It is that time of year again, the holiday season. It’s time to get your calendars and start planning for family gatherings, shopping trips, parties with friends, and travel. If you suffer from travel anxiety, the thought of this already makes you nervous. It’s understandable. The pressure of holiday travel is enough to make anyone anxious.
Traveling can be a stressful experience, but not if you arm yourself with the right information and prepare your body for the rigors of travel. This blog post will give you six tips to help reduce the stress and anxiety of traveling during the holidays.
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Pack Your Bags Early
Many people wait until the last minute to pack, leading to rushing around and forgetting essential items. This is a sure recipe for holiday travel anxiety. To prevent this from happening, pack your bags as soon as you know the holiday travel dates and make a list to ensure you don't forget anything.
Also, avoid overpacking by packing only what you need for the trip. If you plan to stay in a hotel, pack only the essentials. This will save time getting through security at airports and allow you to focus on your holiday travel anxiety management rather than wondering what you packed.
Take Care of Any Health Concerns Before Leaving
If you have any medical conditions, try to have them managed before you leave. This will help prevent holiday travel anxiety from the worry of your health failing while on holiday. Also, ensure that all medications are packed and any medical devices for monitoring your illness are available and working before leaving for your trip.
Don't forget to pack prescriptions in your carry-on bag (and make sure they're labeled). Keep an eye on your immunizations too.
It's also crucial to make your medical conditions known if flying with a companion. Make a note of what times it's safe for you to take medication and when they should be administered in case assistance is needed during the journey.
Identify Your Triggers
Most people continuously experience the same travel anxieties during vacation, and it's important to figure out what triggers these feelings. For instance, plan accordingly if you know that your anxiety occurs when flying over water or at night. Avoid any unnecessary flights that go through the discomforting departure time or location if possible. Doing this will go a long way in preventing your anxiety from getting out of control.
Carry Plenty of Distractions
Anxiety tends to recede when you are busy with other things, so make sure that you have plenty of distractions in your carry-on. Whether it's a crossword puzzle, Sudoku book or even some snacks, these will help occupy your mind and prevent anxious thoughts from entering the picture.
If you're traveling with friends, you can also use them as distractions. By talking to your friends or watching a movie, you will be able to take the focus off of yourself and allow your anxiety to subside.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Another great way to reduce travel-related stress is by practicing relaxation techniques ahead of time. These are simple exercises that involve deep breathing and muscle relaxation. Through these techniques, you will clear your mind of anxious thoughts and feel much more at ease throughout the travel process.
A quick and simple technique is to close your eyes and focus on taking deep breaths from your diaphragm – this should help slow down both mental and physical activity, resulting in a feeling of calmness.
Yes, the holiday season is full of excitement, but it can also be very stressful for many people. This stress can increase anxiety symptoms, often heightened before or during travel due to all the unknowns involved with moving around.
Anxiety has the potential to ruin all of your holiday fun, but by using these helpful tips, you can ensure that it doesn’t. If you are still struggling with anxiety when traveling, professional help may be necessary. A therapist or psychiatrist will help you figure out the root of your anxiety and teach you coping strategies to ensure that it doesn’t affect you on your next trip.