The Two Levels of Holiday Travel Stress

The season of travel stress is gearing up with next week’s American Thanksgiving and looming Christmas and Hanukkah holidays.   It’s the kind of stress that can bring out the worst in anyone but because we are either going to events involving family or actively escaping them another stress may also be triggered.  The stress of unresolved family issues and emotional wounds.   The things that happen to us on the road, in airports, or other travel terminals can take us on an inner flight to other places in our psyche that are aching to heal.    Here are some examples…

Are you mad at the airlines because your flight is late or that your younger sibling is always late for family gatherings? or that a certain parent or spouse or ex never delivered as promised or needed?

Does the site of happy families travelling in packs at the airport remind you of something you never had with your family – a closeness, being heard, being valued or the resources to travel together?

When others cut  you off in traffic are you thinking of your sibling who always cut you off from what you were entitled to?

When you feel the stress of travelling is it just the travel experience or are you travelling somewhere else in your psyche and taking it out on the scenario before you?   The holidays – and travel glitches are a great place to start –  give us an opportunity to ‘wake up,  reflect on life, our patterns and where we need to shine our inner light of love and forgiveness next.  Sometimes, this can be a call for more inner work, or an active exercise of forgiveness.

For real travel stress – pro-act by planning ahead, having a plan B, be flexible and spend time envisioning the trip ahead to send your energy there with a plan for everything working out well.

For stress resulting from inner travel, especially if your therapist is out-of-town, or a repatterning is not possible try some of these healing exercises

1. Journal your observations and feelings.  Make notes of the travel events that bothering you and ask yourself what other scenario possibly long past does this remind you of.     End your observations with a statement or two of forgiveness.

2. Appreciate everything you can about the experience. Inside every problem is an opportunity to shift and change to something more positive.  Reflect on what that may be for you.

3. Write out the strengths of your parents, then of your siblings and extended family.  Remember that these strengths are also contained in you.    Notice everyone’s strengths and appreciate them when you see them in person.

4. Be a helpful stranger.   Share a smile, let someone in line, send silent blessings, invoke angels to help at the check out counter, imagine your heart as a beacon of love with a 500 watt light bulb.  Imagine your heart’s light melting all negativity.

5.  Play music that calms you or inspires you.    Here is a favorite of mine – it’s  Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”.  I recently found it on YouTube.com and find it puts me in the mood for serious insight journalling.   I also love how he appreciates the musicians at the end.  Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e39UmEnqY8

How do you manage the two levels of travel stress?

With love and light

Carolyn

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