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While traveling is meant to relieve stress, it can have quite the opposite effect. We’ve all experienced the stress that traveling can bring – whether it’s delayed flight or train departures, or maybe a traffic jam. This can mean anger, anxiety and stress. All we want to do is arrive at our destination for some r & r. I almost always experience a tiny bit of stress when getting to the airport in Chicago on time before a flight because you never know if a train will have mechanical issues, or what the security lines will be like. I can breathe once I arrive at my gate and see my flight is still scheduled for an on-time departure. Sometimes, I’m over an hour early, but I’d rather be early than rushing.
I wanted to discuss this today because I am heading to Cincinnati tonight for a long weekend. My boyfriend and I are flying into Louisville, where my parents are meeting us to drive back to Cincinnati. It may sound silly, but we found a $70 flight on American Airlines and the Megabus departure times didn’t cooperate with our work schedules. Plus, I don’t necessarily trust the Megabus after I’ve seen too many catch fire, get into accidents, etc. We’ll end up in Cincinnati right around the same time if we had taken the bus. I’m a little nervous because the weather is so crappy in Chicago, and it’s not going to let up any time soon. Fingers are crossed for no delays or cancellations!
Luckily I’ll have a travel companion this time, but it doesn’t always help to relieve stress. The following six activities are what I like to do to stay calm and enjoy my travel experience, regardless of what goes wrong.
Take a Deep Breath
We all forget to do this in the moment, but it can really help! There are countless breathing exercises out there, but all I need to do is close my eyes for a minute or two, and inhale and exhale deeply. It helps me to feel more relaxed and gets rid of the bad thoughts running through my head.
Read a Book or Magazine
One thing I ALWAYS forget to bring with me for flights is a book or a magazine. I don’t read too often (something I’m trying to change), but it definitely helps the time pass if a flight is delayed or during a long flight. Since I leave the books and magazines at home, I’m looking to getting a magazine subscription for a couple of my favorite travel reading material!
Listen to Relaxing Music
Your phone and headphones are all you need to relieve stress. Music helps me in any situation and it can definitely put a smile on my face. Country music is my go-to when I’m feeling the anxiety or stress coming on because it’s so soothing. I turn on my favorite Pandora station (Thomas Rhett or Beyonce) and get lost singing them to myself in my head.
While some may argue that they’re going on vacation to get away from work, it could also make you feel more comfortable if you’re focusing on something that you’re familiar with. Completing certain small tasks will also help to reduce the workload when you return from your trip.
Adult coloring books are everywhere! This is one trend I did not see coming. Adult coloring books are meant to relieve stress and relax. Bring your crayons, colored pencils and markers on your next trip and create a masterpiece!
Color Me Stress-Free Coloring Book
Call a Friend
If you don’t have a travel buddy, call up a friend! Hearing a familiar voice and talking out your travel frustrations with someone that truly cares for you is key to overcoming stress. They may have some good ideas on how to relieve stress or have a funny story that will make you forget that you’re even frustrated.
Traveling can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Keep these in mind next time that getting to your destination doesn’t go the way you envisioned. Even if you do get stressed, remember that it will make your vacation that much better. What do you like to do to stay calm and enjoy travel? Comment below!
^True statement. You can always drink wine!