Traveling Light

Five strategies for reducing travel stress -- especially around the holidays -- by Allan Lokos, from "Peace While Traveling? Not Impossible," by Rachel Lee Harris, New York Times, Dec. 15, 2011:

1. Accept the reality that most of what causes stress in travel is out of your control. In fact, you have much less control of things in general than you might like to believe.

2. Feeling rushed is one of the leading causes of stress. Go to airports and bus and train stations extra early. While others may be rushing frantically, you can be strolling leisurely.

3. Check in with yourself. Notice what you are feeling in a particular moment. If it’s annoyance, frustration or fatigue, don’t get all caught up in it. Don’t cling to the sensations.

4. Travel lightly. When I arrive at my destination for the holidays I announce to everyone, “I hope you like this sweater I’m wearing because you’re going to see it a lot.” And mail rather than carry gifts. Even one shopping bag is a nuisance.

5. Those around you are doing their best. Offer a smile that says, “Yes, I know it’s difficult, but we’ll all get there.” Perhaps a little later than scheduled, but you’ll get there. Let someone go ahead of you; it’s part of the holiday spirit.

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Books by Allan Lokos, guiding teacher of the Community Meditation Center in New York: