Anxiety disorder is the silent enemy that most people won’t dare talk about in the open. But this hellish feeling of being afraid of anything can deter you from living a fulfilled life. Many people, including yours truly, struggle with large crowds, unfamiliar places, time-sensitive schedules, and fear of flying. Travel can be pretty challenging for a person that is diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
But anxiety has not prevented me from doing what I love the most, embarking on a solo travel. You might wander how do I travel, let alone go solo, while dealing with anxiety attacks. What happens or how do I deal with it when I am on the road to somewhere gorgeous?
Here are some tips for travelling with anxiety disorder that is surefire way to make your travel more enjoyable and might make you forget about your fear of crowds or flying at all!“Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.” ~Jodi Picoult Click To Tweet
Prepare your itinerary
Preparing your itinerary can help you focus on the exciting parts of your entire trip. Looking forward to fun activities during the trip can help ease your mind. It can also be beneficial to focus on what you are looking forward to on your trip.
Have an itinerary that will include activities you enjoy. Try to include some self-pampering activities during your trip like massage or checking into a spa. By concentrating on fun activities, your excitement for your trip may take over your worry about your symptoms.
Also it pays to do your packing and preparations in advance. It can help to ease your mind about the mundane task of trip preparations including packing. List down all the activities and things you need to bring for these activities. Listing it all down can make things easier and you worry less about things you may have forgotten.
The key thing here is plan in advance to lessen the things you need to worry about when you leave the door.
Gear up with books and apps
Pack your books and things that usually need for your meditation rituals. Download meditation apps that helps you relax or calm your senses on your smart phone or tablets. I personally like the Calm app, its free and it’s really helpful in achieving a restful sleep. It’s both available for iOS and Andriod devices.
Bring your favorite reads. Reading can help your body and mind to relax. It can also distract your mind by shifting your focus on other things other than what is causing you to be anxious.
Breathing exercises apps too can be helpful. I find breathing exercises helpful in turning my negative thoughts around by diverting attention to happier thoughts. I was approached by scammers during my trip to Paris, near the River Seine. This incident triggered my anxiety towards crowds and packs of tourist. I tried not to dwell on this fear and instead sat for some time along the river bank and practiced some breathing exercises.
Bring your journal
It’s also sometimes helpful to write about your travel experiences once you have some time off or while alone in a cafe in Mykonos or on the beach somewhere in Krabi, Thailand. Writing about your trip shift the focus to beautiful experience during your travel. You can also write about new things you did while overcoming your anxieties about plane rides or crowd anxieties.
To be honest, I call the journal writing helpful distractions. The actual writing about my North Pole trip distracts me from fear of being alone for the first time in the northern most town of Sweden. The distraction was actually helpful in that I was able to reminisce about my trip in a short travel memoir.
If journaling is not your thing, think of other activities, or distractions I might say, that you can focus on to divert your mind off these anxieties or fears that may be troubling you.
I wasn’t much into journaling some years back, but bringing along a small Lego set help me overcome my anxieties at times. Yeah, this was a big help!
Travel with a buddy
It is best also to travel with your trusted friend or family member who understands your health conditions. Sometimes close friends may not be helpful in helping you deal with travel anxieties because they may not really understand what you are going thru.
Bring along a trusted friend who will help you deal once these anxieties kick in while somewhere on a road trip or on a beach cafe in the beautiful Greece. Most of the time you only need one person who will help you deal with these fears and hold you while you go thru it.
Check with your doctor or coach
Before or while making travel plans, discuss with your doctor what are your travel concerns. If you feel that there is fear about the actual travel plans, discuss this with your doctor or healthcare provider. She might find out the underlying cause of these fears and will provide help to actually overcome or deal with these fears.
Let your doctor or healthcare provider know everything about the travel plans that concerns you the most. It may be fear of flying, fear of talking to strangers, fear of waking up somewhere in an unfamiliar place. She may recommend tips and medications to help you overcome these fears.
Living with anxiety disorder can be hell, but this should not stop you from living a fulfilled life and doing the things you love most. Specially travelling. Follow these easy tips to help you manage your symptoms on your next trip. With practice and preparation, you may be able to travel and leave your anxieties behind.
Also try to remember these three words and say them out loudly. Say them out loud if you will every time you wake up and face your self in the mirror.
“I got this!”
Enjoyed this article? Share it with someone who may be avoiding travel because of anxiety disorder. It will be a big help for you and for them!