Travelling with Anxiety

image

Long distance travelling triggers my anxiety like nothing else.

Travelling long haul is never fun but when you have anxiety it can turn into a total nightmare. Over the years I have figured out a few tricks to keep myself sane before and during a long haul trip. I love seeing new countries so combatting my travel anxiety essential.

Comfort is Key

I try and make sure my travelling outfit is as comfortable as possible. I’m loving these converse joggers right now, they are insanely comfy, warm and soft. As I said comfort is key and I just can’t travel in an underwired bra! I hate anything that feels restrictive, my main problem with my anxiety is panic attacks and if I feel confined its 100% worse so a soft cup bra it is. I also always make sure I pack some comfy slipper socks as wearing shoes on a 14 hr flight is never fun. If you are heading somewhere extra hot and you know when you get there that joggers are going to be too much, pack a little tshirt dress in your hand luggage, you can slip it on in the loo & it won’t take up any space in your bag.

imageimageimage

Distract yourself

Pretending I’m somewhere else may not be the best coping mechanism but it helps so I’m sticking with it. I will always have a book with me, I prefer to have an actual physical book instead of one on my phone as there is always the fear your phone will run out of battery. I either take something I’ve never read before or an old favourite I’ve not read in a while. I’ll always have a notepad on me as writing really helps to relax me. You might only be writing a list of things to do when you get there but anything you have to focus on will help.

Smell something lovely

We all know long distance travelling can get a little smelly, someones threw up on the plane, the train toilets smell like a sewer or you have 5 people in the same car for 11 hours. A smell can transport us anywhere and I make sure I have a bottle of my favourite perfume on me at all times. Just don’t cover yourself in it as you may end up with other passengers hating you! I spray some onto the cuff of my jumper, my wrist and a scarf, the scent will last longest on the fabrics and when things get a little too much a good whiff of something comforting calms me right down. Currently I’m loving no 72 from Eden Perfumes. Moisturiser is not only essential for your skin on a long haul flight you can also use that as your scent, I find the smell of dream cream really comforting so I try and have a sample pot of this in my hand luggage.

Sleep is the best meditation

It may seem hard to do when you are tense as hell but sleep is essential when you are travelling long haul. Not only does it reduce stress (win!), it makes the time pass quicker which is always a massive bonus. My sleep kit is fairly simple, an eye mask, a pillow, a blanket & a playlist full of relaxing music. My playlist at the moment is mainly Portishead, Bjork, early Sia (listen to breathe me it’s amazing) and Death Cab for Cutie.

Medication is not giving in

If you are so nervous about travelling that the thought of getting on a plane/train/car/bus for longer than a couple of hours fills you with a dread you can’t manage then you may need other help. This is not failing, we all have things we are mortally afraid of and dealing with them yourself is not the best option. Go and talk to a professional, there are plenty of helplines available if you don’t want to talk to your GP, you can also go and see the practice nurse in your surgery or ask for a referral to a councillor. If you are nervous about taking medication then opt for a herbal remedy, there are plenty out there to choose from; teas/balms/tablets/tinctures the key is finding something that works for you. Sometimes you do need something stronger, this is not you giving in, it’s ok to admit that you need help. I go between 1 diazepam or three depending on how nervous I am before travelling. I will always have diazepam on me when I am flying, even if I don’t take it, knowing it’s there if I need it makes me feel better.

I hope my tips have helped or at least given you some ideas on what to try for your next trip. If you feel like you need any more advice, feel free to comment below or email me and I will try and help with any questions you have.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

image

Shop this look;

Hoodie – Converse

Tshirt – ASOS

Joggers – Converse

Trainers – Converse

3 Comments

  1. Little Tiny April 29, 2016 / 11:30 am

    I’m so glad and relieved it isn’t just me that freaks out about travelling! I’m much better at coping now than I was 2/3 years ago – but knowing that other people feel it too is less of a worry.
    Thanks for sharing – I love how honest and open you are about your anxiety!

  2. greenbean1 April 29, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    Diazepam and valium are one and the same – valium is just the trademarked name. I find temazepam works better than diazepam which has very little calming effect on me! One of my biggest anxieties when travelling is catching germs and getting sick – i always end up sick after long haul flights!

  3. Taylor May 2, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    I’m glad you made this post! I have a generalized anxiety disorder that (shockingly) went undiagnosed for my entire childhood, and travel was always a huge problem for me. I’m not sure how it is for you, or others, but for me just the thought that I MIGHT have a panic attack and be sick was enough to make me have a panic attack and be sick. I have nearly missed my flight several times because getting into the queue for security check was too stressful and I had to keep running to the bathroom to throw up… the second I thought “Wouldn’t it be terrible to have a panic attack now?” it would be happening.

    I’m also glad you included that medication is not a failure… our minds are doing their own thing and the body is following suit, and when you have a physical symptom it’s ok to take a medication (syrup for coughs, painkillers for headaches) so why would it not be ok to take a medication to help reel your mind back in? I always bring lorazepam (ativan) with me, but the number of times I’ve actually had to take it is very slim. As you said, just having it there as an option is often enough.

    The most helpful thing I have found, though, is training the brain before anxiety attacks to know that when the panic comes you CAN control yourself. Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning was a crucial read for me; he writes about how embracing your anxiety takes away its power. The last few times I flew (from Western Canada to the UK, alone!) the second I started to feel anxious I told myself “It’s ok to freak out. There are toilets everywhere and you can camp out in one as long as you need. Just get through the security check then you can barf your guts out, it’s totally cool.” Allowing myself to freak out instead of fighting it was a major game changer, when you stop dreading it the feeling goes away really quickly. I’m also a fan of self-depreciating humour so usually when I board the plane (I always sit at the back by the toilets and attendants) I introduce myself and give them a heads up that I’m a terrible flyer and I might puke all over everyone… attendants have seen their fare share of crazy mid-air shite so most often they joke with me about their experiences with other people who have freaked out and knowing I’m not alone and that I shouldn’t be embarrassed is sooooo good. xoxox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *