Summer is upon us! Traveling by yourself, or with friends and family can be an exciting and memorable experience, but it can also bring challenges for those with anxiety. If you struggle with anxiety, planning ahead of time can support well being and vitality along your destinations. Here are some travel tips for people with anxiety:
- Plan Ahead: Take a few moments to plan ahead of time. Make a checklist of all the items you need to bring, such as medication, earplugs, or stress balls. Research your destination and create a flexible schedule of what you might want to see and do. This plan isn’t a reassurance, or a rule-to-follow. Allow it to support preparation, while also building some momentum for exciting things to come!
- Take Care of Yourself: Trips are supposed to be fun! Being out of your routine, and busy with plans can also be stressful. Make sure to get enough sleep, exercise, and eat balanced meals. Bring your favorite snacks or drinks to help you feel more comfortable. Take breaks when needed, and don’t push yourself too hard. Remember, it’s okay to take some time to relax and recharge.
- Do Some Mini Exposures to Get Ready: Traveling may feel like one big exposure, even if it is set to be fun and relaxing. One way to prepare for larger exposures, that may be out of your control (in-vivo), is to plan other exposures with a focus on leaning into discomfort. As you approach the “hard thing,” try saying, “This is challenging for me in this moment and I know I can handle it.” The more practice we have at approaching feared situations without defenses, the more likely we are to be successful at “game time!”