De-stressing for Travel

Growing up I traveled a lot!  With a surfing father, we took fantastic vacations to gorgeous (and sometimes remote) surf spots.  I remember enjoying flying.  I took that love of travel on my own and toured Europe a few times, and continued to explore the caribbean.

 

And then I had my first child.  I went to fly to Colorado from the east coast, and something was different, however I did it.  A few months later, I went to fly to Florida, I made it there and then panicked.  I just couldn’t fly back.  I called my the husband in Maryland and said you are going to have to come get me in a car.  My child had a stomach bug and I did end up getting on the return flight home.  And then I didn’t fly for 10 years.

 

Over the last few years I have decided to fly again.  It hasn’t been easy, and each and every time I apply my own stress relieving techniques to get me through.  I love this world.  I love that we have the opportunity to wake up in the morning in one area of this beautiful planet and go to bed in another.  I want to share this with my kids as my parents shared it with me.

 

As I type this message to you I have a few other tabs open on my laptop with flight searches for my next trip to L.A. next month.  I haven’t clicked purchase yet because that old fear is bubbling up.  So I dug up this recent interview I had with Kristance Harlow of Sharp Heels.  She heard about my mission to help women get over their own limiting stress reactions and wanted to hear about how I deal with some of mine.  Here is the interview as it was published in the online magazine.

 

And here’s to you busting your next limiting stressor!  What is it?

 

 

Jessie Lucas the Traveling Vivacious Mama

In a cozy rural home, nestled against a mountainous Vermont forest, lives the Vivacious Mama Jessie Lucas. Jessie shares her little clearing in the woods with her partner, two sons, and four cats. An all-around healthy living guru, she spent ten years helping others learn how to reach their fitness goals through yoga, exercise classes, and personal training.

 

Having gone through a divorce followed by life as a single mom in graduate school; she found self-empowerment through learning Aerial Yoga, Thai Bodywork, and meditation techniques. After discovering her own inner peace, Jessie wanted to help other women learn to utilize tools to stay stress-free, happy, and healthy. That was the catalyst for starting her Vivacious Mama business in the summer of 2013 – women helping women.

 

“I would get so upset seeing women become disempowered when taken over by stress or a situation that drained their energy,” Jessie speaks of her business vision with passion. “I am a lover of community and sisterhood.”

 

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Travel has been an important part to building her business. She has been traveling back and forth from Vermont to Los Angeles several times in the last few months alone, “This level of travel for work is new to me. Previously my work travel was car or train travel to places in the North East. It is exciting to be reaching wider and traveling farther.”

 

Jessie developed a crippling fear of flying after her first child was born. After avoiding the boarding gates for ten years, she decided to face her fears and take advantage of the great things travel has to offer. Utilizing the same self-soothing techniques she teaches her network of Vivacious Mamas, Jessie got back up in the air. She wanted to grow her business and for her children to travel, “It is still difficult to travel without the kids. I go through heartache each time. This doesn’t necessarily get easier for me, but I have come to a place of trusting my travel instincts.”

 

Jessie thanks her partner for being incredibly supportive and for being there to nurture the children when she is away. Travel can put strain on a relationship, but Jessie says it doesn’t have to. “We have our things we do to keep the love alive when we are apart. We always communicate clearly about the trip during planning stages so that there is a feeling of being in it together. We keep in touch when I’m away with FaceTime, phone calls, and texting. I love texting her pictures of where I am so there is a sense of sharing space. We usually plan a date night upon return to reconnect and celebrate the experience.”

 

Vivacious Mama is ahead of the curve in terms of vision and practice. Jessie developed a virtual stress detox program called “Stress to Zest” so that women all over the world could get involved. She hopes helping women by connecting virtually will allow her the freedom to travel with her children in the future. She says, “I see Vivacious Mama as a virtual place for women to connect and lift each other up as we re-frame our relationship with stress and claim our empowered energy. I also have plans in the works for super fun live retreats in gorgeous destinations where we can come together in movement, music, dance, delicious food, and fun.”

 

Jessie is worried about how much women are extending themselves and putting other people’s priorities before their own. She says, “Remember that taking care of yourself helps to take care of others.” She encourages everyone to take time to self-care. She explains how taking care of your own health and happiness creates a “feminine empowered energy” that is fun to be around. Her biggest piece of advice is to remember that, “your body is your ally. It sends you messages all the time about what it needs. Listen to these messages and respond. This is a skill that takes hosing and travel is a great time to practice when other life responsibilities are not around.”

 

Since de-stressing and maintaining personal balance in life is her specialty, she shared her top tips for travel with us:

 

Breathe – “It is so easy to forget to breathe when you are busy packing, planning, and getting from one place to another. When we have shallow breaths we are often in fight-or-flight mode and our nervous system reacts in a stress response. When we take deeper, slower breaths, we switch our nervous system to rest and restore and are able to be more present and enjoy our travels.”

 

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Stretch – “This may be my favorite tip. Our mood is deeply affected by our body’s posture. Travel can wreak havoc on posture. We are in cars and planes and movement is restricted and many of us slouch when seated. This facilitates a restricted range of emotion, often leading to irritability and tiredness. I am that crazy lady doing yoga at the gate waiting for my flight, but I’m telling you it helps. I wait standing and moving my body, even gentle swaying in place, this keeps my muscles active and blood moving.”

 

Sleep – “This can be a difficult one on the road. When I can, I choose flight times that allow me to keep my sleep patterns. I have tried to make travel times more efficient by taking a red-eye, but this totally wiped me out. When sleep schedules are disturbed taking a few intentionally quiet meditative minutes can be both calming and revitalizing.”

 

Integration Day – “It is super important to have a day (or days) after travel before returning to your normal life rhythm. When we get right to the rhythm of daily life, especially if it is a busy rhythm, we do not give our body’s systems time to adapt. This can lead to stress, exhaustion, and sometimes getting sick. I schedule this transition time into the trip calendar, like it is like a meeting or other event I wouldn’t miss. Prioritizing down time leads to more productive returns.”

 

Nutrition – “I am diligent about staying hydrated and I always travel with food. I pack healthy snacks so that I don’t have to rely on on-the-go options if they don’t fit my food preferences. When dining out I make sure to prioritize vegetables and keep sugar and alcohol to a minimum. I usually boost my immune system with food based immune boosting nutrition and sometimes supplements.”

 

Exercise – “Most of my own workouts are bodyweight works like Yoga, Pilates, cardio, and bodyweight strength training. These are easy to take on the go. I also take personal dance breaks! I love to dance, so it feels good and feels like I am doing a little something for myself. Dancing gets me breathing and produces mood lifting endorphins. It also gets the muscles working which helps to shift stress chemicals out of the system. I listen to my body during travel. Sometimes my body wants to be in a more restful place, in that case I don’t push with the workouts, and prioritize stretching and resting.”

 

 

 

Author:

KRISTANCE HARLOW

SharpHeels Travel Editor, freelance writer and editor in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A self-declared culture nerd and travel addict. “Travelling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.” – Lisa St. Aubin de Terán

READ MORE BY KRISTANCE HARLOW

 

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where body practices are nourishment, not punishment?

Join the discussion in my private Facebook Group e-motion HERE!

 

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