Squash your travel anxiety

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Travel can be overwhelming but so many find it worth the hassle – because it totally is! If you’re prone to anxiety when you travel, it’s important to prepare! Here are my top 10 tips  to squash that travel related anxiety!

  1. Download apps on your phone for anxiety. I made a list of my top favorites you can find here! The apps are so helpful for when you’re stuck in moments of anxiety and need a quick distraction. They’re also helpful when you’re looking for motivation, inspiration, or a sort of “therapy” session when you’re on the go! There are several that come with pre-made “talks” that can talk you through your anxiety – which is super awesome!
  2. If you get homesick easily (like I do) try packing things that remind you of home. If I am traveling without Kyle, I pack a pair of his sweatpants and t-shirt that I wear to bed and it’s just so comfy + totally reminds me of him and our home! I’ll grab one of my favorite blankets, too, and whoever has my cat is pretty much required to send photos daily.
  3. Take your comforts with you if you can! I cannot sleep without my body pillow! I don’t know why, I just have to fall asleep on my side and completely spooning my pillow. I think when I was really sick, having it support my stomach was so comfortable and I had to sleep that way for years so it just stuck with me! I always pack that pillow with me if I can and it makes sleeping away from home so much easier.
  4. Trouble Sleeping? Like my last point – make travel as comfortable as you can if you know you have a difficult time. I have a hard time sleeping away from home which is why I pack the pillow – but some other things I’ve found super helpful in sleeping when I’m gone is 1) ear plugs: I hear everything so having ear plugs is so helpful! 2) a sleeping aid: I’ll take one zzzquil if I think I’m going to have trouble sleeping. It’s a definite must when sharing a hotel room with 4 other people! And 3) Make sure your sleeping conditions are okay for you. For me, I always turn the AC up because that’s how I sleep best.
  5. Pack anxiety aids: Books, inspiration, games, self-help notes, hand held stress items- anything that is tangible that can help, take it with you! I took a couple anxiety books with me on my most recent trip, but didn’t end up needing them. It was nice to know I had them though, just in case!
  6. Medication: I get anxious when I don’t feel well, so I always make sure to pack something for a headache, stomach issues, and then I bring everything that I have to take daily, too! That way, no matter what happens, I’m covered. Sometimes travel anxiety can be fixed in simply knowing you packed well and are prepared. And don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for something to help you along if you think you’ll need it for a long drive or a plane ride! Sometimes even just half a mg of something can make a world of a difference in keeping your composure! Personally, I use Ativan. I start with a quarter of a pill (mine are 1mg each) and if I feel I need more after a half hour or so, I take more.
  7. Music or Talk Shows! One of my biggest issues with anxiety is my inability to let myself get distracted. Once it’s started, I’m consumed by it, and I can’t pull away. I become obsessed with not freaking out. When I am in a position like that, it takes 100% of my energy and focus to keep myself together. Talk shows have helped a lot in giving me something to listen to, and pay attention to. Music doesn’t help as much because I sort of zone out into the beat of it, but it’s just people talking, then that’s all I have to listen to. More specifically, I’ve been enjoying political talk shows, because that’s something I’m trying to learn more about, so when I listen it, I have to pay attention to know and learn. The Glenn Beck program helped me so much on the drive to Wisconsin this summer! Also, there is a podcast app on iPhones that you can download these talks into, that way, they’re all in one place! I also love I Heart Radio, Pandora, and then just listening to music that’s already on my phone.
  8. Talk it out. If you’re anxious, then you’re anxious. There’s no need to feel embarrassed, or like you’re an inconvenience to anyone. Tell someone. Talking, I feel, is one of the best remedies for anxiety. Explain you’re feelings, and why you think you’re feeling the way you do. More often than not, the person you’re talking to will help you. Get you out of the heat, out of a crowd, find you food or water – it’s okay to ask for help. Easier said than done? I totally get that. In fact, when Kyle and I first got together, that was his biggest “thing” with me.  It would irritate him to no end that I wanted to handle everything in my life on. my. own. But when I started experiencing more serious symptoms with anxiety.. I realized that you can’t be hardheaded. Just ask for help. It’ll be better for everyone in the long run, and you won’t regret it!
  9. Find Fun. The more distractions the better! Bring activities that you can do when you aren’t doing anything: a laptop, board games, a journal, your camera, movies, etc.! And if you’re the one doing the planning, then make sure there are things included that you enjoy. You can make them whatever you want, you can schedule breaks, or meals that you know will be indoors. Plans sometimes ease the anxiety, but too strict, and you’ll find yourself in a hurry to different places during the entire trip! Cue the anxiousness! Schedule time for relaxation, but make sure you’ll always be doing something.
  10. Be okay with your anxiety. Knowing that you’ll have increased feelings of nervousness before something big is key. Know it’s there. Acknowledge it. And then accept it. In my experience, the more okay you are with your anxiety, the better it is to manage, and the less issues you have with it overall.

This post by Kayleigh originally appeared on wildlightandlush.com.

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