Love travel and the anticipation of adventure but not the inherent stress? There are so many things that can go awry –from making sure you have all your documents to standing in long lines at the airport after you’ve dodged your way through freeway traffic, travel tress starts before you’ve ever left home, but it doesn’t have to last.
Well-traveled professional acupuncturist/aromatherapist Carla Green offers five easy stress-relieving tips, to make all the difference on the road or in the air:
Five Easy Ways to Relieve Travel Stress
The Relaxing Breath
It may sound simple…but just breathe! You’ll notice that when you feel stressed, you are often holding your breath. This technique, aptly called the relaxing breath, can be done anywhere. Here’s how to do it:
First, sit up with your back straight. Exhale completely. Place your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there throughout this entire exercise. Next, inhale through your nose to a count of 4. Each time you inhale, hold your breath to a count of 7. After you count to 7,
exhale through your mouth each time to a count of 8 (always making a whooshing sound). Remember the pattern is 4-7-8. Repeat for four breath cycles, then breathe normally.
I always travel with two essential oils: peppermint and lavender. Peppermint is awesome for supporting your digestive system when the local food doesn’t agree with your digestive system. It’s also great for rubbing on the soles of sore feet after a long day of walking, as well as keeping you awake while you adjust to a new time zone.
Lavender is the rock star for easing stress. If I feel anxious or just can’t relax, I simply inhale it (after uncapping the bottle, of course). If you’re not allergic to the plants used in these oils, you can also use them topically. A dab on the wrists is another way to incorporate them into your anti-stress routine.
Bonus: the bottles will easily pass TSA regulations so you can put them in your carry-on or hand bag.
Acupressure is the precise finger placement and pressure over specific pulse points on the body. Activation of these points with pressure can improve blood flow, release tension, and balance your body’s energy pathways. This promotes relaxation, healing, and restoration of proper body function.
Heart 7, a point located on the little finger side of the wrist crease, is one of the most powerful relaxation points on your body. Apply deep, firm pressure over the point, hold for 10 seconds, relax the pressure halfway, and then press deeply again. Repeat several times until you feel yourself relaxing.
Regular daily aerobic exercise is excellent for stress reduction. A brisk walk is sufficient to achieve this, and can be accomplished anywhere your travels take you—no gym or special equipment required. Another tip? Get travel insurance (here’s great advice for buying travel insurance ). I’ve heard numerous stories of mishaps abroad that were made a lot less stressful because of this safety net.
I remember one year I had a contract job that was particularly stressful over a period of six weeks. To help create a bit of stress relief, I made myself a playlist that I listened to in the car on the way to work and during breaks. For pure pleasure and enjoyment, nothing compares with music that you love. Put together your own custom travel-soundtrack and take it with you. A pair of earbuds and a cell phone are all you need.
Using these five techniques can produce profound changes in your general health, energy levels, and sleep patterns. Learning how to relax is a skill anyone can learn. It’s a skill, not a pill…therefore, it needs to be practiced. These techniques take minimal time – and the investment is sure to deliver a more enjoyable trip!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carla Green is a Physical Therapist and Registered Acupuncturist who specializes in helping people enhance their health and wellness as well as reverse the signs of aging. She and her husband Bill developed the highly successful Second Chance Facial Rejuvenation® protocol. Visit www.secondchanceface.com for more information. Carla welcomes comments or questions. She can be reached at www.carlagreenyl.ca
The information here is only a suggestion. Always consult your health care provider of choice before trying any new health and wellness related program or regime. Adventures of Carry-on does not offer medical advice and is not responsible for any health choices you make.