By Davey Wavey

7 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Travel

Stuff the turkey, deck the halls and pour a glass of eggnog:The holidays are officially here! While this may be the most wonderful time ofthe year to some, it’s a busy season of high-stress travel and lots of anxietyto many.

To survive this holiday season without cardiac arrest or anervous breakdown, try following these tips:

1.     Just say“no.” When you make decisions that value your needs, everyone will benefit.By prioritizing yourself, you’ll have the energy—and balance—to deal witheveryone and everything that comes your way. If something stretches you toothin or isn’t in alignment with your needs, politely decline. While you mayfeel guilty at first, it gets much easier with practice.

2.     Considera hotel. If you’re traveling, staying with family or friends is an easy wayto save money. But what you save in money you may pay for in added anxiety; theysay that both fish and guests start to smell after three days for a reason. Ifbudget allows, consider booking accommodations at a motel, hotel orinn—especially if your trip is longer than a few days.

3.     Breathe.It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday madness, so schedule some alone timeto unwind and balance yourself. For me, this means escaping from family andtaking a quiet walk. For others, it may be signing up for yoga classes orscheduling a night of nothing but bubble baths, take out and a few scentedcandles.

4.     Giveyourself a gift. When making your list—and checking it twice—don’t overlookyourself. My holiday tradition is indulging in a massage a week or two beforeChristmas. Like the eye of a hurricane, it helps me stay calm amidst the chaos.

5.     Eatright. Remember, there’s no such thing as “vacation” or “holiday” calories.Your body doesn’t care that you’re on a trip or that it’s Christmas Eve—thecaloric impact of those hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls adds up fast! Optfor wiser, healthier choices and swap fruity or alcoholic drinks with water.Not gaining five pounds will give you one less thing to fret about.

6.     Exercise.For me, going to the gym is like a meditation. It’s my alone time. And bykeeping my body moving, I have the energy to deal with my extended family andall the drama that they might bring. While exercising regularly is a challengefor those of us traveling, do a quick Google search and find gyms near yourdestination. These gyms will almost certainly offer guest pass options—justremember to look up the schedule in advance as holiday hours tend to vary.

7.     Book nowand leave early. Get travel arrangements out of the way now, before thingsget too hectic. And when it comes time to leave the house, allow yourself lotsof extra time. Parking lots get full and security lines get long; I’d ratherarrive at my gate a half hour early than cut things too close and risk missingmy flight.

And if all else fails, remind yourself of what the holidaysare really about: Connecting with family and friends in a special way. If youfind yourself losing perspective, refocus on the people you love and whatreally matters in life.

If you have any additional tips, feel free to share them inthe comments below! And happy holidays to you and yours!

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