How to Squash Travel Anxiety

Sunday, November 4, 2018



If you suffer from anxiety like I do, then please read on to hear my tips on how to work through it and take the leap to book that first big trip!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and these are only suggestions based on personal experience. Follow at your own risk.


Anxiety can be a truly debilitating affliction. It's something I've been affected by for the past few years now and only recently do I feel like I've gotten it (somewhat) under control. I'd hate to see anyone reading who is wanting to travel first the time to let their anxiety stop them from going. Below are my ten best tips to stop that from happening! 

Realize it's okay to be nervous


Once you realize this, you'll feel so much better. Beating yourself up for something that is well beyond your control is not only unproductive but unhealthy for your mental wellbeing! Everybody gets anxious and nervous at various times in their life, especially if they're taking a big step or doing something they've never done before. It's how you choose to deal with these nerves that matters. For some, this may mean meditation. For others, this could mean medication or therapy. There's no single path to happiness and you should feel comfortable to do whatever it is you need to do to be able to follow your dreams. #realtalk 


Research, research, research


If you're anything like me, Google is your best friend. What I mean by that is that the more anxious I am about something, the more information I like to gather so I can understand how things work. Whenever I'm about to finally bite the bullet and book a trip (or even when I'm still in the research mode), I love to read as many articles/blog posts as possible. This gives me an idea of the types of experiences others have had where I'm going and really helps me mentally prepare. Especially if someone had a particularly great time in the destination I'm considering going, it helps me to imagine myself having a great time as well and really gets me excited to take the next step and commit to the trip. 


Talk to your friends and family


Those that love you most want you to be happy. Who exactly that varies for everyone, but hopefully you all have at least one person you are close enough to confide in about your travel hopes and dreams. Talk to them about the trip you want to take and what's holding you back. Talking out your problems with someone else almost always helps put everything into perspective. 


Take time to clear your head


Do something that you find relaxing. Listen to your favorite album. Cuddle with your pet. Go for a walk. Whatever it is that puts you in a happier state of mind, go and do that. Once you're feeling more relaxed and like the anxiety has subsided, then you can move on.  


Do a trial run 

Have a friend who lives a couple hours away? Been dying to take a trip to somewhere in the next state over? Now's your chance to put your skills to the test with a day trip or a weekend trip. This shorter trip will give you a great idea to how you may react to traveling on your own and then you can be better prepared for any longer trips.


Ask for help


For most people, this means going to talk to a doctor. But it could also mean confiding in a close friend or trusted family member that this process has you feeling overwhelmed and you need some help. Find someone who you know will have an unbiased opinion and get their perspective on the idea. Just make sure you're really doing what you want to do and not letting their opinion sway you too much.

Look at the facts


This ties back to researching your potential trip. I mean actually look at the crime rate of where you want to visit. In the short term, this may make you panic a bit more, but chances are, wherever you're traveling is just as safe (or maybe even safer) as your hometown! Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but most of this time this is true. 

Try to think positively


Though this can often be easier said than done, this tip is very effective when done correctly. Try to picture yourself having a great time at your destination. What kinds of yummy foods are you gonna get to try? What fun activities are you gonna get to do? What beautiful sights are you gonna get o see? If you're making an honest attempt to look on the bright side, then it'll be way harder for anxiety to get in the way. 

Check out one of my favorite uplifting and motivating songs of the moment: 

"High Hopes" by Panic! At The Disco
 
Had to have high, high hopes for a living. Shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing. Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision. -Brendon Urie

Take a deep breath (or breaths)


This could go along with taking some time to clear your head and doing activities that will put you in a more relaxed state of mind. But just try to take a step back and look at things logically. Consider if your worries are factually based or are actually stemming from your anxiety. Once you're able to separate these two in your head, any future anxiety you have will seem much more manageable (hopefully).

From Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Just book it 

If all else fails, just book it and worry about it later! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own head that we completely overthink otherwise simple decisions and things we know we want to do.  If you have tried all of the above suggestions and your anxiety still has it's scary hold over your brain, just have some faith and book your trip! It will all work out in the end and if it doesn't, it's not the end!

Do you or have you struggled with anxiety over travel in the past too? Tell me about your favorite ways to push through it in the comments below!


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