We are right in the middle of the festive and wedding season, which means it is time to travel. Be it a leisurely visit to a beautiful destination for much needed me-time or a trip to your hometown for a family get-together or a wedding, now is when people start drawing up their itineraries. However, last-minute packing and bookings, traffic, cancellations, or long queues at the airport can get overwhelming and cause vacation stress. However, some simple breathing exercises at moments when you are feeling anxious can help you calm down and be in better control of your situation. (Also read: 5 anxiety-related symptoms you should not ignore this festive season )

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Prakriti Poddar, Mental Health Expert and Global Head for Mental Health and Wellbeing, RoundGlass, recommends these breathing exercises to maintain calm and manage stress during the festive season.

1. Mini-meditations for quick reset

Do you arrive at a destination and have no idea how you got there? Often, we completely ignore what’s around us because our attention is on our phones or on a book. We completely miss out on the journey. A short (5-minute) meditation can help take your mind off such distractions and bring your focus back on the world outside your window seat. It will also help you reset in case you are experiencing any last-minute anxiety.

2. Try affirmative meditation to cope with unexpected stress

Taking deep breaths can help us calm down in the most stressful of situations. While travelling you may encounter unexpected challenges such as bad weather or sudden cancellations of bookings that can make you anxious and stressed. Try doing a mini affirmation meditation to cope with such situations. Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. As you bring your attention to your breath, think of positive messages such as “I feel calm, strong and resilient and strong.” “I breathe out worry, tension and anxiety and breathe in peace, tranquillity and calmness.” “I believe in myself and my ability to cope.” Practice this for 10 minutes to feel more relaxed and positive.

3. Practice meditation/mindfulness while waiting

With mindful awareness, short layovers or delays can become an opportunity for wisdom. If you often find yourself exasperated or simply want to feel less bored or stressed while waiting at the airport, doing a short mindfulness practice can help. Start by calming down by taking a few deep breaths. Let the breath take over for just a bit. Now when you are feeling balanced, see this moment as an opportunity to open your heart. Send goodwill to others around you and imagine them as part of one large human family. Using this time to become a kinder, more mindful traveller may not help you reach your destination faster, but it could help you arrive there feeling more relaxed and allow you to enjoy the journey even more.

After a long stressful year, social celebrations and journeys can help us reset by nourishing our mental and physical well-being. Practice the above exercises while travelling to be more mindful and aware, feel energetic and thrive in every moment of your journey.

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