Ways to cope with anxiety whilst travelling
What better way to overcome one fear than being the most petrified you can be? There were various methods I used to overcome my anxiety, but to be honest the most important was being diagnosed with cancer. This made me think I was going to die and never see all the amazing places in the world. (A bit grim but its the truth)
I used to be scared of travelling, at one point I developed agoraphobia and didn’t even leave the house for 3 months. I overcome this and started travelling the world for my planned year of amazing sightseeing to then get the devastating news I was poorly again.
- Now treatment has finished and I’m travelling the world and enjoying every moment of it (well most of the time)
- My irrational thoughts meant I didn’t like being far from home in case something went wrong.
I needed to retrain my brain to think I was going to be safe, I did this by taking the plunge and booked a trip to NYC on my own.
Factors that made this a little easier; I went first class. The thought of not being crammed on flight relieved my anxiety greatly. Also the free champagne helped! I got some medication from my GP, just having it with me reduced my anxiety. I didn’t even take it Now when I get a bit anxious I can think back and say to myself “I went to NYC on my own I can go anywhere” I’ve now been all over UK, Europe, China, Thailand and USA and have so much more planned, I still get bad days, days when I think I can’t do that trip.
My coping mechanisms are
- Be in control – I choose where and when im going somewhere, what I’m going to be doing and most of the time who with
- Be organised – I like to know everything such as durations of travel, order of places, times I need to be places etc
- Arrive early – being in a rush can cause my anxieties to rise
- I book early morning flights so I don’t dwell on it all day
- I travel at off peak times to avoid crowds. Avoiding the commuters who push and shove as they are trying to get to work can make all the difference
- Pay for extra leg room, first class if prices not too huge. Especially on trains the difference can be so stress-free. Priority passes stop me getting so anxious as it means I have a quieter place to escape to whilst I am waiting for my flight.
- Look for a way out. Knowing your exits means you can get out of situations quickly if you start to feel panicky
- Make sure I have water to keep my mouth refreshed
- Have snacks if I’m hungry I start to feel sick which can make me panic even more
- Most of all enjoy your travels the world is big and there is so much to see