Being away from your well-known doctors, support systems, friends and creature comforts can mess with your equilibrium at the best of times, let alone when you travel. If you have noticed a connection between travel and a peak in symptoms, you’re not alone!
The good news is, it doesn't have to rule your life. With some simple strategies and the right toolkit in place, you can learn to minimise your symptoms and get back to enjoying the wonders of the world.
Acknowledge Your Fears
It's normal to experience anxiety and worry when facing the unknown so give yourself shame-free permission to name those fears. Ignoring or suppressing your feelings may only intensify your anxiety.
Once you've acknowledged your fears, it's time to plan ahead. Write a list of your triggers and potential setbacks. Maybe the airport makes you feel unsafe. Or not having access to your normal GP elevates your stress levels. Be honest and open so you can identify, plan for and minimise the impact of each.
By planning ahead and preparing for potential challenges, you'll feel more confident and in control. And if something does go wrong, well you’ve already got a list of solutions in hand!
It’s more than a buzzword. Mindfulness changes your mental circuit breakers so you focus on the present and lean towards radical acceptance rather than irrational doomsday-ing.
Try setting aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness and deep breathing. This can help you build up your mental toolbox for managing anxiety. When you're travelling, take a few deep breaths or check in with your body to help ground yourself in the present moment.
Bag + Image: Status Anxiety
Packing a Travel Comfort Kit
I never leave home without my travel comfort kit. Items that make you feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed are the winning combo. What that looks like is up to you.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- A favourite book or magazine: Reading can be a great distraction from anxious thoughts, and having familiar reading material can be a real comfort.
- A fidget ring: Keeping your hands occupied can help distract you from anxious thoughts. Our pretty anxiety rings will elevate your travel outfit, too!
- Essential oils: Certain scents, like lavender or chamomile, are known for their calming properties. Bring one of our perfume rollers to apply when you need a quick calming boost.
- Noise-canceling headphones: Loud or unexpected noises can be triggering for some people with anxiety. Invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones to help block out distracting sounds. It will also stop random people talking your ear off, win!
- A cozy blanket or scarf: Having something soft and warm to wrap around yourself can be oh-so soothing, especially during long flights or drives.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a critical component of managing anxiety, including health anxiety when travelling. Eating well, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep can all help keep your body and mind in balance.
Aim to eat healthy, balanced meals, and bring healthy snacks like fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds with you when you travel. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also help keep anxiety at bay. And, of course, getting enough rest is essential - ensure you have enough time to wind down and relax before bed.
If you're finding that your anxiety is becoming overwhelming and impacting your ability to enjoy your trip, speaking with a therapist may help. A mental health professional can provide you with the support and tools you need to manage your anxiety and maintain your mental health while travelling.