Travel is great, but it can be a stressful undertaking. If you live with anxiety, it can take everyday travel stress to another level. The following tips will help you minimize unnecessary stress, deal with the unavoidable anxiety you experience, and enjoy your trip.
A lot of travel stress comes from worrying about forgetting something, time management issues, and the like. Planning ahead works wonders for relieving this kind of stress. Make a travel to-do list, get your boarding pass on your phone, know your itinerary, write down places you’d like to visit on your trip with pertinent info, and set alarms if you need help getting to your plane on time or remembering other key times and dates on your voyage.
Soothe Your Senses
Airports and planes are a sense-assaulting mix of bright lights, weird smells, uncomfortable seats, loud noises, and overwhelming energy from every direction. Soothe your senses by anticipating this attack and being prepared. Listen to music that makes you happy; take a whiff of some relaxing lavender essential oil; wear comfortable, cozy clothes; bring reading material that will keep you distracted and engaged in something positive. Even if you are in a crazed crowd of stressed out people, doesn’t mean you have to engage and participate in their energy. Do you, calmly.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
So much stress and anxiety stems from what we put into our bodies. Make sure to eat a healthy meal before heading out on your trip, and pack good-for-you snacks (it also saves you money!). Planes are notoriously dehydrating to the skin, so keep hydrated (which also helps avoid anxiety in general). If you find that you always experience anxiety while traveling, try to consistently eat super healthy, avoid junk food, sugar, caffeine, and other anxiety triggers—maybe even alcohol!
Stay Centered and Have Fun
Traveling involves leaving the comfort of your routine and often putting you in an entirely new place and situation. Although enjoyable, this is also naturally stressful. A good way to swerve anxiety is to recognize it, sit in it for a bit, and then center yourself. Take deep, cleansing breaths, remind yourself that you have moved past anxiety before and you will again, and focus on your breath and positive thoughts. Although you are somewhere different, and can’t control things, remember you travel to grow, experience the world and life, and have fun.
Surround Yourself with the Familiar
Traveling also involves leaving your home, your trusted haven. A great way to ease stress and anxiety is to bring a bit of home with you when you travel. This can be anything from bringing a favorite pillow and/or light blanket (this also avoids having to use those germy versions that airlines provide); bringing an emotional support buddy; or a friend family member, or love. Traveling alone is great, but it’s so much more fun with someone to share it with! The other person can also help keep you less anxious, and help ensure the trip is running smoothly.