Avoid Airport Stress

April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

So, ummmm, Thanksgiving is like, here. As we get closer to the "most wonderful time of the year," we also get closer to ... the dreaded holiday travel season (dun dun DUN). It's so great to be with friends and fam, but it can such a pain to get there, right?

To make things go more smoothly for you, we asked Ari Novick, Ph.D., a certified Anger Management Professional and trainer to give us his top tips for minimizing your stress levels while en route this holiday season--no matter what crazy situation you get stuck in.

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Arrive to the Airport Early:
"As simple as it sounds, having time on your side reduces the anxiety of needing to get to the gate, check luggage, and move through security," says Novick. "Give yourself a full two hours before your flight and you should be able to relax through all of it!"

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Make Nice with Staffers: Frustrated and stressed out with the ticket counter or car rental staff? "Remember, these folks are overworked and deal with hundreds of people everyday," says Novick. "Kill them with kindness!" Remind yourself they can't work miracles, but they can assist you with basic ticket and seat changes, or even upgrades--if you're nice to them.

Don't Rush to Board:
If your blood pressure starts to rise near boarding time, remember, you have an assigned seat -- so why hurry and jostle to get on line, when you can sit and breathe a bit, or read another chapter of your book? "Your seat will still be there -- with your name on it," says Novick.

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And...Just Let Go: Getting stuck on a grounded plane, or finding out you'll be delayed IS SO ANNOYING AND STRESSFUL! Right? The important thing, says Novick, is to remind yourself that this is a situation that is out of your control. "No matter what, you will still get from point A to B," he says, so try to relax and use the time to your advantage. Grounded flights usually give you the ability to send and receive both emails and phone calls, so take this time to get caught up on some work, or chat with a friend you haven't spoken to in a while. "Change your internal dialog from 'this is terrible' to 'well, I'll find something else productive I can do now while I'm waiting,'" says Novick. Or, now I can catch up on Ryan Gosling memes.

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