“Remember, the entrance to the sanctuary is inside you.” — Rumi
Traveling over the holidays is often synonymous with stress and exhaustion. But let’s change that. Approach traveling mindfully, and during that journey — whether it’s a 2 hour drive or 7 hour flight — swap that dread for calm.
Drink more water than you think you need, and (especially if you’re flying) try to skip on coffee, alcohol, and carbonated drinks: you don’t want to consume anything that will increase your anxiety, dehydrate you, or bloat you. Staying hydrated helps your circulation, energizes your body, and powers your brain.
To combat bugs and support calm avoid anything anything that makes you bloated such as lentils and broccoli, and anything salty or greasy, which will dehydrate. Pack some healthy snacks (a Splendid Spoon Drinkable makes a great traveling buddy), and avoid the gas station candy, to help avoid that groggy, post-traveling feeling.
If you’re traveling into a different time zone, adjust your eating times when you set off so you’re synchronized with your destination. As studies show, these adjustments help your body better deal with jetlag.
Whenever you have the opportunity to move around, do! Take the stairs, not the escalator. Walk up and down the aisle of the train or plane. Go for a jog a few hours before you depart. Any exercise, even if it’s walking around the airport lounge, boosts metabolism, improves circulation, and makes you feel happier — think of it as a travel prophylactic.
Breathe and Meditate
When you feel anxious, come back to your breath. Research shows that focussing on your breath and breathing deeply will help reduce anxiety and stress, will energize you, and will create the space for you to be kind and calm. Make the most of the empty time you have when traveling to meditate. This will help control any anxious, angry emotions, and enable you to move and act more mindfully throughout your journey.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time is, simply put, bad for our bodies. When you can’t get up to walk around, stretch in your seat. Put your palms on the armrests and twist your torso from one side to the other. Place your ankle on the opposite knee and let the lifted knee drop out to open your hips. Move your ankles in circles to get the blood flowing in your feet and lower legs. Stretching before, during, and after traveling helps relieve tension in your mind and body.
When you arrive at your destination, you might feel tense and exhausted after all that sedentary, cramped traveling time. To remove that negative energy, have a hot shower or bath with essential oils or Epsom salts to wash off the traveling scents, calm you down, and put you in a more positive, refreshed mindset, ready to enjoy the holiday.
Don’t let holiday traveling stress and anger you. If you start feeling anxious and frustrated, focus on the present moment, breathe deeply, and be content in the knowledge that you have everything you need within you to be calm, positive, and kind.