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Between irritating crowds and luggage schlepping and zero legroom, airplane travel is just downright painful. Luckily we’ve rounded up a few moves to help you relieve stress--none of which involve a $26 cocktail.


Relieve Anxiety Through Breathing
Sit up straight with your spine away from the backrest and draw your navel in (engaging those abs). Relax your shoulders away from your ears, place hands on top of your thighs, close your eyes. Inhale through your nose for a count of four, then exhale for a count of six--as long as you need to chill out.

Relax That Neck
Move to the edge of your seat, keep your spine upright but drop your chin down toward your chest. (Shoulders soft.) Keep your head heavy, like a bowling bowl, then roll your right ear over toward your left shoulder, feeling a gentle stretch of the neck. Stay for five breaths, roll head back through center, then to the other side. This is especially helpful for releasing tension in the upper body after sitting for hours.


Release Your Shoulders
Another upper-back aid: Stretch your arms straight out in front of you and “eagle wrap” them so that your palms touch, and then push your elbows away from your chest (without letting your shoulders lift). Fingers should reach up toward the ceiling. Stay for 15 breaths, unwind, repeat with arms reversed.

Wake Up Legs and Hips
Again, sit up straight with legs together and feet flat on the floor. Then cross your right ankle on top of your left knee, and use your right hand to gently press your knee out to the side, opening up that right hip. Hold for 20 breaths, release, repeat on left side. This pose improves circulation and wards off stiffness. If you’re too cramped in 22E, you can also try this in the lavatory.


Unwind a Tight Lower Back
When the seat-belt sign is turned off, sit right up on the edge of your seat and cross your right leg over the left. Take your left hand to your outer right knee, and the other onto your armrest. Turn to look over your right shoulder, twisting your entire torso. Take ten breaths, release, repeat on the left side.

Energize with a Side Stretch
Buddy up to a flight attendant so you can loiter in the galley for this one--especially on a long international flight. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, inhale and lift both arms up and overhead. When you exhale, lean over to your right side, extending the left arm as far as you can. Hold for ten breaths, release, repeat on the other side. You’ll feel a deep stretch in your side waist and have a much easier time settling in for your third in-flight rom-com.

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