I have a confession to make: although I love the holiday season, I dread it just a little every year.
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Why? Well, if you try traveling with three kids under the age of 10 then you might understand. It’s a stressful thing putting together all the details to get to those magic moments. Then there’s traveling itself. It’s a very small percent of the population who can realistically take a relaxing flight. For most of us, it’s costly, stressful, and time-consuming. For others, it’s scary as well.
Believe it or not, you can get to a place where you are at ease while traveling. Mindfulness is an incredibly powerful tool. By being in the present, we broaden our perspective and become in tune with the flow of things.
Here are a few tips to help you through:
1. Don’t worry about your phone. Once your phone is secured, leave it there. Don’t take it out to tweet or check Facebook. Focus on the task ahead of you and take the opportunity to enjoy being unplugged. If you’re really up for the challenge, stay unplugged throughout the holiday. Make memories. The photos of everyone else’s holiday will still be there when to go through when you sign back on.
2. Have activities ready for idle time. I enjoy a good book or a soothing playlist, but there are endless possibilities here: writing, knitting, drawing. If you’re particularly anxious, a puzzle book might be a good way to keep your mind busy and ease your worries.
3. Remember and adhere to your usual routine as much as possible. The holidays throw us for a loop because of the changes to our schedules and our diets. By sticking to your normal routine, you’re giving your body less shock to handle and more of an ability to process the here and now.
4. Utilize your senses. Make sure to note the differences in your body when you’re scrambling to get from place to place and when you’re waiting. Try to take inventory of your 5 senses when presented with the opportunity.
5. Practice compassion. Recognize that the people around you are likely dealing with a level of stress equal to yours. Unfortunately, some people are better equipped to handle it than others. Consider yourself a part of the lucky few who has the tools necessary to keep their cool and even spread some kindness in the process. At such a tense time, every little bit you do counts, and it encourages others to pay it forward.
With these tips, you’re prepared to travel by land, sea, or skies. Best of luck to you. Enjoy your trip.