By Nina Ornstein
Everyone needs a little break from time to time, especially during the busy holiday season. I have a few tips that help me maintain my zen when I loose my grounding. Especially the inevitable holiday travel chaos that is bound to greet most of us at the airport this time of year.
- Kick the caffeine! For those who want to know how I manage to sleep the entire flight, despite the turbulence, I’ll say that avoiding caffeine completely on a travel day is my first tip. I begin to get very tired en route to the airport and it’s like the time spent preparing catches up, and finally I’m not feeding myself caffeine to maintain the momentum. I feel myself preparing for the long nap up ahead and I look forward to it. Sometimes when flights are delayed I’m more upset about not being able to nap immediately than the delay itself. So, if you’re so tired, take a nap. Winter is about slowing down so fighting it will only break your immune system down.
- Flip your world – Inverting can do wonders for the mind and the body. It takes every muscle engaging completely to hold the body in an upside down position, so it’s no wonder that inversions are highly strengthening. Reversing your blood flow is fantastic for the entire nervous system. Inversions are a metaphor for life. We must be willing to make the changes necessary to propel toward the people we want to be. Inversions can be intimidating, as can change, but we need to push those fears aside and trust that we are supported in all of this.
- The best nest – Making myself at home, even on the road, helps relieve the pressure of a constantly changing environment. My winter essentials include a giant wool scarf (with fringes) and a hood. This is on every winter plane ride for sure, as well as the panda pillow, a travel buddy of mine from years ago that is the perfect squishy depth between the window and my sleepy head. Other must-haves in my kit: leg warmers, peppermint and lavender essential oils, and decaf tea. Have you noticed they don’t have decaf tea on planes? Who wants to be caffeinated in a flying tube really…
- Daily breathing exercises –Take the time to breathe in the morning and evening, also any time stress levels rise. For example, your super ridiculously long security line at the airport. It’s sounds funny, we think we’re breathing all day long. Just like everything, intentional breathwork takes practice. Try breathing in through your nose gradually building to 8 count inhale, and an 8 count exhale through your mouth. This will cool your nerves before dealing with any apprehension you may feel concerning your upcoming journey. Simply paying attention to your breathing can help, because sometimes when the going gets rough, we hold our breathe.
- Books – Nothing can help the mind escape like a good book. While meditation is a practice that is meant to relieve us of our thoughts, reading engages the mind. With a strong focus on another narrative, we can relieve our constant train of thought and block out background chatter. If travel, the holidays or the weather aren’t your thing, a book can be your best friend. A story to which you can turn when yours has got you down.
As we celebrate the winter solstice, we welcome a time of year that can be outright chaotic for some people, but can actually be a very restorative season with substantial inward growth. Listen to your body and make sure that sleep, or at least rest, is a part of your routine so don’t push it with too much caffeine throughout the day. Spend this down time mindfully crafting your intentions for 2017 and get excited for the journey ahead. Instead of feeling drained, just remind yourself that we’re actually hibernating, saving energy for the next big adventure! If you need that adventure sooner than later just call on me, I have solutions for your unused vacation days. Nina@ParaisoAdventures.com || 212.677.3763