Posted by K Clark on Thursday, January 7, 2016 Under: Managing Stress
Travelling to a new location can be daunting, especially if you experience anxiety. Sometimes, however, it is unavoidable. You may need to travel somewhere new to attend a health appointment, visit family or a friend, attend a meeting or interview or start a new job or study. Below are some steps you can take to manage the feelings of anxiety you may experience in this new situation.
If you are travelling via public transport you can use websites such as Travelline or National Rail Enquiries to help plan your journey. If you are driving then Sat Nav devices and apps, such as Google maps, can really help. If you are using one of these technologies to help to navigate make sure you have it positioned in your car safely so that it does not obscure your view or cause a distraction. It is also good to get an idea of the route you will be taking, what landmarks you'll pass and any potential places you can stop for a break if you become tired or distracted. This means that if the Sat Nav loses it's signal or crashes you will still have a rough idea of your location and route. Whatever means of transport you are taking it is also helpful to check for any roadworks, diversions or potential delays before setting off.
Overestimate journey times
Always overestimate how long it will take you to get to your location as this will allow you plenty of time to get to where you are going with some leeway for delays or detours. If you are feeling rushed you are more likely to feel anxious so giving yourself extra time means you can go at a gentle pace.
Doing a little homework on the area you are travelling to can help you to feel more prepared and comfortable with the upcoming trip. If you have any specific dietary requirements then this can help you to locate suitable places to eat and drink plus quiet places where you can sit and collect your thoughts. Libraries, parks, waterways, places of worship and bus stops all provide good spots for sitting and calming down if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Be mindful of negative self talk
Be aware of the inner dialogue going on within your mind and try to counter negative and unhelpful thoughts with some self compassion and kindness. This can be difficult as we are often our toughest critics, but being patient with yourself will get you much further than being over critical and mean. If you are finding this difficult try imaging that you are talking to a friend or loved one and imagine how you might respond if they shared the same thoughts with you.
Prepare for changes to weather conditions
Bring a small umbrella and, if possible, dress in comfortable layers. This way you can remove or add a layer if the weather conditions change and you start to feel uncomfortable.
Ensure that your mobile phone fully charged with credit
Make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged and that you have enough credit to make a telephone call or access any calming apps or images if you are feeling stressed. If your phone uses power quickly then you may want to consider bringing a spare, fully charged battery or an external battery charger which can be plugged into your phone to charge the phones internal battery. Some examples can be found here.
Carry extra cash for unexpected expenses
If possible keep some extra money or a cash card with you for any unexpected expenses. For instance, if you are travelling by public transport and there are delays then you may want to buy yourself a warm drink or snack.
In : Managing Stress
Tags: anxiety travelling independence