3 Tips for Being Outside With Agoraphobia

by Annie Kapur 10 days ago in coping

The Agoraphobia Series (Pt. 7)

3 Tips for Being Outside With Agoraphobia
Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash

I have written many articles about agoraphobia and you can head to my public profile to read them all (and other articles are there too so feel free to read around). I am making this series, if you didn't know, because it has been around ten years since I was diagnosed with agoraphobia. So I have tried and tested many things over the years as you can probably imagine.

For those of you who are experiencing troubled time, it is important to understand that even though it won't go away, it can be made easier to deal with. It can be held and you can cope with it. There is something about it that makes you feel terrible about having it, but there is also something that you can do about that. Changing this feeling from terrible to 'coping' is difficult but this won't make it go away. We don't want to focus on making it go away. We want to focus on making it easier to keep it with us and possibly, make it easier to co-exist with.

3 Tips for Being Outside With Agoraphobia

1. Slow and Controlled Breathing

Slowing and controlling your breathing before you enter the outside world is always a good starting point. It not only gets you to relax a tiny bit but it also puts you into some sort of routine before you go outside. Performing a five minute routine before you go outside is brilliant for getting towards that goal of being able to go outside with lesser and lesser amounts of panic. Let us slow our breathing together to show you how we do this:

Count these numbers per three seconds and breathing in on the odd numbers and out on the even ones:

1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10

And now backwards with the same numbers...

Doing this for five minutes before you go outside in the silence of your room can really help slow your heart rate before you step outside. Good luck with using your breathing techniques.

2. Don't Rush Around When Getting Ready

When you're going to go out that day, give yourself more than enough time to get ready so you get to sit in your outdoor clothing for a bit. Don't rush around in the last five minutes because it can make your heart rate increase. I give myself half an hour to get ready because of the pandemic. But I used to give myself an hour because then I would have time to do my breathing exercises. It is difficult yes. But if you slowly get yourself ready, think about what you're wearing and where you're going. Plan it all out in your head and you will feel a little more at ease when actually going outside.

3. Plan Your Journey

As I said in the one previously, plan out your journey. If you're going alone then plan out where you're going, what you're going to do there and how you're going to get there and back. Plan out how long you think it should take and honestly, you should tell someone where you're going if you really have to go alone. I always let people know where I'm going and how long I think I'm going to be. It is one thing that can put me more at ease if someone really can't go with me.

Conclusion

As I have said in my previous parts to this series, it is possible to manage this and I know it is very difficult all the time and at times it can seem more difficult and you feel incapable. I want you to know that you and me are in this together and we will cope together. We need to not beat this, but we need to make this easy enough to cope with through the most difficult situations. I hope that you can also understand that there is a real problem with the way anxieties are viewed. They are not something you can ever switch off, they give you headaches and physical symptoms. There is never going to be a solution that works 10'000% and your medication will only go so far. But we can take steps that will make small changes. And as we know, small steps one at a time, can make big changes in the future.

coping
Annie Kapur
Annie Kapur
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Annie Kapur

Film and Writing (M.A)

Focus in Film: Adaptation from Literature, Horror Filmmaking Styles and Auter Cinema

Author of: "The Filmmaker's Guide" series

Email: [email protected]

Interests: Film, Literature and Bob Dylan

See all posts by Annie Kapur