Traveling can be extremely stressful, even if you don’t have a condition like anxiety. Unfortunately, if you do have problems related to anxiety, the process of traveling can often exacerbate your issues and cause you to have a miserable time.
However, there are several things you can do to ease your fears and worries that will help you to have a pleasant travel experience. Keep reading to learn about some simple things you can do to keep anxiousness at bay ahead of a big trip.
1. Travel with an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
If you have an emotional support dog or other animal, traveling with them may help mitigate your anxiety. If your animal helps you with your anxiety treatment but has not been officially prescribed to do so by a mental health professional yet, you will need to obtain an ESA letter. This letter will certify that your ESA is necessary for the treatment of your disorder.
Many airlines will not allow your animal to fly with you unless you obtain this letter. However, each airline has a different policy, so be sure to check with the one you are using well in advance of your flight to determine the policies and procedures you must follow.
2. Take Advantage of Distractions
Nearly every major airline today includes a seatback entertainment system that features hundreds of movies, TV shows, games, and music from which to choose. If you want to be sure there will be something for you to do, consider downloading your favorite entertainment onto your phone or tablet before traveling. Having something to pay attention to other than your anxiety can help you to keep your worries in check and arrive at your destination in peace.
3. Travel with Someone You Trust
Traveling alone can make many people who suffer from anxiety even more nervous, but making the trip with a friend or family member that you trust can work wonders to calm your fears. Traveling with other people also tends to be more fun. Occasionally, it might cause you anxiety, so be sure to pick someone you get along with really well to be your travel buddy!
This also means that the two of you can work together to navigate the airport, find ground transportation, and get to where you want to go. Many people can quickly get overwhelmed when they realize they must take care of all these things on their own. Therefore, you should take advantage of the saying “two heads are better than one” when you travel.
4. Practice Calming Techniques
Calming techniques can help you to center yourself and realize that you are okay. Some common examples include affirmations, slow breathing, and meditation.
It would be best if you considered experimenting with some of these different methods to find the one that works best for you. Just because meditation works well for your friend does not necessarily mean that it will be the best coping mechanism for you.
5. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can alter your body’s natural processes and cause you to become much more anxious. If your heart starts beating quickly when you are nervous, you definitely don’t want to drink coffee, which can cause the same effect and confuse your brain. It is best to stick to water to stay hydrated while you travel.
Even though the act of traveling can cause a flare-up of nerves, most people who partake find it so worth it. Exploring new places and cultures helps us expand our horizons and develop a deeper understanding of our world and its people. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you to conquer your fears so that you can get out there and learn something new.