Survival Guide For The Stressed Traveler
Traveling is a bottle of mixed emotions for some people. some think it's super exciting while others agree there are several of us, such as myself who have a problem giving up control therefore traveling is yes, exciting but also very very stressful when things aren't going right, or when your tire and just not feeling 100%. Over the last few years I have started to travel a lot more than my usual once or twice a year for vacations. I now travel for both vacations and for work and giving up control more than once a year can be a bit much so I've taken it upon myself to work on this character trait I have. I can't stand who I become when I fly (in my head) I get really irritable and frustrated and I end up making myself miserable over this ridiculous situation I have NO CONTROL over. There is not other way around it, traveling is amazing for the mind body and soul, it makes me feel alive and excites me so why not work on making the process a little easier on myself ?
I have my own ways of keeping the peace with myself and my thoughts but it doesn't always works so I crowd sourced with a lot of you and compiled a list of my own tricks combined with your advice on ways to keep your mind positive and stress less
- Reusable water bottle
Any will do but I prefer my Healthy Human stein because it's super lightweight and fashionable. Lightweight is important to me because I always overpack so the lighter my load the better. ALWAYS go through security with it empty but once you get though head to a bar at any restaurant or a water fountain to get it filled. Staying hydrated will help with several things - jet lag, anxiety, tension headaches, and it's a good way to refocus your thinking or thought patterns. It's better for the environment and they are more trust worthy to not pop open in your bag verses an over priced plastic water bottle at the airport. Plus you might dink more water while on vacation or on your trip having it because you won't have to keep going out to buy a new plastic bottle (I like to refill mine with my leftover ice water at restaurants while I'm at the table)
- Headphones and Downloads
First things first ALWAYS pack headphones. I recently went on a trip and forgot mine at home. Fortunately a lot of airlines carry them on board some may charge but I have found most don't. They are horribly uncomfortable but they do the trick. You can also pack ear plugs as well. The headphones are my way of distracting myself - weather it be some great music, podcast or a movie I downloaded. I also suggest you download the airline app or another app that you can download movies on - I download movies on xfinity and they work great. I also highly suggest you download your playlists from Spotify I usually like to listen to music while the plane boards because there is a lot of loud noises and crowd that can make me a little overstimulated. Next make sure you bring magazines or books (no brainier here but ya never know )
Bring mints lozenges or gum .... Sounds silly but when your dehydrated and tired it's amazing what these little items do for a pick me up mid flight - especially if you're fasting or didn't have time to grab food or snacks.
If you don't like fasting while in the air bring your favorite meals or snacks on board and eat them once your in the air - food makes me calm and happy and yeah it's awkward eating hard boiled eggs while bumping elbows with your neighbor but ..... You'll never see them again so WTFC right? Also, bring snacks to keep you busy while you are waiting for a delayed flight or during layovers - gives you a little something to look forward to.
- Essential oil blends
This is something I recently started getting into and so far it's been very helpful. They do help me relax and I can make immune boosting blends too to help keep me healthy. I also have strong sensitivities to smells so these really help when I have a headache or nausea coming on. You can buy pre made blends or you can make your own with Lavender *** mix it with a carrier oil like avocado oil and the. You can roll it on your wrists, upper lip, neck and forehead as needed. If you don't have a roller or some thing to mix it in you can also pack a damp paper towel or washcloth and put drops of the essential oils on it and ziplock it in a bag and pull out as needed to smell (planning on doing this for immunity mixes on my Spain trip since I'll be in the air so long I'll probably need more that just relaxation help 😬 also remember to take deep breaths and focus on your breathing as much as you can
ok this one is something I have been doing for a decade. I am a huge germaphobe (not as bad as some, but I get myself really worked up over little things) I get stressed when people are coughing, sneezing, sniffling on a plane and 90% of them do not cover their mouths properly (bat wing it PEOPLE COME ON!) plus that air on the plane is recycling throughout ... the thought alone gives me anxiety - So I bring a scarf with me on my carry-on and wear it the whole flight. Now this could totally be a placebo effect... but when I am wearing the scarf the sniffling sneezing coughs going on I feel so much better covering my mouth and nose with my scarf. I wish I was brave enough to wear a mask but I just don't want the stares that go with it! So my little stress relief is to cover up with a fashionable scarf. PLUS you can put essential oils in it and breath them in that way as well :)
**In the airport when delayed or before you fly**
One of the best tips I got was to go chill at a restaurant instead of at the food court or gate. I'm typically a walker ( I do laps around the airport to stretch my legs and wake up a bit). But sometimes we are stuck waiting at the airport for a few hours. So go take a seat at one of the restaurants !! Order a tea or appetizer and relax - you'll be away from the obnoxious loudspeakers the people running the carts about to run you over all of it ... Use it as a time to just zen out even if just for 30 min it's a nice break to center yourself from the chaos. I also like to go walk around the shops and look at EVERYTHING in there to get me out of the crowd and noise - I never buy anything but I do like observing all the nicknacks.
A few other suggestions I loved from you guys are below::
*Keep your headphones on the entire time after you cross through security
*Take ashwaganda before your flight
*Be friendly to your neighbors to help you feel like your hanging out vs doing something stressful
* Remember everyone else is in the same position you're in ... Focus on their behavior if they are calm and cool ... You can be that way too
*Keep screenshots of funny memes you love to look at for a quick laugh
* Remember all our problems are in our own head we have the power to change the way we think therefore change our problems
I tried this one myself and it really does work (my story is below)
*Be helpful and kind to others at the airport. This lady didn't know how to use the self check in counter and everyone was getting impatient including me, I stopped myself and realized I could either be a dick or I could go help her figure it out. So I did! The strangest thing was after I helped her 3 strangers thanked me for helping her and getting the line moving again... It made me feel really good and upbeat the rest of the way - distracting me from all the annoyances I usually face.
Traveling will always be a little stressful (I don't believe people who say they never get stressed when traveling) HOPEFULLY you try one or two of these ideas, a few stick with you and help get you from point A to point B easier and enjoy your trip with a little less stress tied to getting there :) Happy flying ✌🏼
Let me know what you guys think - Leave a comment below!