While there may be no way to guarantee you will not experience anxiety on your next vacation, there are certainly ways of dealing with anxiety to help you. It is important to be honest about your feelings of anxiety with yourself, your therapist, and those traveling with you. These tips will help you prepare for your upcoming vacation in a stress-free way.
Plan Vacations in the Off-Season
Travel destinations will be less crowded before and after peak season You can still enjoy fabulous weather but without all the anxiety caused by crowds. This is especially the case if your anxiety stems from social interactions or crowds. If you are prone to panic attacks in busy areas, you certainly want to do some research on the best months to travel.
Research Your Location
Try to consume books and websites about your vacation destination, which will allow you to learn about local customs and feel more comfortable in your own skin as you travel. You may also feel more comfortable when you know exactly which direction to walk or which train to get on to get to your next destination.
Dress in a way that makes you feel both comfortable and confident when you travel. Plan ahead to avoid feeling uncomfortable in an itchy sweater or shoes that just don't fit. It is always a good idea to worry more about your comfort than your style.
Talk to Your Doctor About Prescriptions
You may want to bring along your prescribed anxiety medications to ensure that you are in control. Speak with your therapist or psychiatrist if you have questions about taking medications abroad. You can also talk about adjusting your prescription if necessary.
Prepare for Security Lines
Many people get anxiety when they think about traveling via airplane. Dealing with security can be stressful. It is a good idea to wear shoes you can easily remove, no jewelry, and to clean out your pockets ahead of time. Keep your jacket in your carry-on bag to avoid holding up the line to take it off. You will easily be able to walk through the line without feeling rushed.
Download Something to Listen to or Watch
Movies and music can ease your transition to a new place. You can listen to something familiar for added comfort or simply turn on something new as a distraction. Having something new to listen to will keep your mind away from stressful situations.
Prepare for Plans to Change
While it's fantastic to make some plans for your trip, you should always expect that sometimes things will not go the way you expect. Things are sure to deviate from your plan, and it is important that you feel okay with this. Anxiety often comes from fears associated with changes, but if you expect that you may have to change your plans, you will feel much better about it.
Take Time for Yourself
If you are traveling with other people, it is essential that you have time to recharge. This is often something good to do at the start or end of the day, giving yourself time to just relax and collect your thoughts. This is a great time to unwind with a journal or a good book, calming yourself after a bustling day of travel.
If traveling causes you more anxiety than you can deal with on your own, please feel free to contact me for help.