How I wind down
I've got a bunch of tricks to manage stress. Not only negative stress, but also positive stress.
It's easy to get carried away and lose focus with everything going on around you, with all the travel and everything that has to be done. Which is why it's so important to keep a clear head and be able to decide what's important, both at work and in your private life. Such as “don't forget to call mum more often” or “remember to keep touching base with your nephews and close friends”.
Above all, I use transcendental meditation, 2x20 minutes every day. It’s a form of meditation that isn't so focus based. You repeat your mantra and then everything that happens is OK. It's like going into a messy room and throwing everything up in the air – when everything lands, everything is now in the right place. It's also the perfect way to start a flight. I usually board early, meditate down into my subconscious and “wake up” just in time for the meal service. Everything kind of falls into place and I gain a sense of calm. It's also a lovely way to sleep on a plane, if I were to fall asleep during my meditation.
Collapse on a plane
A few years ago, I didn’t possess the tools I have today. I was sitting on a flight between San Francisco and Copenhagen after an intensive week of extremely hectic work. I started thinking about something that was stressing me and then my head started spinning. The next thing I remember was lying in the galley with a stewardess sitting above me trying to wake me up by gently flicking my ear. She managed to bring me round. They were a bit worried that there was something wrong with my heart as I had clutched my chest as I fainted, and they had started to think of making an emergency landing somewhere in Canada. But I was not actually in any danger, simply too much stress and too little sleep. The personnel handled the situation very well, they are trained in first aid and had clearly experienced similar situations before.
That incident was a bit of a wake-up call for me and I sought professional help. After that, there was a bit less partying and more exercise. But above all, it was then I started to meditate. I don't have less to do today than then, more if anything. Plus, more days traveling. But meditation helps me manage this and feel well. And that's the main thing, isn't it?
I’m going to take the Trans-Siberian Express this summer. Then, booking a flight from Beijing on points will be a smart way to get back. One-way intercontinental tickets are really good value with EuroBonus.
I was hungover in Oslo the other week. Was lying in my hotel room pondering my choices the evening before, while checking up on the Vasa Ski Race at the same time. I ended up applying to take part in Swedish classic events: 3km swimming in Vansbro, Dalarna, the 30km Lidingö Cross Country Race in Stockholm, the 90km Vasa Ski Race and then the 300km Round Lake Vättern by bike. It’ll be interesting to see how I manage to find time for the amount of training I’ll need to do in the light of my travel pattern…
July 26, 2018