One thing that always increases my anxiety is travel. This is a common issue with people going to new places or staying in a strange place. I usually have to leave a light on my first night in a hotel just to get some sleep! Many people are in motion towards the end of the year. Holidays make for not only travel anxiety, but the anxiety of dealing with or even staying with people that you aren’t used to experiencing on a daily basis. There’s no question that it can be difficult and stressful to travel, but during the holiday season there’s just no way to avoid it. Some doctors prescribe medications so help calm some worries involved in holiday travels, but for those of us who would like to avoid medications, there are other ways to help.
Some step I found when researching this topic were as follows:
- Make Yourself Comfortable-I usually bring my Tigger with me when I travel (a stuffed animal may sound lame, but it’s a comfort that can’t be beat!) or my stress stone.
- Organization-There’s nothing more stressful than losing a boarding pass or an ID. Know where everything is and make it easily accessible for less stressful moments.
- Tune Out Stress-The unfamiliar noises of a new place can make anxieties grow. Have an iPod or something to listen to for yourself that can calm your body and put your mind at ease.
- Make the Space Yours-Having somewhere to escape to like your own room or even just making yourself comfortable in a hotel room with personal touches can make you feel a bit more comfortable and at home on the go!
- Know Where You Are-If you’re travelling to a place that’s totally new to you, do your research! Knowing the place you will be staying in better can help familiarize you with the area and help you feel less shocked by the new surroundings
These are easy steps that you can take for yourself even if you are not the one planning the trip. It can be stressful when a family member has made all the plans and you’re just along for the ride. Try being involved in the planning process so that you will know exactly what’s happening and will be more prepared for your journey.
I recently took a trip to Disneyland with my family and my boyfriend. Not only was I stressed about combining my family’s lifestyle with my boyfriend’s, but I was worried about being able to get some sleep in the hotel room. One thing that helped me was to have a movie that I have seen about a hundred times on my IPod. The familiar sounds and lines from the movie made me feel more comfortable even when the lights went out. I also had my Tigger along (we were in Disneyland, it would be mean of me not to bring him) to hold onto in bed when all the thoughts of the day would have all of my attention, and therefore all of my worry. At the end of the day, with all of the support from my family as well as the steps I took for myself, it was a great vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth.
I know better than most how anxieties rise when you’re in motion and the family that’s coming to visit are making you less than comfortable even in your own home; but with some help (and some deep breaths!), any vacation can be a happy one.
Anna Taddei, Anxiety In Teens Contributor