Good morning peeps,
I wanted to chat about something close to my heart. So I picked travelling with Anxiety.
We all feel anxious time to time about different things. Little things like driving in the rain or bigger things like our work or family lives. Sometimes people feel anxious and can’t explain why. If you have ever known someone who suffers from anxiety or if you had it yourself you know how crippling it can be. Anxiety can be expecially painful when you are traveling in an new environment.
In this blog I am going to break it down a little bit and talk to you about traveling with it and what you can do to manage it while your on your trips.
What is Anxiety
Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where a person feels under pressure, it usually passes once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.
Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t subside. Anxiety is when they are ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard for a person to cope with daily life. We all feel anxious from time to time, but for a person experiencing anxiety, these feelings cannot be easily controlled.
The symptoms of anxiety can often develop gradually over time. Given that we all experience some anxiety, it can be hard to know how much is too much. In order to be diagnosed with anxiety, the condition must have a disabling impact on the person’s life. There are many types of anxiety, and there are a range of symptoms for each.
Emotional anxiety symptoms
excessive worry about the past, present or future
a sense of impending panic, danger or doom
mind racing, finding it hard to think
difficulty concentrating and remembering things.
Physical anxiety symptoms
increased heart rate
breathing rapidly (hyperventilation) or shortness of breath
feeling tired or weak
stomach or chest pain
muscle tension and headaches
difficulty sleeping and nightmares
Photo: I took this photo flying into Koh Samui. I felt so sick and anxious. But I find that looking out the window helps me
Why it is close to my heart
My mum has been suffering from anxiety for years to the point where it causes her to have panic attacks. How she describes anxiety is it starts just by one thought. Like “that food taste a little strange” or “i dont feel 100% today”. The little thought can manifest into “I am dying?” to “Im going to be sick”. These thoughts start her to panic and makes her heart races. Her panic attacks sometimes have even taken her to the emergency room. I also suffer from anxiety but not as extreme as my mother. The anxious feeling can trigger in everyone differently for me it triggers when something is out of my control and my stomach. If my tummy is ill its more than likely Iam anxious.
Some if the things that trigger me
– When Im sick or got a sore stomach when I want to travel or go out anywhere.
– I have had a lot of bad experiences on planes so when I walk on one it makes me feel anxious.
– When I cant get home when I want to. When other people drive
– If I feel sick and Im meant to go out I feel like Im going to wreck others peoples night if I go.
How to overcome it while traveling
Now before I say the following I want to mention that Iam not a doctor. Im very far from being a doctor. So please if you do suffer from this talk to your local GP. But below Im just going to put some of my suggestions that have worked with my mild case of anxiety.
– First trick breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Make sure they are BIG deep breaths. This is a great way to reduce your heart rate.
– Distract your self. If your own a plane sip your water and watch a movie you like.
– Tell your self what is the worst that is going to happen. For example: Ok I feel ill. The worst I could happen is I have to go back to the hotel room early. Thats not too bad.
– Play the game “what can I see, feel and smell”. If you dont have any entertainment on a flight this one game is a great distraction. For example: I can feel the arm rest on my arm, the seat against my back, I can see the air hostest with brown hair and clouds out the window and I can smell dinner. This gives you a sense of control.
– Have a ginger tablet or a mint. Espically if your not feeling well. This will settle your stomach and make you burp.
– If Im on a day tour and Im panicking I will talk my self through what’s happening next. For example: “ok Sarah, it takes 2 hours to get to Pompeii from where we are. We are on the highway and Im in the air conditioning we will be there in no time.
– Have your hand bag packed with anything you need. So you know if anything happens your prepared. For example I pack
– A snack
– Reine tablet
– water bottle
– headphones (and ipod or phone)
– A map of where I am
– Emergency contact numbers (My family, The hotel and the Embassy)
– Wallet with some emergency cash
– Fully charged phone
– Hotel Room Key
– A phrase book app or phrase book (for none speaking english countries.
– Depending on the weather a jacket. Sometimes I cuddle it if I feel anxious (dont judge me)
– A poncho or umbrella
– And a watch
I know for some of you especially people that suffer from mayjor anxiety these tips may not help you. But I just want you to know that you are not alone. If you have anxiety you can travel to. Start with a small trip somewhere you feel comfortable going. I hope this blog helped. If you do need any more information or help see the link below for Beyond Blue or see your health care professional.
The photo below was taken about 30mins after I Arrived in London. On my first solo trip. Although it may not look like it I had just spend 26 hours on planes getting there, I was sick as a dog. I had been vomiting on both planes and I was extremely anxious. Or maybe my face does look anxious you can decide.
Until next time