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Prepare for Landing: 3 Tips on Tackling Airport Stressors 

Written by: Vasilia Adams

I love airports. Large numbers of people from many different places milling about, the forward momentum of knowing I will be going somewhere new or seeing something different. There is a kind of thoughtfulness and retrospect that can come with travel- you often think of what you are leaving behind as you move forward, literally and figuratively, at a rapid pace through the sky.  

But there is also the reality of how stressful and overwhelming the prospect of air travel can be, especially for those who are not seasoned travelers, those who may be attempting international travel for the first time, or those who are simply afraid of flying.

Here are three simple tips on how to gently guide yourself through all of the winding terminals and shuttles right into the loving arms of your final destination:  

1. Focus on comfort. 

Airports can get overstimulating. From their vastness to the sounds and signs everywhere around you, you may feel herded and rushed from check-in to security to running to your gate to worrying about what flight group you are in and when to get in line. Wearing noise-canceling headphones as you walk from place to place or on the plane can help keep your mind from getting overwhelmed with worry and focused on the task ahead of you.  

 2. Focus on joy. 

Maybe you are going somewhere to see or do something you care about or see someone you love. Look through old photos or videos of yourself, or perhaps even ones with the person who was kind enough to drop you off at the airport with a hug. Sometimes the most challenging part about airports is the parking! You’ll be at your destination before you know it- try to imagine yourself landing safe and sound.  

 3. Focus on the present. 

A lot of things can and may go wrong throughout your journey. Flights get canceled, bags have to be taken apart after not making it through security, or you might be running late. These are unfortunate realities of traveling, and a lot of it is out of our control, but I have seen great acts of kindness at airports- many people understand how stressful it can get and are right there with you. Focus on tackling one part of the process at a time, and you’ll make it where you need to be. There are many people willing to help you get to where you need to go, no matter how long it takes.

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