Imagine it’s 7:50am on Monday. You’ve managed to make it to the subway platform in time to beat the long line at the coffee shop near your job and arrive at work with 30 minutes to spare. That’s when, as you stand there waiting for the four train to arrive, you hear a monotone voice echoing through the station with the dreaded announcement…
“Southbound two, three, four, and five trains are not in service due to an earlier incident. Please allow extra travel time.”
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The frustration that ensues after that message inevitably sets the tone for the rest of your day. And, if you experience similar inconveniences often enough, they can take a serious toll on your mental health.
“Regular subway commuting is not traumatic like being stuck in a tunnel can be, but it can become a daily hassle,” says licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Melanie Greenberg. “Daily hassles are not earth-shattering in themselves, but can accumulate over time to cause a chronic stress response.”
Few things are more quintessentially New York than the city’s illustrious subway system. Like most other things in the Big Apple, the subway is as famous as it is unpredictable. On any given day, delays, crowding, and interesting personalities (to say the least) are just par for the course.
So what can you do to prevent descending into chronic stress? Here are some tips on how to practice self-care when you encounter the day-to-day stresses of New York City subway life.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
The subway is notoriously temperamental. So anticipating possible inconveniences and being as prepared for them as possible is a great approach. Arrive at the station early. Make sure you have a bottle of water or a snack. Wear layers in case the subway gets too hot or is too packed.
Just do everything within your control to make the things that are out of your control less stressful.
Overcrowded subway trains and platforms can become overwhelming. To offset the stress that naturally occurs in tight spaces surrounded by people, Dr. Jodi Ashbrook, life coach and founder of “The Yoga Movement,” suggests short, guided meditations for beginners.
“I encourage my clients in these situations to tune in to a short guided meditation to refocus their mindset, gain clarity and get inspired and/or decompress from their day,” Ashbrook says.
Utilize the time wisely
Train delays don’t have to mean a loss of productivity. Take the time to jot down your to-do list for the day or, if you’re on your way home, a grocery list for when you finally do arrive at your destination. The worst thing you can do is sit in a frustrating situation and repeat over and over in your head that the situation is frustrating.
“Use the time to your advantage. Read a book, catch up on Netflix, listen to music, listen to positive mindset affirmations, learn a language, anything to distract from the reality of the space you’re in,” says certified health coach Gee Foottit.
Let go of things that aren’t in your control
Is it really worthwhile to replay how things could’ve been, had your subway been on time? Once you’re late, you’re late. Train delays are out of your control. Try to accept that fact and move on with with more positive thoughts about the coming day.
Sometimes all it takes is a short breathing exercise to refocus in moments when anxiety is trying to take over. Dr. Greenberg suggests low, deep breaths to help calm you and help lower your blood pressure in the moment.
“If you start getting anxious, take deep belly breaths,” suggests Greenberg. “This recruits your parasympathetic nervous system to ‘put on the brakes’ physiologically.”
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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