As someone who suffers from regular doses of travel anxiety, I’m here to supply you with a few remedy tips, because I know I’m not alone in this. Whether or not you’re afraid of flying, or perhaps dislike enclosed buses, or simply do not enjoy travelling in general, I am here to provide a few travel tips which have helped me over the last few years.
I noticed my travel anxiety just over two years ago. The thought of buses terrified me, and on various occasions, I’d feel extremely unwell before or during a flight. I couldn’t make sense of it at first, but in time I’ve learned that anxiety comes in all shapes and forms, and in this instance, it can truly hit when putting yourself out of your comfort zone. Here are a few things that have helped me, and may help others when travelling with anxiety.
Packing Your Bag
When travelling with anxiety, it’s necessary to carry essential goods in your carry on bag, or bag-pack. I’m emetophobic (meaning I dislike getting sick and am triggered by germs and unwell passengers), so packing essentials such as anti sickness medication, hand sanitiser, or even just sweets to suck, calm me down immensely. If you find comfort in something and know it may calm you down, carry it as close as possible. Even if you don’t need it, you’ll find comfort in knowing that it’s there. Pro tip* Write a list. There’s nothing better than ticking off a list, knowing you have everything you need.
Pack Water & Sweets
When you’re anxious, it’s extremely common to fall unwell, or feel sick in your tummy. When confined on a small bus, or in a flying plane, some people may panic and feel like there’s little to no escape. Carry a bottle of water for dry mouth situations, and bring sweets to distract yourself. I find comfort in sucking sweets, becoming completely aware of the actions in my mouth. Using methods of distractions will aid you back to normality.
I’ve had my fair share of panic attacks on board a hot bus, and during these moments, have regretted not wearing appropriate clothing. When we panic, Adrenalin rushes and our blood pumps faster. We can feel flushed or over heated within seconds, so being able to remove clothing into a light t-shirt is always a massive plus. Whether you’re travelling in the height of Winter or during the biggest heatwave, try and dress as light and comfortably as possible. It’ll prevent panic of confinement when you’re overheating.
When I first started to notice my travel anxiety, I regretfully never voiced what exactly was going on in my head. Instead, I’d panic, stressing those around me. At the end of the day, not everyone understands anxiety or how to help you, so telling someone you trust in advance may help aid their assistance. It’s taken me a long while to fully comprehend why I panic, or why it happens to me, but I’ve slowly self discovered, now giving me the courage to tell a trusting friend or family member.
Travelling can be extremely easy for one person, and the scariest thing for another. If you’re on the receiving end of someone’s panic attack, the best advice I can give to you is to remain calm. If you panic, the situation will worsen. Calmly approaching a situation where someone is panicking, saying the right things like “I’m here if you need me” or “What can I do to help you?” are two of the greatest questions you can ask. In some case scenarios, someone who’s in a panic cannot rationalise their thoughts, and may appear unresponsive to your help, but do not fret. All you can do is your best!
I hope these tips help you in all shapes and forms. If you have any personal tips of your own, be sure to share them below or send me a message via Instagram! I’m always looking to expand my knowledge of anxiety and how everyone else manages their stress levels.