How I Cope With Travel Anxiety
I travel a lot and I can suffer with the worst travel anxiety which can make travelling extremely daunting. Over the years I have developed some ways of coping and making it more bearable. Hopefully these will help someone else who suffers with similar feelings.
I mostly travel by train or bus and occasionally plane so these are mostly tailored to that but I'm sure some can be applicable to driving by car too.
The first step is to analyse what it is that is making you anxious about travelling. Is it being around people? Is it getting lost? Is it travelling somewhere unfamiliar? Or all of the above. Sometimes its not so easy to pinpoint and travelling just makes you feel uneasy.
I also always make sure I am there super early so that it gives myself plenty of time to get comfortable and find out exactly where I need to go. Nothing makes my anxiety worse than having to rush somewhere. I also make sure where I can that I eat and have plenty of rest so that my body and brain are nice and alert.
Then prepare for those things that may set your anxiety off such as;
Not being able to contact someone is a huge anxiety of mine so I make sure my phone is fully charged and I carry around a portable battery and a charger just in case there's plugs. I also always make sure someone knows I am travelling and if I'm flying my flight details, just in case.
If its getting lost makes you anxious then plan out your journey before. Make sure you know what changes you need to make if any and where possible I try to minimise too many changes but sometimes it cant be helped. If you use apps like National Rail will tell you your platform ahead of time but always check once you're at the station you're at the right platform. I also prepare for if I miss my connecting train by knowing which trains are next available to my destination, I screen shot these on my phone before I set off so I dont use too much data or in case I have no signal. I also always make sure I have a seat booked as I feel safer sat down rather than stood up.
Also I've 100% got on the wrong train once I was going from Bristol to Chester and ended up in London and yes I cried on the tube but I survived and got home eventually.
Being around new people
If its being around new people, I remind myself that 1 in 4 people suffer with a mental illness so if I'm on a crowded train some of those people are probably feeling the exact same way I do
3. Distract yourself
I am obsessed with headspace and a couple of other apps I've mentioned here that are good for your mental health. I try to mediate and calm myself before a journey. There are also ways to meditate on the go. Music or books to read also help. Sometimes I'll buy a new read or prepare a new playlist so I get excited for my journey rather than dread it.
4. Take it step by step
Yes a big 3 hour train journey with 2 changes in 2 new places might seem daunting but break it down to smaller parts. For instance just think right lets get a taxi to the station by 9 then lets get our tickets and a sandwich, now lets get to platform two, now lets find our seat, now lets get to Birmingham etc