While it is true that travel enhances mental health, many people find themselves vulnerable to travel anxiety due to the stress involved in arranging and spending time in different places around the world.
Travel can significantly worsen the symptoms of general anxiety, which might keep you from fully appreciating your experience even if this isn’t a recognized mental health disease that can be diagnosed.
Some individuals find it to be so severe that they never travel again.
In the past, talking about mental health was frowned upon and is now becoming more common. Traveling doesn’t make anxiety go away and managing anxiety while away from home can be far more upsetting than doing it at home.
Therefore, it is crucial to talk about.
Traveling the world despite having travel anxiety may require a little more preparation on your part in order to manage your health and your reactions so that you can maintain control of yourself.
Knowing how to recognize whether you have travel anxiety is necessary before you can manage it.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that anyone might have mental health concerns because they are non-discriminatory. Even if you’ve never had a mental health crisis before, it’s still important to know how to handle one in case travel manages to set off a problem for you or someone you’re traveling with.
There are a few typical signs to watch out for, though like with any ailment, each person’s symptoms may vary.
- Chest discomfort or a fast heartbeat
- Sleeping issues before a trip
- Checking tickets, departure times, etc. constantly
- Focusing issues
Any of them could cause a panic attack in your mind if it becomes overbearing. Here are five suggestions to help you stop worrying and enjoy the journey in an effort to lessen the impacts of travel anxiety.
Determine your anxiety triggers.
Finding out what makes your anxiety symptoms worse is the first step. Some of these triggers, like boarding an aircraft or making travel plans, may be unique to your trips.
Others may be related to environmental factors, such as caffeine consumption, stress, or low blood sugar; food is frequently a trigger, particularly for people with conditions like IBS.
Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders including anorexia or bulimia, panic attacks, depression, OCD, and substance abuse are common (existing) mental health illnesses that travel can either cause to worsen or trigger.
Due to the lack of a tight support system of friends and family, traveling alone can make people feel depressed. OCD sufferers, who frequently demand flawless symmetry and order, may find this to be especially difficult because they frequently have to deal with events that are out of their control.
Always take a partner if you’re unsure. If it’s not a human, think about obtaining an ESA. When traveling or flying, emotional service animals can be ideal for anticipating and delaying the development of panic attacks.
Although the majority of airlines have comparable travel policies for ESAs, it’s always a good idea to double-check with the specific airline in advance. For instance, the ESA policy of American Airlines mandates that you complete a few paperwork before your journey.
Make More Time.
You might believe it’s a good idea to pack your agenda as tightly as possible to keep you from thinking about your problems, but this might exacerbate anxiety and make it worse. Adding extra time to your plan can really assist.
Give yourself extra time to travel to the airport and locate your gate if the notion of standing in the security queue is causing you tension.
Making your travel arrangements as simple and stress-free as you can is key. This entails not trying to pack too much into your schedule or delaying until the last minute to make travel and lodging arrangements.
Plan a few extra hours so you can travel to the airport, rest, and enjoy a nice cup of coffee. If the idea of missing your flight is one of your triggers, this will lessen your worry.
Bring plenty of items to keep yourself occupied during the extra time you plan on setting aside.
What routinely helps you feel less anxious? Maybe it’s a reassuring movie or an intriguing video game that provides a time-killing visual diversion. It might be vaping. Some people find solace in puzzles, reading, listening to music through headphones, and other quiet pursuits.
Being physically active or exercising can help prevent some mental health disorders. Use the fitness center at your hotel, travel with a yoga mat, or go for a run in a nearby park to divert your attention from negative thoughts.
These days, some airports even offer running tracks!
Instead, you might want to consider bringing a diary so you can record your vacation experiences and express your thoughts verbally. You can assess whether your own thoughts are reasonable by reading them aloud.
Make sure to pack your chosen diversion for the journey, whatever it may be. Distractions that you find enjoyable keep negative thoughts at bay and provide you with a constructive line of thought to concentrate on.
Keep Your Attitude Under Control.
You will never enjoy yourself if your mindset is off. Try to keep your attitude at least neutral, and if you can through the stress, try to keep it positive.
Consider the fact that even though you are in a lengthy security queue, you still have plenty of time because you arrived early. You can now wait by your gate with a snack and a good book before boarding even though passing through security might have been frightening!
If you struggle with this, know that you may also get support and help while you’re away from home, whether from local medical professionals or by staying in touch with your regular therapist.
Not that you should buy them a plane ticket to come with you, but you might be able to schedule and pay in advance for sessions with your therapist that can be conducted over the phone or online.
In case of a mental health emergency, discuss with your therapist what times they would be available. To ensure that your therapist can provide you with enough medication to get you through, make sure to schedule an appointment before your trip.
Embrace Your Situation.
Accept that you are where you are because you want to be there and that something good will come of it in the end.
No number of irritable individuals around you or any other annoyance matters, even if there is traffic on the road and your flight is delayed. Pick your reaction to the circumstance.
Consider how you might complete your book and chat with other passengers during the delay rather than stressing out. Your state of mind at this point will influence how you react.
Consider speaking with a mental health professional if you are experiencing crippling travel anxiety and no amount of advice seems to be helping. Some people ultimately turn to medication to calm their worries when traveling.
We wish you a safe journey no matter which approach works best for you.
Even while you may need to do a little more planning to maintain your health, having a mental health illness does not preclude you from traveling the world.
How have you found managing your mental health while touring the world?