How to Keep Your Calm When Everything Goes Wrong

So life rained on your parade... now What?


We have all been there. While sitting at your gate amongst the rows upon rows of uncomfortable seats, you receive a notification through the airline’s app or a semi-friendly voice recites a passenger’s most dreaded message: delayed flight. Your flight is delayed due to a weather/mechanical issue or they found a colonial woman on the wing (name that movie in the comments for ultimate brownie points👰).

Your stomach sinks and you can feel the frustration build so you say little prayer to the travel gods that your flight won’t get delayed any further. On my last trip, I had already boarded my 5:15 am flight to Portland (OR) to attend a conference when the pilot made an announcement about a problem with the radio. This “quick fix” turned into a cancelled flight, missing my connection, being rebooked on another flight that left from another airport, and several hours to kill sitting in one of those uncomfortable airport chairs. It was a really, really long day and it sucked.

As I was stuck in a new airport for the next 6 hours, I realized something that made this annoying situation a little better: when in an uncontrollable situation you have the power to control just one thing - your reaction. So, I had a choice. I had the ability to change my perception of my current predicament by choosing to view the positive side rather than the negative. I mean, I was stuck there anyway I might as well try. 

By realizing that I had some control in a seemingly uncontrollable situation, made it easier for me to accept my situation and feel less like it was completely out of my hands. I could have easily pitched a fit and focused my frustration on the people around me or at the universe for making my trip last a whole day instead of few hours. My frustrations would only have create more negativity and my day would have gotten even worse. Instead I mentally pictured the annoying and aggravating emotions roll off my back and “just [kept] swimming” (Dory from Finding Nemo is a very smart fish).

Portland, OR, you are beautiful and I want to visit again!

Portland, OR, you are beautiful and I want to visit again!

So, I decided to spend my day watched several movies and finishing a book, which I had not been able to do during the weeks prior to my trip. I started writing this blog and got some behind-the-scenes work done. 

By choosing to go with the flow of this frustrating situation, I was able to spend time doing things I wouldn't have had the time for. Did the day suck, yes. But it turned out to be a way better day once I shifted my mindset. 

So, when you find yourself in a sucky situation do the following to help you pull yourself out: close your eyes and breath as you imagine yourself taking a step away from the situation, feeling your frustrations around you, and allowing them to leave your body through your breath. Look at the larger picture and realize that your ease and positivity is beneficial to release your mind from stress and that you are in control of your emotions. If you have the power to make a horrible situation just a bit better, why not try?  So be like Dory and swim with the current instead of against the flow. It will make a sucky situation just a bit more tolerable.

I would love to hear about your travel stories and how you've handled them in the comments below! 

Happy Wednesday friends!