1. Get Perspective
Remember to keep it in perspective. Delays, cancellations, and lost luggage are all stressful possibilities during the busy holiday travel time, but try not to “catastrophize” these inconveniences. Feeling anxious? Use your breathing to calm your body: focus on taking deep, slow breaths to reduce anxiety.
Dr. Lisa Doane, Clinical Psychologist
2. Don’t Be Late
A good way to reduce travel stress is to leave yourself more time than needed. This means, budgeting extra time to get to the airport, for check in, and to get through customs and security. The time pressure is what drives anxiety up as airports, especially during holidays are always full of unexpected line-ups and delays.
Kristi Soomer, Encircled.ca
3. Create A To-Do List
Make a checklist of all that you must do before, during, and after your travel experience. Often times, anxiety arises when there are overwhelming thoughts swirling in our heads. Be sure to jot down all of
your “to dos” to clear your head and reduce your nervous feelings related to traveling.
Dr. Nekeshia Hammond, Licensed Psychologist
4. Workout Before Flying
This can be challenging if you fly really early — but even 5 minutes in your own house can really change your mood and ward off stress. Set the clock an hour early and hit the gym, take a class, or do a video in your living room. Go for high-intensity. You’re going to be sitting for a long time and while Yoga might seem like an enticing option, save it for post-flight so you can stretch and detox. The goal is to get your blood circulation and release dopamine. That way you’re less likely to get tense and agitated at the terminal. Plus you might just conk out out the plane, which might be appealing to you.
Shay Kostabi, Fitness Expert
5. Pack Night Before
Packing the day of, although it seems to be efficient, adds to mental clutter and stress. Pack it up before you go to bed the eve before you leave and you will instantly reduce your stress levels.
Lauren Imparato, Fitness Expert
6. Think Happy Thoughts
Try asking: how can I have more FUN traveling? In my best case scenario, what great things would happen? Shift from FEAR to LOVE by asking “What are 5-10 things I love about myself?” And then start to look around you and ask “What are 5-10 things I LOVE about the plane I’m on, the person I’m sitting next to, the airport, my travel companion, etc? This starts to train your mind to focus on LOVE instead of FEAR.
Benson Simmons, Author
7. Focus On Breathing
Awareness of the breath is a good way to interrupt a cycle of anxious thoughts. Here’s how: gently rest attention on the breath, noticing the pace of the breath, or your chest rising and falling, or the coolness of the air as you inhale and the warmth of the air as you exhale. Every time your mind wanders, gently direct it back to the breath, even if your mind wanders every few seconds.
Joy Rains, Author