It’s no secret that between booking a flight and arriving at your planned destination, your stress level tends to rise. Amid managing the time it takes to get through security, the unplanned gate change and the unexpected delay, there’s a lot that can throw your travel Zen out of whack.
In a recent Sharecare Radio segment, Dr. Drew Ramsey, psychiatrist and wellness expert, shared some tips for keeping stress in check while on the go. We’ve outlined two key points below. Want more? Listen to the full discussion Dr. Drew had with Dr. Darria Long Gillespie here.
1. Bring Activities
One of the key strategies for managing travel stress is preparation. How do you do that? Bring along an activity to engage in during unexpected downtime.
Dr. Drew says:
“I always have something to do or I bring along a copy of a magazine that I like. I know I’m using my time well. Honestly sometimes when flights are delayed and I have a half an hour in the airport to myself, that’s kind of nice. It’s rare in the busy world to get a little bit of free time—“found” time as I call it.”
So rather than being inconvenienced by delays, take advantage of the moment and relax.
Another big tip to handle the stress is to practice mindfulness—especially when it comes to your breathing. But what exactly does this mean? In a nutshell, mindfulness is just being present moment to moment.
As Dr. Drew notes:
“Mindfulness breathing is a big part for me to stay centered. I think people are always surprised at how easy it is. We put a lot of thought around the notion of mindfulness and meditation—often thinking they are really complex practices.
For me, mindfulness is just being aware of my breath during these situations of stress, where I forget to breathe. I sit down and make sure my breaths are deep—in through my nose and out through my mouth. It’s super simple, but it makes a huge difference for people.”
If you’re still feeling unhinged when at the airport, just remember, not everything can be in your control. According to Dr. Drew, “Being in a state of travel is understanding how to be a little out of control.”
Author: Allison Klibanoff