Anxiety Life Hacks: Travel
Anxiety from the comfort of your couch is one thing, anxiety on the road is a whole other beast. Those close to me know I travel a lot! I love discovering new places in the U.S. and in Europe, but I would be lying if I said I didn't battle anxiety along the way. Water and food, or lack thereof, are big triggers for me. Whenever I feel thirsty on the road or can start to hear my stomach rumble, my anxiety goes into overdrive.
Over the last few years and through many trips, I have come up with a few tricks of the trade, so to say, for traveling with anxiety:
Bring a reusable water bottle - it's always good to have a water bottle filled up when you head out for day trips. If you are headed on vacation, make sure to know where to refill or get new water bottles along the way. If you're in Europe, most of the (drinking) water fountains are completely safe to drink. I bring a collapsable water bottle and fill it up every time I see a fountain.
Start your day with a balanced breakfast - it's always good to start your day with a clean, healthy breakfast high in fiber and protein. When you are on vacation or taking a day-trip, it is that much more important. Fiber and protein will keep you fuller, longer.
Take some nuts - I usually try to keep some nuts or a bar with me wherever I go. For longer trips, I'll pack 1-2 for every day I am gone. An added bonus, you will save money on food!
Avoid allergens - Whatever you are allergic to that you sometimes will eat or get close to anyways, avoid it at all costs when you're on vacation. Your immune system is already working harder because your body is working harder. A big one for me is dairy. At home I'll eat cheese occasionally, but when on vacation, it's a 100% no-no.
Bring essential oils - Lavender and mint essential oils are great for calming you down when anxious! An added bonus, they are small and can easily be taken with you. I will either hold the opened bottle to my nose, or dab some on my wrist and neck like perfume.
Stay active - It is very easy to fall into a relaxed and lounge mood when on vacation, but if you have anxiety, don't do it! Staying active is a key component to combating anxiety. Why? Because many people with anxiety experience heightened levels of adrenaline while anxious and being active can help you burn through that adrenaline faster.
Like anything, tailor your practices to your triggers. Because my big triggers are food and water, I tend to prioritize planning to keep hydrated and fed. If your trigger is confined spaces, get an aisle seat on the plane and try taking some melatonin to sleep through your flight. If you have any questions about your own specific phobias or fears and would like some tailor-made suggestions, shoot me an email and I will respond as best I can!