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5 Travel Tips to Prevent Stress & Rejuvenate the Body & Mind

Do you consistently travel for work events or business?

Are you traveling over the next few weeks? As a frequent flyer, my gift for this season is to share the tips that can help you arrive refreshed, calm, and ready to take on challenges (known and unknown!) en route and at your final destination!

Whether it’s for business or for pleasure, I’ve always loved to travel. Being on the go for work adds an additional level of complexity and may require stamina, as does spending extended time with family. Regardless of the reason for a trip and no matter how much we plan, there are always unknowns. We all know weather alone can cause major disruptions. So what do you do when a snowstorm, hurricane, volcanic ash, or even a virus results in canceled flights or destinations becoming off-limits?

1. When things go wrong, stay focused on your intention for the trip. Meeting a client, winning a new account? Inspiration? Relaxation? How you achieve that might look different than what you expected! When you’re focused on the intention, you’re able to see opportunities to achieve the same desired outcome despite extenuating circumstances.

Focusing on YOUR Aligned Purpose allows you to align your actions and decisions with your values, needs, and intentions.

Plane, train, and automobile rides are rare opportunities to disconnect from daily obligations and constant communication. What do you choose to do when you’re seated and settled in for your journey? Watch a movie, scroll through your phone apps, catch up on work, take a nap?

2. Next time, pause and ask yourself: “What would serve me best right now?” I enjoy taking the time to process any thoughts or emotions by journaling during flights. That’s how I practice Emotional Fluency and it’s an important part of my daily mind-body hygiene. It helps me respond to challenges with more calm. Maybe it's the fresh frame of mind travel affords us but personally, I find that flying helps me to be more creative. I allow my ideas to flow using good old-fashioned pen and paper. Check out the Five to Align Journal.

Travel can also be a great opportunity to discover new foods and flavors but it can also wreak havoc on our digestive systems! En route, airport and airplane food or gas station snacks may seem like fun but they don’t always taste great or make you feel great afterward.

3. If you need to maintain high energy levels for client meetings, presentations, a conference, reconnecting with loved ones, or a long day of travel, remember to fuel your Body Vitality. Body Vitality is all about energy. It’s the nutritious fuel and the nourishing movement our body needs to help us feel energetic. You can tend to this before you even leave home by bringing delicious and nourishing snacks so you don’t get “hangry” (hello delays, layovers, traffic, and arrivals when stores and restaurants are closed).

Since the pandemic, on longer travel days we roast seasonal vegetables the night before (olive oil, salt, pepper, and some dried herbs will do) while we finish packing. Then we store them in a reusable container that we recycle at the airport. This lunch or dinner is great for your gut and the starch provides stamina for long days with lots of potential unknowns! Also, the meal doesn’t need to be hot when you eat it.

There are high travel seasons, and then there is peak travel season, particularly at the end of the year. Did you know that last year (despite the pandemic) more than a million people went through a TSA checkpoint in a single day over the Christmas weekend? Lots of travelers can mean a lot more stress and conflict!

4. Allow yourself some time to pause before you meet with family, friends, or colleagues at your destination. Even if it’s 5 minutes of doing nothing except breathing (not scrolling or working). Taking back a few moments just for YOU is a simple but powerful Stress Support tool that can be used before, during, or after a stressful day. It allows you to quickly move your body out of fight or flight mode and into calm homeostasis and it doesn't ADD to your to-do list.

Switching time zones? Our circadian rhythm is a powerful system that is regulated by sunlight and darkness. Changing time zones can disrupt our sleep and sleep is essential no matter where we are in the world! What to do?

5. Get outside (ideally in nature) even for a few minutes so your body can adjust to the new time zone. Take a break to enjoy some midday sunlight. At the end of the day, spend a few minutes under the stars to remind your body that it’s time to sleep! Sleep and a Calm Mind allow us to meet challenges with calm and composure.

Long flight? Have difficulty sleeping or napping on the plane? I love to listen to soothing music, mantras, or meditation. If you’re new to meditation, some airlines like United offer Headspace or you can download other apps like Insight Timer.

If you’re already practicing some of the tips above, BRAVO! Keep doing what you’re doing. Practicing the five key areas mentioned above allows us to approach and experience travel with more serenity and achieve our priorities with less stress and more vitality.

Ready to explore these five key areas further? Discover the Five to Align System.

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