Struggling with anxiety, especially social anxiety often stops people from exploring, taking chances or, if yours is severe as mine, even leavening home sometimes. While listening to your gut is most important, here are a few suggestions that might hopefully help someone struggling with anxiety to still go out there and travel.
If your anxiety stems from unsure situations, the best way is to plan ahead. Know where you’ll be staying, what you’ll be seeing, how your travelling and so on. Maybe booking specific walking tours or booking sightseeing tours ahead of time, might calm your uneasiness.
Another tip for dealing with uneasiness is to have good travel insurance in place, so that of anything does go wrong, you know that your insurance has your back!
Visit attractions at off-peak times
If your anxiety stems from being in large crowds of people, travelling during off-peak seasons will ensure fewer crowds. Another tip is to see attractions early in the mornings when it just opens – chances are you’ll be able to avoid the more massive crowds visiting that attraction, for example, lunchtime.
Have your breathing and calming techniques down to a T
This is a top that we’d suggest to anyone struggling with anxiety as it’s not travel specific. Having good calming breathing techniques in place is imperial for someone struggling with anxiety, of course, these will also come in handy when travelling. Remember calming breaths, positive affirmations and practice meditating.
Ideally, you know yourself and can identify triggers and ‘red flags’ before your body goes in full panic mode. Keeping these in mind is especially important when you’re travelling as chances are you won’t have a strict routine, and so it will be up to you to find few moments to collect your thoughts and analyse your mental state.
Travel in your own comfort
When planning your trip, consider what your triggers are and how you can be prepared for them. If flying is an issue for you, can you take a train wherever you’re looking to go? Or maybe campervan hire is the way to go? Sometimes it’s not the travelling itself is what’s troubling someone but rather being pushed out of your comfort zone. Having a safe space, i.e. your own caravan could help massively.
If stress and time-pressure is a trigger for you, travelling by caravan would mean setting your schedule, so there is no worrying about missing a plane/a bus or a train. In that case, having your own means of transport put your mind at ease.
Whatever coping mechanisms, you have in place use those to the advantage so that you can enjoy your travels!