotic it may seem.
- Set a 90 minute timer on long trips to remind yourself to move, breathe and drink more water!
- Smile. As the late women’s empowerment mentor, Mary Kay Ash was quoted, “Fake it till you make it… everyone has a sign around their neck and it says: Make me feel important’’. She recommended to smile for 2 minutes like you mean it, and guess what? Your smile becomes authentic and real. The facial muscles are hard-wired into the nerves and this makes the smile FEEL good, for real. So especially when you do not feel like it, smile at people. Your smile may be the only one they receive that day. Through this simple act of kindness we have opportunity to impact not only our own emotional state but to improve the happiness of everyone we come in contact with.
- Hug. Nothing has more healing power than touch.