The idea of travelling is something that speaks to everyone. The idea of meeting new people, trying new and exotic foods and seeing some of the most beautiful places on earth… But if you suffer with an anxiety problem or panic disorder, as much as those things appeal to you, they can also bring your fears and anxiety bubbling to the surface. From worrying about the unknown, to the fear of something going wrong and worrying if others will pick up on your worries…it’s a vicious circle.
For me, it was always flights and plane journeys that triggered my anxiety,. but thankfully, it’s something I feel like I have more control over now than I ever have done before. Hopefully in this blog post you’ll find a few that will hopefully ease the tension and fear that you’re feeling.
More often than not, it’s the fear of the unknown that triggers a panic attack or a wave of anxiety. So being as prepared as you can be will undoubtedly help. For me, that meant understanding how planes work, and preparing myself for any noises or sensations that made me uncomfortable. Another things that can help, is knowing you have travel insurance in place that should cover any eventuality whether it’s travel or medical related. It’s just a small thing that stops you worrying more than necessary. Check out UHC Safe Trip for the latest information and policies.
You can also be prepared by having some coping techniques ready to use should you feel an attack building. You’ll find breathing techniques, meditation, visualisation and relaxation techniques readily available online for you to research and learn how to master. Get to grip with these before you travel, and you’ll probably find that you can keep your anxiety and stress under control.
Travel with someone
Many of those who have anxiety find that their symptoms lessen if they have someone with them. So, if you’re planning on travelling for a few weeks, why not see if someone could tag along with you… Or if you can meet friends along the way. It would be double the fun and they’d certainly help to ease your panic and anxiety attacks. If they know about your condition they can also help you to manage it should any symptoms arise, and knowing you have someone there to help can sometimes stop the iniital panic occurring anyway.
Make sure you have enough water and snacks
Low blood sugar can be a trigger for anxiety and stress. And when you’re travelling, you might not recognise how thirsty or hungry you are until it’s too late. With this in mind, if you plan ahead and always make sure you have bottled water and snacks on you then you should be ok. Planning in advance also means that you’ll make better choices when it comes to healthier snacks!
Take your time
It’s totally normal to travel to a new destination and want to cram in as much as possible. From new restaurants to sightseeing, seeing a show, a cathedral, a temple, experiencing this new location to the max is exciting and you might feel like you’ve missed out if you don’t cross everything off your list. But that’s just not the case, it’s much better for you and your anxiety to just take it steady, plan your routes carefully, factor in time to get to and from locations and to stop and enjoy everything. You should also consider scheduling in some time specifically for rest and relaxation.