Summer is here! This is often a time of rest, relaxation, and traveling for many! For those with anxiety, traveling can sometimes add an extra layer of stress. If traveling out of the state, this often means a session with your therapist cannot occur due to licensing laws.
So how do we prepare?
If you take any medication, make sure you have enough for your trip. Running out of needed medication can cause extra stress & anxiety, and if you are traveling abroad, it may be harder to refill than usual. A lot of times, if you are gone for an extended period of time, your doctor can prescribe a larger quantity to get you through the trip. Make sure to check with your provider.
Take a journal with you. Anxiety can often create a cycle of thoughts that need to be disrupted. If you start to have anxious thoughts, write them down. Journaling can be one of many tools that can help break that cycle by allowing your brain to do something different in the moment.
3. Sleep aids
If you have trouble sleeping at night, make sure to bring the necessities that help you at home. A white noise machine, an eye mask, your pillow, or a personal blanket. You can also purchase a lavender scented lotion to put on your hands at night. Whatever is going to make you feel comfortable.
4. Distractors & Coping Skills
If you have coping skills or distractors that help you when you are feeling anxious, make sure to write them down and bring them with you. Sometimes, when we are in a new place and away from the normal everyday routine, it’s easy to forget the things that help us. If you start feeling overwhelmed or anxious, you can pull it out to remind yourself.
Along with distractors and coping skills, have a couple people you will be able to contact if you need some additional support. Let those people know before the trip, so they know while you’re on the trip you may contact them.
6. Check in with yourself
Don’t forget to check in with yourself! Listen to your body. If you have panic attacks, make sure you are paying attention to how you feel. Remember, it’s okay to take breaks and set boundaries.
7. Talk to your therapist
Before your trip, talk with your therapist about any concerns you may have. Your therapist can help you identify the support that will specifically help you. While these are some general guidelines, there are many ways to handle anxiety while traveling. There are also different types of anxiety, and depending on your experience, there may be some additional supports available for you.
8. Have fun!
Enjoy your trip! Once you have prepared, take a deep breath, and let it go! Enjoy the vacation you are looking forward to! Remember, there are many unknowns when traveling, so it’s important to remain flexible. Know that you have support, and you have done what you can to prepare. Now it’s time to enjoy the trip!
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