How to Reduce Anxiety in a Travel Lifestyle
Travelling and all that can come with it is, for some, the very best that life has to offer. While it’s obviously not for everyone, travelling can open doors, break down barriers and make dreams a reality. It has a liberating quality that some could argue can’t be found in nearly any other activity.
That doesn’t mean, though, that the travel lifestyle isn’t a tough one. With every rewarding photo or memorable moment comes with it the work that it takes to get there—physically, logistically, emotionally, financially and mentally. And for some, it’s even harder than all that—especially those who suffer from different forms of anxiety.
Obviously, small bouts of social anxiety are completely different than other forms. Everyone experiences anxiety of differing degrees, so it’s important to know your own triggers. However, when the anxiety flares and you’re on the road, what can you do? Here are 5 ways to help minimize the way social anxieties can affect your travels.
Disclaimer: Just remember, anything conveyed in this article should not be taken as sound medical advice; please consult with a doctor before you travel.
1. Always remember to stay calm
Like with any situation that you encounter, it’s always very important to stay calm. Melting down or working yourself up to an attack will just make everything much worse. Sometimes, it feels impossible to stay calm and collected – that’s okay. Embrace that feeling and allow yourself to feel out of control. Then, remember whatever techniques you usually use to stay calm.
2. Trust and remind yourself of situations where you were able to problem-solve for a solution
This is especially helpful when travelling, since changes arise constantly. In fact, with travel, the only constant is change, as the saying goes. So, in times of trouble or would-be panic, remember situations wherein you were able to conquer the issue, get through the emotional difficulties, and come out on top. Remind yourself that you’ve got this – no problem.
3. Seek out help from obvious sources as needed
Even if you’re on the road, one very good perk about living in our ever-connected society is that help is always just a phone call or email away. If you have a therapist, make sure you can contact him or her whenever you need to internationally. When abroad, make sure you seek out any available services that you may need before you need them. Be sure to map out where hospitals are, the emergency contact numbers in the country, and who people should contact if you have any issues where someone else needs to assist you in getting help.
Want to make the most out of your travels? Take a free placement test to see measure your language level stacks up!
4. Have a trusted family member or friend always on standby who understands your anxieties and can help
Beyond just having a therapist, try having a few friends or family members who understand a bit about your situation and who can help out as needed. Make sure these people have your international contact information to stay in touch, as well as hotel, hostel, or tour guide information. Use your loved ones as a resource against your anxiety.
5. Know when and how to get out of any situation that moves you past your breaking point of comfort
Obviously, when you’re travelling, you’ll probably feel uncomfortable sometimes. That’s just the way it is. But, you know your “breaking point” better than anyone – so, don’t let anyone else dictate what that should or shouldn’t be. And, depending on the situation, have different plans in place just in case you reach the breaking point (even if that includes going home prematurely).
Have you dealt with anxiety or other stressors while travelling? What other advice do you have? Please share it with us in the comments below!