Some may find travelling fun, while others may find it exhausting. But for people with travel anxiety, it’s nothing less than a nightmare. Be it the thought of making through a long haul flight, the fear of something unpleasant happening or the uneasiness of stepping out of your comfort zone, for those with travel anxiety, there’s nothing exciting about travelling. Not juts first-timers but even seasoned travellers have to deal with it. If you too have hard time maintaining your calm while travelling, here are some ways you can deal with it.
1. Travel With A Companion
Solo travelling may not be a great idea for someone who experiences anxiety while travelling. Flying with a companion, especially someone who’s an experienced traveller, can make a huge difference. They can help you during the stressful flying procedures such as the security checks, immigration process and terminals, as well as calm you down during take-off and landing by keeping you engaged in a conversation. So, never underestimate the power of a travel companion.
2. Plan Ahead
If your anxiety is unavoidable, then make sure you plan well in advance for it. Work on your coping skills. Always carry along all the items that you may think can help calm your nerves — a book, soothing music or a favourite pillow. If not completely prevent, they can be a good source of distraction during an anxiety attack.
3. Exercise Before Flying
Exercise is a widely-known stress reliever. The endorphins released from exercising can play a big role in curbing your travel anxiety by improving your mood. Before heading to the airport, try scheduling a full-fledged pre-travel workout. A quick walk on a treadmill, a stroll around your neighbourhood or some stretching can also help fight pre-flight jitters.
4. Eat Healthily
Anxiety patients are usually advised to consume low sugar, unprocessed and junk food items as they are said to contribute to symptoms of anxiety. Similarly, having an unhealthy meal before flying can worsen the case for anxious travellers. Instead, treat yourself with a wholesome meal comprising of fruits and vegetables, which can keep you full for longer and energised throughout.
5. Avoid Caffeine
The pre-travel stress can increase your urge to gulp down a few cups of coffee, but take this as a warning and never do it. If anything, it will only add to your anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), caffeine can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. Not only this but high levels of caffeine also reduces the production of the feel-good chemical serotonin in the body, leading to a depressed mood.
6. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Right before the plane is ready to take-off, calm down your nerves by practising some relaxation techniques. The techniques may vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the anxiety. If you’re not aware of which one is the most effective for you, try the following: Visualise yourself at a sea-side or any peaceful place, take long breaths through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth, tense and relax each of your body part for 10 seconds starting with your feet or keep your eyes closed.