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Five ways to stay calm when the travel stress hits

David-Prado/istock

1. Keep up your morning routine

From Laurie J. Cameron, author of The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm, and Joy from Morning to Evening: to stay sane on the road, bring your morning routine with you, whether it’s exercise or a nature walk. “I meditate, and do some yoga and journal. Even if that’s only 10 or 15 minutes, that allows me to start my day in a very calm and centred way.”

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2. Don’t wait, meditate

Flight delays and customs queues offer opportunities to “transform waiting into a mindfulness session.” If you’re stuck in a line “feel your feet on the ground and bring attention to breathing.” Instead of resisting a setback, relax into it. “It really takes all the tension and steam out of that moment.”

3. Send good energy to fellow travellers

“Send good wishes, or offer kindness, mentally, to the people around you.” Look at each person and think: “May they get to where they’re going on time. May they have a peaceful day.” Try this in a packed airport or in a traffic jam to lift your mood.

4. Let go of expectations

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“Whether you’re visiting a museum, or you’re attending a meeting in another city or you’re planning a hike in the countryside, we often create strong expectations of what it will be like.” Instead, take in each step of the journey, allowing it to be whatever it is. “One of the things that makes travel so alive and vibrant is to just be in the experience.”

5. Wind down at night

To mitigate against jet lag, practise mindfulness meditation before bed. “Doing a body scan is a simple, systematic way of bringing your attention through your body, from your head to your toes. … It’s a really lovely, unplugged way of relaxing, to help you ease into sleep.”

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