Advice

Ask Niki: Do You Have Any Tips for Traveling When You Have Anxiety?

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.

QUESTION:

Do you have any tips for dealing with anxiety when you travel or go on vacation?

ANSWER:

Ugh, anxiety. Why can’t it just leave us alone, right?

Even though going on a relaxing vacation is a great way to unwind and get rid of stress, traveling itself can be stressful! Plus, your anxiety doesn’t just disappear because you’re on vacation.

Planning Your Trip

From booking your hotel to packing your bag, planning any type of getaway involves a lot of time and effort! Accept that. I sometimes cause myself more anxiety by trying to make a stressful process less stressful.

By acknowledging that some things are inherently challenging and preventing yourself from trying to fix it, you’ll find a little piece of peace in the chaos.

So take a deep breath and embrace it.

The Flight

Second, let’s chat about your mode of transportation. If you’re traveling by plane and you’re nervous about it, be sure to let your therapist/doctor know ahead of time so that they can provide advice and any medications they feel are necessary.

Next, prepare to distract yourself. My favorite distraction is sleep but if you’re unable to fall asleep, make sure to have a few movies or books with you. Movies work really well for me. They make the time pass quickly and they can help lull you to sleep. Just be sure to choose the right type of movies, I once watched a plane crash in a movie while experiencing turbulence on a flight and it was terrifying. Rom coms, coming of age flicks, animated family movies, or anything with upbeat/positive vibe is great.

Anxiety While Traveling

Panic attacks are scary. They feel absolutely awful!

And although it’d be nice to be able to leave them at home when you travel, there’s always a chance you may experience one while traveling or at your destination.

I take several steps to prevent this from happening but I also plan for a “worse case scenario”.

First, I avoid caffeine before and during a trip. Caffeine alone has set me off into a scary blur of anxious emotions and tears. Opt for water or warm herbal tea when possible, it’ll comfort and soothe.

Next, I try to get as much rest/sleep during the trip as possible. Sleep does wonders at keeping my nerves at bay. If you stay up late while vacationing, try to balance that out with sleeping in the next day or planning a mellow activity the following day so that you don’t over exert yourself.

Lastly, if a panic attack hits, take the time you need to recover. Sometimes I get so embarrassed by what’s happening to me that I try to push through it and act normal. But that doesn’t help anyone. Your well-being should always be a top priority! Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to communicate what you need.

Need More Advice?

I really hope you found this post helpful!

If you have a question you would like me to answer in an upcoming ASK NIKI post, feel free to leave it in the comment section below or use the contact form.

See you back here soon!

Love,
Niki

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