As the travel season kicks in, typically during the summer, scores of excited adventurers are busy looking at glossy brochures to plan their next trip and pack their bags. The idea of traveling to new or known places is thrilling to many people, but it causes anxiety in others. Getting all excited about a relaxing vacation or new adventures is hard when just the idea of going on a trip makes your travel anxiety flare-up.
There are so many things that can bring feelings of anxiety in a person. It can be the idea of meeting new people, trying out new food, or being away from familiar surroundings. All the usual things associated with traveling.
If traveling stresses you out, here are some suggestions on how to deal with it.
1. You need to plan and prepare beforehand
When you start making travel plans, put in some effort beforehand into how you will handle the symptoms of your travel anxiety. Expecting that you will have an uneasy trip usually will bring more uncertainty and stress about your upcoming trip. If you’re thinking you may have a possible panic attack, have a plan to cope with it.
Visualization, deep breathing techniques, and meditation are excellent tools you can use to counter a panic attack. It’s all about what works for you, whether it’s playing a game of chess on your phone, taking a muscle relaxant eating a CBD gummy, or simply taking deep breaths.
Start practicing relaxation and self-help techniques in the weeks leading up to your departure. Learning to deal with the uncomfortable thoughts of anxiety is a matter of regular practice. As a result of this, you might find that symptoms will stay under control during your upcoming trip.
2. Find ways to move your focus away from your symptoms
People usually focus more on their symptoms of anxiety while traveling. A way of managing them is to shift your focus somewhere else. Rather than focus on the anxious feelings you may experience, it’s better to stay busy with other activities. For instance, you can read your favorite magazines or books, or listen to a soothing music playlist.
Divert your attention to serene thoughts and picture yourself in a happy environment to banish your negative thoughts. You can also repeat affirmations to center your mind on calming thoughts. Keep telling yourself that you’re safe, and the feelings will begin to go away. Focus on your breathing to calm your mind.
Breathe purposefully and slowly counting each one of your breaths. Embrace each deep inhalation that fills your lungs and every refreshing exhalation. Soon, you will notice that your body will start calming down as your breath steadies.
An intense feeling of anxiety and panic may make your body feel tight and tense. If that happens, you can do stretching exercises, practice PMR (progressive muscle relaxation) techniques, or sitting yoga postures to ease your tension.
You can also focus on all the things that you are looking forward to on your trip. Think about all the exciting things you have planned on your itinerary. Even if you are traveling for work, you can always check out a new eatery, get a massage, or maybe even do a bit of sightseeing. Your excitement for all your upcoming activities will soon take over the worries.
3. Take a friend with you on your trip
People suffering from travel anxiety may feel better traveling with loved ones with whom they feel safe and comfortable. You can always enlist a family member or a dear friend to go with you on your trip. Just make sure that they know about your travel anxiety and fears. That way they can help you cope with your symptoms and boost your sense of security while you are traveling. In most cases, just having someone there is enough to feel calmer so you can enjoy your trip.
4. Talk to your doctor before traveling
If you have severe travel anxiety, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider or doctor about your fears and concerns. They will be able to deal with your underlying conditions or issues, such as aerophobia (fear of flying) or agoraphobia. Your doctor will also be able to prescribe the proper medications to treat your symptoms.
Get ready to travel
Travel is currently on hold for most older people because of the pandemic but it will be coming back soon now that vaccines are available. It’s a good time to start planning your next trip so you will be able to travel again when it’s safe without anxiety.