Vancouver Airport’s Fly Calm Initiative Helps Travelers De-Stress

Stress is a common feeling for us all. According to a 2017 study, 51% of vacationers reported being more stressed at that time than a year before. This stress caused 37% of people to cancel or delay their trip.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) recently stepped up its game when it comes to our stress levels while traveling.

Fly Calm helps travelers de-stress

The stress at airports is real.  The airport journey is less like a cake walk and more like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. From airport patdowns gone too far, unexpected delays or missing your flight altogether, plenty of our airport experiences can leave us anxious and frazzled.

Vancouver Airport introduced a new initiative called Fly Calm in October, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division.

Coinciding with World Mental Health Day (October 10th), the launch includes many new resources. There’s an interactive website with tips, videos, and an on-the-go downloadable coloring book to help travelers de-stress before a flight.

You can get a physical copy and a set of coloring pencils at the airport too. Just head to a pre-security Customer Information Counter to pick up your copy.

RECOMMENDED: Pre-Flight Stress: How Airports Can Make You Lose It

PHOTO: Vancouver Airport

“We understand that traveling can be stressful and we are proud to partner with the Canadian Mental Health Association to create these important resources. Both the website and coloring book provide helpful tips on how travelers can take charge of their stress,” said Jenny Duncan, Director, Marketing and Communications, Vancouver Airport Authority.

Some of Fly Calm’s online tips include checking in on your mental health, remembering to breathe, finding ways to move, distracting yourself, giving yourself extra time, and staying hydrated.

PHOTO: Vancouver Airport

The magic of adult coloring

Many coloring enthusiasts — they call themselves “colorists” — claim that coloring makes them feel calmer, mentally clearer, happier, and more relaxed. When engaged in their hobby, any anxiety or concerns seem to fade into the background or fade completely.

The way it works is by giving the brain something to focus on and immerse itself in. Many arts and crafts hobbies have the ability to focus our minds in a similar way to meditation. Such activities can even help ease feelings of depression.

At the airport, coloring can help us escape busy, noisy terminals that amplify the stress of getting to where we need to go. It’s great for adults but it’s just as good for kids, too, and provides an alternative to screen-based entertainment which we think is a very healthy one.

RECOMMENDED: Traveling With High Blood Pressure: Travel Tips From Cardiologist Dr. Desai

The Fly Calm initiative is a great example of airports’ changing attitudes to our mental health as travelers. What stresses you out most at airports?

Have you tried adult coloring for stress before? Let us know in the comments below! Then don’t forget to tag #ITravelWell with all your stress-busting travel and airport finds.

Nicola Brown

Senior Editor at Vane Magazine

Nicola is an international award-winning writer, editor and communication consultant based in Toronto. She has traveled to 32 countries so far and is always poised to head out the door again. She loves both the visceral and intellectual dimensions of travel, and will passionately argue for its psychological paybacks, especially after a few glasses of wine. Having spent many years on the road and in the air, she's interested in how travelers can maintain a healthy mind and body through it all.

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