You’ve been there before: your flight leaves in 20 minutes. You are moving swiftly past the
security line to your gate, which is about to begin boarding. Your phone doesn’t stop ringing:
several new text messages and a pile of emails to sort through. You’re navigating around the
crowds of people who stop in the middle of the walkway. You’re exhausted and you haven’t
even gotten to your seat yet because, well, your flight just got delayed.
An airport is one of the busiest and most stressful places, period. As a business traveler, you
understand just how hectic things can get when you’re trying to get to your next destination.
But travel does not have to be this difficult!
While travel stress is very common, there are ways to create calm in overstimulating situations.
These are my top three strategies to help you find an oasis of inner peace in the middle of the
bustle of the airport.
1. Mentally Prepare for the Added Tension
In an airport, you will not be as in control of situations as you may prefer or be accustomed. You will likely be dealing with small upsets that can add large amounts of frustration to your plans, such as boarding pass errors, unavoidable delays, gate changes, and busy restroom lines. In order to prepare for these potential upsets, find a way to center back to a neutral, calm mindset. You may consider using a mantra, or a short phrase that can reset your mindset when you feel the tension building up. Some useful mantras include, “Be here now” or “I am in control of my mind and body.” Choose the words that best speak to you.
2. Embrace On-the-Go Relaxation Techniques
Simple relaxation techniques can help you create stillness in your mind. Find a comfortable place to sit and rest: whether it be an airport lounge, a spa, a salon, or the inviting comfort of a yoga or meditation room. If you are at your gate, sit in your chair and close your eyes.
Simple Breathing Technique: Slowly inhale for 3 seconds and hold your breath for 3 seconds. Then, gently release the air through your nose. Repeat this for 1-2 minutes.
Meditation: Listen to a guided meditation to help clear your mind for the trip ahead. I highly recommended the Insight Timer and Calm apps, both of which offer access to hundreds of guided meditations depending on your preferences. Pair this with the Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700 (bose.com), and you have the perfect environment for distraction-free listening.
Airport Yoga Rooms:
Whether you have your travel mat or not, spending even a few minutes centering your mind and stretching your body can rejuvenate you. The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Yoga Room Designed by Gensler, a global design and architecture firm, this was the first yoga room to grace an American airport. The calming blue walls, dim light, wood floors, and mirrors create a tranquil sanctuary to help you focus your attention within and release built-up stress.
Other yoga rooms are located at:
Burlington International Airport
Chicago Midway Airport
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Dallas-Fort Worth Airport
Denver International Airport
Frankfurt International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport
Miami International Airport
03. Re-energize with a Power Nap
It’s no secret that travel is tiring. Jet lag, information overload, and ever-shifting logistics can leave you drained and exhausted. Sometimes you just need 15 minutes to recharge, but how can you do that with bright airport lights shining in your eyes? This where the holy grail of sleep masks comes in. The Weighted Sleep Mask mask (gravityblankets.com) is a soft, adjustable, 100% blackout mask that you will never want to travel without.
Jenny is a Mayo Clinic-trained Health & Wellness Coach and licensed healthcare professional.
More information on her coaching services are available at jennythewellcoach.com.