Anxiety Life Hacks: Road Trips
I absolutely LOVE a good road trip, which is frustrating because driving and travel both have been known to cause me a lot of anxiety. So I guess loving road trips makes zero sense, but here we are; and thanks to my love for road trips I have assembled quite the arsenal of anxiety life hacks for the specific occasion.
Water, water, water. Traditional road trip rules might butt heads with this one, seeing as a lot of water may cause a lot of bathroom breaks, but as always, water is a key to success for anyone with anxiety. One thing I've learned more recently, if you're recycling air in your car for the AC or heat, it is that much more important that you drink your water! Think of plane rides and how dehydrating those can be; well, they're dehydrating because the air is being recycled! It's the same thing in the car.
The perfect playlist. The perfect playlist is different for everyone, but is essential for a good road trip with less anxiety. For example, rap music and even some rock music can worsen my anxiety, so it is a horrible idea for me to let my boyfriend DJ our road trips with his Spotify playlist of "Heaters", which is essentially just full of explicit rap music. Now that might be great for a high intensity workout on the rowing machine, it's not so great sitting in a car hour after hour.
Healthy Snacks. Eating healthy is essential in long car rides. Your body is stagnant that whole time and it needs to be able to function as easily and efficiently as possible. Shoving fast food, fried junk down your throat every few hours will only make you feel more groggy and eventually it'll make your heart hurt. When my heart starts to hurt, it's game over as calm Kayla.
Keep your hands busy. If you're in the passenger seat, make sure you always have something to grab that'll keep your hands busy when you're feeling the anxiety. This could be anything from a stress ball to a game on your phone. Really just anything that'll give you something to focus on or something to channel that negative energy into.
Take a Rest. Rest breaks are major on a road trip. If you're like me you'll want to drive straight there, no stops, but that can also being very harmful to our bodies. We're not meant to be sitting in one position for that long and without moving there is no where for the extra energy that is brought on by anxiety to go, that energy simply balls up inside of you. Rest breaks are key. Even 5 minutes to do some stretching and jumping jacks will save you the headache of extra anxiety later.
Most importantly, do what feels right for you. I cannot give anyone all the answers. I can't even give myself all the answers. These are just some great, simple tips that usually work very well. As always, if you have specific questions, reach out to me! I will do my best to answer them.