Most of us make room for anxiety to come along with us on a trip. It’s completely normal when you’re journeying out of your comfort zone. And even though no trip will ever be 100% stress-free we can lessen the anxieties and bring down the stress of it all. Anxiety affects everyone differently so there’s not one particular thing that can cure-all, but what you can do is be prepared for the anxiety that comes with travelling.
When you have anxiety it is perfectly acceptable to over-plan if that makes you feel like you’re in control of everything. Maybe it just brings you a moment of peace from your anxiety. Planning every detail can help. From booking your tickets to booking your resort, researching wherever it is you’re going and mapping out places that you want to explore is a great way to calm the nerves. And on the day of travel, it is a great idea to journal your plans and go over them once more as a distraction. Even just journaling your feelings and getting out on paper while on the plane, train, ferry or whichever transport you’re taking is great.
If you’re worried you’ll get sick, or need to run to the grocery store or pharmacy for something important make sure you do your research. Knowing where things are and how close it is to where you’re staying can assure you that you won’t get lost or need to travel an hour in case of some emergency. See what available transport is in the city/town you’re going to be staying at, you never want to get stuck somewhere that doesn't have taxies or some form of transportation. It helps to know your options.
Getting a list together can be helpful. People tend to worry that they might have forgotten something but if you start a list even months before your trip you will know exactly what you need to pack. It can be so helpful in doing this. Orginsation, even though it might not be your strong suit, can make any travel plans feel serene.
Tip: You don’t need an app but here is the perfect one:
PackPoint travel packing list
It is free and available on IOS and Android.
For some people, the worst of the anxiety is before the trip. It can start weeks before you leave and it slowly builds up until you feel like bailing on it altogether. But sometimes it helps to focus on how excited you are about this trip. Focusing on the positive aspects can help put the anxiety to rest for another day or so. Weirdly focusing on the worst-case scenario can also help if you do it properly. Don’t let yourself get psyched out from thinking of worst-case scenarios, but instead think about if it did happen then what would be the next step? What can you do to prevent this horrible thing from happening? Trying to bring a logical approach to a situation you’re afraid of can help you out.
Speak to a friend, family member, or a therapist. Letting others know that you’re feeling anxious about the trip can bring in support from people. Don’t suffer alone, open up and speak about your feelings. It might end up diminishing the fears you have. Perhaps letting a friend be there to reassure you that everything will be okay can be helpful. I have a friend that get’s really anxious when planning for a trip. She always needs reassurance months before. And even though my reassurance doesn’t cure her of anxiety it does help bring a sense of calm if she thinks that I believe it will all work out well.
Music, books, drawing, colouring, games, podcasts and many more things can be great distractions while you’re waiting for your plane, ferry, train or bus. It can also come in handy when you’re travelling to your destination. Distracting yourself can help you manage the fears and pass the time. And if that doesn’t help perhaps speaking to someone would. Try to journal your feelings in that very moment, it can be helpful to look back on later and can show you how irrational anxious thoughts can be. Another good technique is trying to pinpoint where the anxiety is coming from. It might now seem like a distraction to focus on your anxiety but trying to pinpoint it might actually bring some relief.
Explore the world
I know that anxiety is difficult to deal with but don’t let it stop you from travelling the world and seeing everything it has to offer. You only live once and life is short. Go explore the world before it’s too late.
Thanks for reading. Have a great day ❤
Originally posted on Medium