23 May DON’T PANIC!
I’ve sure you’ve seen all the “Keep Calm and…” whatever banners. How do you actually silence your anxiety when you’re traveling? It’s not as easy as the “Keep Calm” lip service would have you believe when you’re surrounded by unfamiliar cities, zero family members or friends, and sudden changes at every turn. Rest assured you can still have the best possible trip if you decide ahead of time to manage your travel…and your mind…in a controlled, healthy manner. Take a deep breath!
- Stress can be your body’s natural response to when events go wrong, when they become a little too unpredictable, or maybe a messy combination of the two. Fortunately, there’s an alternative to both: careful planning! Think back to when a travel situation got seriously out of hand. Then, honestly evaluate what preventative measures you took to avoid such a crisis from occurring in the first place. How many times could you have diverted a travel disaster with meticulous organization? Guess what…we’re all guilty!
- On that note, make sure you’ve packed the comfort items that make you feel closest to home. For example, if you’re terrified of flying, toting some noise-cancelling headphones and your favorite music can make all the difference. If you have an important interview at the other side of a flight, carry your luckiest, shiniest shoes in your suitcase. Who cares if it’s superstitious? Measures like this are within your control, and feeling more in control is exactly what an anxious individual craves most.
- Limit caffeine, eat regular meals, and stay hydrated. Otherwise, your body will drop your defenses and engage the panic mode. If exercise is your anti-panic, taking a quick run the day of your flight or long drive will ease your mind.
- What are you afraid of? No: What are you really, REALLY afraid of? Pinpointing your fears and frustrations is, for many travelers, the first stage of dealing with them, so start with honesty. Common travel fears include (but are in no way limited to): Fear of flying, the unknown, bad weather, big cities, traffic, etc. Harnessing those fears instead of playing out worst-case scenarios can help you separate paranoia from reality.
- Or maybe you’re just painfully impatient. Do long airport lines stress you out? With recent news of TSA checkpoints getting longer, many travelers avoid air travel from sheer frustration with the long wait times. Help is on the way! The TSA budget will increase to handle the pressing need for more staffing. More TSA staff = Shorter lines.
Refer to this resource and think about what your company is doing to circumvent these major travel problems. Do you have a travel policy? Have you educated your employees about fraud and fraud protection? Do you know where data hackers hang out? Have you developed a phobia of the bills piling up? A good travel manager can help you with a substantial number of these problems. The rest involves mind over matter…and it’s up to you! First, find out what’s stressing you out; then take control!Calm Down!