Anxiety has the power to ruin our day – but it doesn’t have to be like that. While it’s perfectly normal to experience this uncomfortable feeling (1 in 6 young people in the UK suffer from the condition), it can be a challenge to know how to battle it. This is particularly true when you head out on holiday.
Today, let’s run through six top tips on how to overcome travel anxiety.
1. Distract yourself
It might be hard to do in the throngs of an attack, but try your best to take your mind off how anxious you’re feeling. Simple tricks like imagining the last time you saw a white horse, or thinking about exactly what you want to have for dinner that evening can have a real impact.
While they might sound trivial, asking yourself these kinds of questions will help to turn your attention away from the moment you’re in and it is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety. Before you know it, you’ll snap back into reality and realize the panic attack has passed.
2. Take a friend who understands
Having a travel companion is always useful, but particularly if you experience any kind of medical condition. In truth, having a holiday buddy, in general, can be a great help.
Not only will they offer a calming safety blanket, but they can also encourage you to get out and push yourself that little bit more than you might on your own. That said, it’s important to make sure the person you’re with understands your condition and knows where to draw the line.
3. Bring a copy of your prescription
If you’ve been prescribed medication, be sure to bring a copy of the prescription with you when you head off on your travels.
Doing so allows you to have a backup plan just in case the medicine you’ve taken with you in is lost or not allowed through customs. What’s more, this also makes it easier to ask for from a pharmaceutical booth if you’re in a country where you don’t have a strong grasp of the local language.
4. Ask your doctor for advice before traveling
If you’re not already prescribed medication, it might be wise to see if you should be, before simply buying some over the counter anxiety medication. Talking a doctor prior to travel not only helps with this but can also provide you with a series of other handy snippets of advice which will come in handy during your adventure.
These practitioners will have dealt with hundreds of cases like yours in the past and can give you some simple tricks to help combat your anxious thoughts. These include things like reducing the amount of caffeine in your system and making sure to regulate your breathing if you feel a panic attack coming on.
5. Expect the worst
This sounds ominous, but it’s not as bad as you might think. Simply be aware of your condition, and plan accordingly. Your anxiety won’t ruin your fun, but it’s important to have a rough idea of how it might affect you in different circumstances.
If it helps, write down some scenarios where an attack might occur and come up with practical solutions as to how you’ll handle them. Having this prepared in advance is in itself a relatively soothing factor – and could reduce the chances of anxiety playing up as strongly.
6. Don’t try to ignore or fight it
If you feel a pre-travel anxiety attack coming on, don’t try to fight it. Doing this can make matters worse and cause your anxious spell to last for long. Take the steps you normally would and wait for it to pass. You’ll feel better afterward.
Anxiety can be a nuisance, but it doesn’t have to ruin your travels. Keep these tips in mind, remember to book your travel medical insurance in advance, and you’ll find it will be a secondary factor when you head off on your next holiday.
Do you have any other tips on how to handle anxiety worth sharing? Leave a comment below.