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  • Writer's pictureJon Kittell

Travel Doesn't Have to be Intense

Summer has arrived so it is an important time to set intentions and check in with your tool box for staying cool regardless of the situation. Summer can be a very intense time of year with the high temperatures, social activities and revved up expectations. Gardens are booming with abundance, yard-work consumes the fringe hours of the day and outdoor activities and parties fill the schedule fast. Then on top of all of this, summer is the most popular season of the year for travel.

As travel experts Jon and I fully understand the stress of getting out of the house and going somewhere new. The planning, packing and partying can really take a toll on our sleep. Of course we believe with our whole hearts that it is worth it! We have all had those trips that we cherish in the deepest part of our heart because we stepped out of the box and made it happen against all odds. The friendships and connections that you form on a true adventure stick with you for life and the challenges you overcome truly define who you are.

So to summarize this far - summer is hot and the intense waves of activity can lead to high emotions and high stress. It is absolutely worth it to get out of the house, explore new trails, go to your friend's party and have fun! So this blog will teach you a few simple tools to use when you are over it. When you are exhausted and feel like your emotional trigger is going off a bit easier than normal, think of this blog and try this stuff out.

Before I dive in any further, I think it is important to note that I have not only learned these tools from my studies in Yoga, Aryuveda and Energy Healing but I have tried and tested each of these. I have a lot of fire energy and if I’m not careful - summer can totally throw me off balance and and burn my compassionate attitude out.

Tool #1: Take a Cold Shower I seriously can’t even believe that these are my words because most of my life I have had an aversion to cold water. When I was a nomadic river guide and I learned that when I forced myself to bathe in cold creeks, it not only helped my physical body cool down, but it also gave me a mental reset.

Now most of you probably don’t have access to an icy spring creek each day, but you can create this same experience in your shower. A personal tip is don’t feel the water with your hand before you get in. Set the intention to cool off your mind and step in. At first it is going to feel super cold and you might even let out a yip or shout, allow this positive emotional release to happen.

Then stay in the shower. Put you head all the way under the shower head and stay long enough for your mind to start to calm down so you come fully into the body. You will know you are there when the only thing you are aware of is the cold water pouring over your body cleansing you. With time you may start to enjoy this so much that you end every shower with a few moments in cold water. Let us know how this goes.

Tool #2: Give Yourself a Time Out Can you remember back into childhood how a timeout could feel really good. If you're more introverted, this quiet time will help you settle and receive energy from within. If you are more extraverted, this quiet time will help you realize who or what you are currently drawing energy from which is important because sometimes it is not the most important thing.

For example your hiking club could be claiming all of your free time and you are getting so much energy from them that you aren’t interested in playing with your kids at the beach. When we take a time out we can witness and think about where our energy is coming from and where it is going. The best “Time Out” practice I have found is laying with my eyes closed on the couch. Since I rarely watch TV, I don’t spend much time on the couch and it has become a place of haven for me.

It is ESSENTIAL that you set a timer. Try out 20 minutes and do your best to keep your eyes closed even if you don’t fall asleep. Our visual cortex in the frontal lobe of the brain accounts for 80% of our sensory input. If you are feeling overloaded and need to reset - give this part of the brain a break and keep your eyes closed. For extra credit - put on a guided meditation or calming music without any words. The best meditation app I have found is called "Insight Timer" and conveniently this can also be used as a timer. Now please don’t make your “time -outs” too complicated. This tool can be used at any time of the day, even if you have company. Polietly expose your feelings and excuse yourself. In this case, 7 minutes might be all you allow yourself which could save your evening! I promise the party will still go on even in your absence.

Tool #3: Think Ahead If you have ever worked a seasonal job - then you probably know about the “Dog Days” of summer. This is when your skin doesn’t need anymore sun, your job has lost its fun appeal, and the end of the heat is easy enough to see but still too far to taste. One year I worked 29 days in a row before I had a day off and this tip really helped me pull through.

Think ahead. In our culture it is common to create the mental story that, “this party will be the last good party, or this day is the only one you have been waiting for all year.” We put so much pressure on ourselves to make summer the best days of the year so the antidote is to take your mind further in the future. Sometimes we don’t have the energy to go to the beach, or drive to the mountains, or make the salad

for the potluck and that is totally OK!

If you SAVE $100 this weekend by staying home then you are 1/5 of the way closer to placing your deposit on a really big trip ... remember Inbody Expeditions next Nepal trek is only 9 months away! When you are getting the intuitive hit that you need to stay home, think ahead to future opportunities and acknowledge that you are creating space for them.

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