With the record breaking government shutdown stretching into its 28th day with no end in sight, concerns have been raised about flying during this time. As mandatory TSA workers are being asked to work without pay, many people are concerned about how safe they will be when flying during a shutdown, as well as how long they may have to wait for security–both of which can send your anxiety through the roof. Though the aforementioned concerns are valid, if you have to travel in the next few days, you must do your best to keep your anxieties at bay.
Use the following tips to try to de-stress before any upcoming flight:
1. Arrive Early
Arriving to the airport early is a common practice. While most people tend to arrive two hours before their flight, you might want to plan to have a little wiggle room by coming maybe three or four hours early. While this is just a precaution, it’ll help you breathe easily in the event that you encounter an extra long line at the airport.
Once you’re through TSA, you’ll hopefully have some time to relax before the flight. Treat yourself to a drink or continue to binge watch your favorite Netflix series. If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and download a few episodes to keep you occupied during the flight.
2. Travel Light
If you are only going on a weekend trip, try to pack as light as possible. With fewer staff on hand at the airport, it’s best to avoid having to check your bags. If you can, only take a carry on and personal item with you. Though you’ll still have to take these through security, you will be able to keep them with you at all times, reducing the risk of them getting lost or any other unfortunate scenario that might happen.
To help you focus on staying calm in the moment, try meditating. While it may seem like a strange thing to do at the airport, taking a second to focus on your breathing and to center yourself will automatically help to reduce any anxiety that you may be feeling. Download some meditation apps to your smartphone or tablet so you can take full advantage of your meditation time before, during, and after your flight.
4. Stay Informed
Get as much information as you can during the days and hours leading up to your flight. Since the government shutdown is still ongoing, there are constant updates that you should be paying attention to. Moreover, with the state of the weekend storm in the Northeast, it is quite likely that flights may be delayed and even canceled. Though tuning into the news on a 24/7 basis can be quite stressful, it’s best to stay in the know so you can be prepared.
As you get ready for your flight in the next few days, keep these four tips in mind. While you can’t be in control of everything, you can control how you respond to these situations. By focusing on remaining calm, prepared, and informed, you’ll be able to reduce your anxiety before any upcoming flights.