Some people have a travel list filled to the brim with fresh and exciting adventures they hope to experience one day. In fact, the 2019 Schwab Survey of Modern Wealth asked participants what they would do with $1 million. Fifty-four percent said they would spend it on travel, house or car. Others, not so much; they prefer to invest, save or pay off their debts, according to the results of the survey. Many people find the mere thought of traveling incredibly stressful. If this sounds too familiar, be prepared to take some notes. We spoke with an expert and are here to share four productive steps to overcoming travel anxiety.
According Dr. Anisha Patel-Dunn, DO, psychiatrist and chief medical officer of Lifestance Health, travel anxiety coincides with the conventional meaning of anxiety, which is described as “chronic, sustained worry significant enough to impact your daily life.” But in this case, it’s explicitly triggered by travel.
Dr Patel-Dunn explains: “People can experience travel anxiety in response to different triggers, but the symptoms can be similar to those of general anxiety and can include changes in sleeping and eating habits. diet, mood swings, racing heartbeat, sweating and feelings of being out of control.”
There are many steps you can take to help overcome travel anxiety, which we’ll get to in a moment. But if you’re constantly experiencing travel anxiety and it interferes with your enjoyment or completely prevents you from traveling, advises Dr. Patel-Dunn: “I encourage you to make an appointment with a mental health professional who can work with to help you develop coping strategies that are unique to you.”
If that’s not terrible and you just want to adopt some habits to help take your stress levels down a notch when you go on a trip, read on to learn four steps that can totally change the life of your plans. vacation.
Anxiety is often triggered by a feeling of uncertainty or out of control of a situation, so it’s essential to prepare for your trip as much as possible before hitting the road. Dr Patel-Dunn suggests: “For travel-specific anxiety, taking small steps to prepare as much in advance as possible can help reduce the severity of your symptoms and help you cope more easily. If you take a flight, try to leave enough time to get to the airport so you don’t feel rushed, for example, and find your terminal in advance. If you are staying at a new hotel, contact them on ahead and ask them if there is anything you should know before traveling or anything you should be aware of before check-in.”
Something as simple as distracting yourself while traveling can really help. “Having some of your favorite activities close at hand can be comforting if you experience travel anxiety. Bringing along a favorite book or audiobook, or turning to a favorite mobile game, can help distract you during a trip. theft or in a car,” Dr. Patel-Dunn tells us.
When you get to your travel point, try to incorporate a few tasks that are part of your daily routine. It can help you feel more comfortable and much less stressed. This can include going for an early morning run or walk, meditating, journaling, or stretching with yoga.
Whether it’s sipping piña coladas on a tropical white-sand beach, hiking to the top of a mountain, or relaxing by a cozy campfire in the woods, imagine- you having fun there. Some people just get anxious about all the planning and the steps involved in getting to their destination.
Dr Patel-Dunn points out: “Whether it’s an airport and a plane, a train station, a bus station, your own car or a rental car or carpool, it can feel overwhelming and stressful, and you may forget why you’re even doing it. Visualizing yourself outside of the stressful travel experience and safely at your destination can help calm your nervous system. And don’t forget the pina colada (or a glass of red wine, if that’s more your style)!
It is important to do what brings you comfort and ease. If focusing on a “worst-case scenario” triggers your stress, think about what would bring you some level of comfort.
Dr. Patel-Dunn gives some examples. “If you’re driving a long distance and you’re worried about getting lost, maybe research a few different routes you could take and bring a backup charger for your phone in case of an emergency. If you’re worried about getting in unfamiliar area, contact loved ones who may have visited your destination, or join an online travel group or forum that can give you more information and make you feel more comfortable,” she says. .
Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and bringing readers compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care. Learn more about Alexa
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