Thanksgiving is a holiday that is often associated with spending time with loved ones, indulging in delicious comfort food and traveling near and far in order to be with family. Unfortunately, this time of year can also prove to be fairly stressful for some. And with the U.S. State Department issuing a travel alert warning of terrorist threats, it’s no doubt that transportation will prove to be even more stressful and delayed than usual. With that in mind, I thought that I would share a few thoughts on de-stressing the travel process.
- Allow for extra time to travel. In general I think that it’s always wise to allow extra time for travel. Although the idea of spending extra time in an airport, train station or in traffic isn’t all that appealing, it beats the alternative. Transportation is often stressful because we are worried about getting where we need to on time, by allowing yourself an extra hour or two, the stress of getting where you need to on time disappears, and you can focus on other things instead. Like figure out how you are going to make time to volunteer over your break.
- Pack a snack and buy some water. No matter what mode of transportation you’ll be using this Thanksgiving, make a point to bring some healthy snacks, and water. (If you’re flying, just bring an empty water bottle to fill up at the water fountain once you get through security). You will likely be so focused on the travel details that you may forget to eat. But don’t do that! Stay satiated and stay hydrated. Not only is this important for your health, but it’s good for your mood too.
- Meditate. For those of you who don’t meditate regularly, I think that now would be a great time to start. Really the point is to just take a few moments to quiet your mind, and turn inward in order to recalibrate and get centered. Here are some great tips on meditating in five minutes.
- Think About What You are Grateful For. Remembering your gratitude and what you are grateful for will not only help the smaller stressors of the holiday in perspective, but will put you in a better mood. Studies show this kind of practice is also good for your health!
- Bring a Great Book and Some Headphones. If you will not be driving, but instead using some other form of transportation, make sure that you bring a great book and headphones. Given the busy pace of our lives these days, it’s not often that we get the opportunity to just read, listen to an audiobook or music for long stretches of time. So take advantage, and enjoy yourself.
Most Importantly, enjoy yourself, take a few deep breaths, and travel safely.