If we cannot avoid traveling during the holidays, we can try to keep ourselves as calm as possible as we embark on our journeys. Whether we travel by car, train, bus, or plane, it is likely we will encounter delays, crowds, rudeness, lost bags, fatigue, and other people’s distress. Travel offers us a unique opportunity to appreciate that we cannot control much of what happens around us but we can control our response and our attitude to those happenings. As a way to survive (and maybe even thrive) in these situations it is helpful to take steps to keep ourselves as healthy and balanced as possible. When we do this, the obstacles become manageable. We actually CAN be prepared for the inevitable travel challenges.
We need patience, extra time, aromatic herbal teabags, easily accessible relaxation techniques, and distractions. Something as simple as incorporating a breathing technique where we begin to breathe consciously and deeply while waiting on a VERY LONG LINE (there are relaxation and breathing apps, which can be downloaded onto our phone) can make a huge difference in our stress level.
Using these resources can help us from becoming part of the mass grumbling that contributes to the contagion of negativity and short tempers. These resources can guide us to find balance, look for humor in a situation, or at least, find a calm place deep within ourselves. They can actually assist us to lighten rather than darken a mood.
Once we are in the plane, bus, train, it is helpful to have, among other things, a small smooth stone, “worry” or prayer beads, or some other artifact that can help us become more tranquil. We will be surrounded by chaos and these items can focus our energy.
And of course, it is useful to pack chargers and batteries; hand sanitizer; tooth brush and toothpaste; moisturizer; bottled water; playlists of your favorite upbeat music (and comedians); warm socks; a cozy shawl or scarf; and small packages of healthy snacks.