It’s a new year and many of us have upcoming plans for a holiday abroad. Now most people would be extremely excited for a vacation however for me this triggers high levels of travel related anxiety.
As much as my anxiety affects me, I never let it stop me seeing new places and exploring other cultures. I may have to meditate in a taxi, use deep breathing exercises or simply knock myself out with homeopathic remedies on a long flight, but I always pack my suitcase and go.
I crave adventure, I love to travel and I know what is ahead of me on every holiday; amazing memories and incredible opportunities.
I have had anxiety for roughly 5 years now and fortunately I have tried, failed, and succeeded at using various methods to control it. However travel is still a huge trigger for me as it is for many of us that suffer with this condition, so I’m going to share a few tips that work for me.
- Write lists – Writing lists really helps me focus on what I’m doing. I write packing lists and to-do lists and when I tick everything off it helps reduce my anxious thoughts, and not concentrate on what I may have forgotten to do because I know I have done it.
- Write down your uncertainties – Write down what feelings and fears you may have. This is a great example of using self-therapy to help overcome problems you think could happen.
- Plan your journey – Whether you are driving, getting the train, or flying to your next destination, plan as much of your journey as you can but aware that delays can happen but everything will be ok.
- Treat yourself – Make it special and treat yourself to a nice lunch, hot drink or your favourite magazine. I do this just to calm myself down a little and just reward myself for getting this far on my journey.
- Take a distraction – When flying I love to sink my teeth into a good book. This allows me to escape and unwind during my journey. I also recommend taking headphones and an ipod so you can shut yourself off and step out of your anxiety bubble.
- Take some extra money – Problems can occur when you travel so I recommend taking some spare cash in case something does go wrong. This often gives me comfort knowing that I am prepared if a problem arises.
- Breathe – Just remember to breathe and if you’re feeling overcome by anxiety, and take a minute to calm yourself down. Breathing exercises work wonders when you feel you are about to have a panic attack.
- Visit your doctor – If you are really struggling with your anxiety make an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to give your further advice and possibly medication. I recommend using Bachs rescue remedy or Kalms tablets which can be purchased over the counter but do consult your doctor first.
Travelling will force you out of your comfort zone and allow you to explore new places, it will prove that you are independent and capable even though anxiety tries to convince you that you are not.
Remeber everyone is different so it is important to find out which techniques work best for you. Your episodes of anxiety can be controlled and after the travelling is over your will get to enjoy the experiences you originally set out for.
Thanks for reading and leave a comment to share you anxiety busters! hat anxiety