Peace and Goodwill During Your Holiday Travels

Peace and Goodwill During Your Holiday Travels

(ARA)- Snow, sleet, freezing rain. Delays, more delays, cancellations. What would the holidays be without them? Countless Americans travel during this season, to visit loved ones and friends and to hopefully end the year on a joyous, positive note. But stress can build faster than newly-fallen snow, especially when it comes to holiday traveling.
"So often during the holidays, people have too ambitious of an agenda and try to cram too much into their agendas," says Dr. Steve O'Brien, psychology faculty at Argosy University/Tampa.
Whether flying, driving, or taking a one-horse open sleigh, travelers should plan logistics in advance. Activities such as bad weather and plane delays might temporarily spoil plans, but it is important to focus. "It is so easy to get over-stimulated and impatient in terminals and jammed highways. Try planning the best you can, and then hone in on the true spirit of the travels and the end destination," advises O'Brien.
Besides the obvious transportation travel woes, there are key psychological preparations holiday travelers can develop to assuage stress. "Use the holidays to keep things light. Sometimes we have to see family members with which we have strained relationships. Pressure can mount," says O'Brien.
In addition to caring for the well-being of children during holiday travels, parents can help reduce stress by talking about limitations--helping kids understand consumerism and the true meaning behind the holidays. "Community service and gestures of goodwill should trump the notion that consumerism equals happiness," says Dr. O'Brien.
As families gear up to visit friends and loved ones this holiday season, it is not impossible to reduce emotional stress during such a traditionally hectic time of the year. Regardless of any adversity that may come our way, the best attitude to truly enjoy the season is three-fold: keep it light, keep it focused, and keep it merry.