You’ve probably experienced a stressful trip before—most of us have. Maybe the roads were crowded, or things kept getting delayed, or you had a fight with your travel buddies. These trips can make us dread traveling again, but luckily there are some ways to mentally prepare to help us roll with the punches at times like this.
Plan for Delays
One thing that can really stress people out is being tight on time. So one thing you can do is try to plan an extra couple hours into your trip, or overestimate how long each part will take. That way, if things start to lag, you won’t need to worry.
Think Through Your Fears
Most of the time, the worst case scenario of a trip is that you’ll be late. Maybe you’re stressed you’ll lose a suitcase or some such thing. Try to name the thing you’re worried about, and then think “what will happen?” For example, “I’m worried my flight will be delayed. Then I’ll have to rush to my next flight and I might not make it. Then I’ll have to get the next flight to my destination. Then I’ll check into the hotel late at night.” Checking into the hotel late is annoying, but it’s damage that will be over by the next morning. By thinking through your worries, you’ll often find the stakes aren’t as high as they feel.
Remember to Breathe
Often, a few deep breaths or a calming exercise can do a lot to slow your racing mind. If you have a still moment while you’re driving, at the gate, or wherever, try taking some deep breaths and finding stillness even within the stress.