by Charlotte Watts
I had an unusual experience last year….a calm, pleasant, even soothing time in an airport. The rather beautiful new Toulouse Airport to be exact. This end to a not-awful but not-relaxing journey with a baby was like a rather shocking state of calm. Being so used to the grind of the travel system, we were steeled for more discomfort and hassle before we got to our holiday destination, but were so pleasantly surprised it was all a bit surreal.
The amazing design, care and attention of the building design and facilities were so conducive to making us feel refreshed after a flight – and of course keeping minimal grief from irate flyers – that I felt compelled to list the factors that seem to have been considered. They seemed to be a good recipe for finding these key De-Stress strategies as we move through daily life and the environment we create around us:
- natural materials wherever possible, it’s amazing what a difference a wooden cashpoint area makes!
- large sweeping spaces with soothing lines and elegant curves; we may not afford the space to have these at home but we can visit the big halls in museums and public building on rainy days
- attention to detail and aesthetic that makes you feel of worth and value ie no dirty toilet facilities but clean lines in quality materials
- access to good food at all times
- minimal gaudy and intrusive advertising
- low natural lighting rather than harsh flourescents
- enough space for the number of people there, this was crucial and showed people respecting each other rather than fighting for the little bit of territory they could find
- easy efficiency, so refreshing to feel like things were happening as they should, with no stressful sense of confusion or lack of control
Clearly it is difficult to achieve these components with any type of continuity living in towns or cities today, but being aware that these things make a difference and seeking oases of them where we can give us a little breathing space. Most importantly, they can offer us brief respite from the constant chipping away of our energy and contentment that harsh environments can bring.