You can’t control the lines at TSA, but you can control your reactions to them. Holiday travel is filled with situations that can trigger stress - from flight delays, to inclimate weather, to long lines, and outrageous ticket prices, navigating airport travel this time of year requires a bit of planning and a lot of patience.
But don’t let these frustrating situations throw your holiday off the rails. Yes, travel troubles are stressful, but in the grand scheme of the holiday season, they’re really just blips on the radar. Follow these tips to mindfully navigate your travel-induced headaches.
Here are a few tips to help you transform your travel from taxing to rejuvenating.
Prepare - So much holiday travel stress amounts from feeling out of control and disorganized. Take the time to complete simple tasks, like pre-printing boarding passes, arriving well before departure, organizing travel documents in one easy-to-find location - to keep travel anxieties at bay.
Go Decaf - Go easy on the caffeine - it stimulates cortisol and adrenaline production in the nervous system, which can spike feelings of anxiety. If you already know you’re a nervous traveler, try to avoid stimulants.
Be Kind - The other travelers and airline employees aren’t enjoying the long lines or delays either. Instead of taking your frustrations out on others, make an intentional choice to practice kindness; simples things like smiling, offering help and showing gratitude will not only make you feel better, but may also transform someone else’s travel experience.
Focus on Your Breath - According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 6.5% of Americans suffer from aviophobia (fear of flying). If you count yourself in this bunch, there are things you can do to dissuade your fears. The Headspace app includes Fear of Flying exercises designed to specifically to quell anxieties in the air; try tuning into the app before and during your flight to mindfully take your mind off of your fears.
Don't let the ups and downs of travel wreak havoc on your mindset before you even arrive at your holiday destination; take the time to carry out these simple activities and set yourself up for a more pleasant and manageable holiday experience.
Next up in our holiday stress series, we'll offer some mindful holiday eating tips to help you enjoy your seasonal celebrations without the guilt.