Avoid, Alter, Accept + Adapt

December 31, 2021

by Kim Specht, CTIE, CTA, Travel Quest Network's Director of Education + Events

This time of the year can be stressful under normal circumstances. Although stress is often a part of working in the travel industry. Personally, I think those of us who work in the travel industry, are pretty good at dealing with stress because if we weren’t… we wouldn’t be in the travel industry.

But even those of us who are normally pretty good at handling stress, these last couple of years have been an even bigger challenge. Even those of you who are maybe new to the industry are feeling the stress. It might feel a bit overwhelming. I promise you, it’s worth the stress. The travel industry is a fun business. You help people plan their dream vacations!

Anyway, back to handling stress, I was reading an interesting article from the Mayo Clinic about Stress Management, and they recommend using the 4 A’s to deal with stress. Avoid, Alter, Accept and Adapt.

Let’s start with Avoid… there are several ways to avoid stress but the two that I liked were: Learn to say no and ditch part of your to-do list. The older I get, the easier I find it to say no. I used to immediately say yes, now I stop and think about it, does this make sense? Will this stress me out with no real benefit?

Ditching part of your to-do list is about prioritizing your to-do list. Do what is important first and on really crazy stressful days remove the less important stuff.

Alter… the two I liked were: Manage your time better and state limits in advance. Manage your time better? I know, easier said than done! That is a whole different topic.

State limits in advance. If you let others know what they can expect, how much time or effort you must give to this project, you set expectations, and this helps eliminate your stress.

Accept…the two that I liked were: Practice positive self-talk and learn from your mistakes. Negative thoughts can lead to more negative thoughts. When you are really stressed try to see something positive in the situation. It will help you.

Learn from your mistakes and don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, you made a mistake, continuing to stress over it serves no purpose. Yup… that was a mistake… I won’t do that again!

Adapt… there were three I liked here: Adjust your expectations/standards, adopt a mantra, and look at the big picture.

Adjust your expectations and define what success means to you. Once you define what success means to you, it will help you eliminate stress or at least learn how to cope with it.

Adopt a mantra, now you may think you will look silly but talking out loud to yourself… reminding yourself… you’ve got this, I can do this! But I would rather look silly talking to myself (I do it a lot… out loud) than be stressed out.

Finally, look at the big picture asking yourself is this thing that is stressing me out… is it going to matter to me or the client?

In some cases, yes, but then assign the appropriate amount of stress. I think everything we do should have a stress value. What is the appropriate amount of stress I should have working on this project? In some cases, none, in others… some stress. In a very limited few… a lot …but it had better be worth that much stress!