It is the most sinking of feelings and can put a real downer on the beginning of your vacation: You're on your way to the airport when you have a sudden thought. "Did I leave the oven/stove dial/hair iron/coffee maker on...?"
If you are prone to replaying this anxiety-inducing scenario when you travel, try this super-simple technique that will put your mind at rest.
Lifehacker has come up with a method that of checking the status of your home appliances that doesn't require investing in any fancy equipment. All you have to do is take a photo of those particular appliances you tend to worry about. Then, when doubts creep in, you can simply check your phone to confirm that, yes, the hair curler is switched off and the thermostat turned down.
You may even find that the simple act of documentation is enough to turn off your worry brain.
"The funny thing is," Lifehacker's writer says, "I’ve never once wanted to look at this proof after I’ve photographed it; it also turns off the part of my brain that gets anxious about accidentally leaving something on."
So why do we get anxious about these things when we head out on a trip? Lifehacker has a well-considered theory: "When we leave our homes to go to work, we usually follow a specific routine. We wear the same types of clothes and carry the same bags. We say 'keys, wallet, phone,' tap our pockets, or check our apps to make sure we have everything we need. Then we leave our homes and lock our doors. When we go on vacation, the routine is different, the clothes are different, the bags are different, everything is different — and suddenly we can’t remember whether we closed the door, much less locked it."
So, for some guaranteed relaxation on your next trip, all you need to do is adopt a new routine: getting into the habit of taking photos of your stuff every time you leave.
Easy, cheap, done.
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