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Psychiatrist’s Tips For Easing Travel Anxiety

Travel gives us the chance to see the world and feel more connected to it, but it can also leave us stressed out and frazzled with anxiety. Lots of people experience travel anxiety and psychiatrist Dr. Nina Vasan says it’s more common than you may think.

“Travel can be really stress-inducing because so many things are outside of your control,” she explains. “From weather and mechanical delays to traffic and lost bags, there are a lot of stressors that you can’t necessarily plan for or solve. Things that happen while you’re traveling can also have huge impacts on your day or life.”

If you feel anxious when you travel, Dr. Vasan recommends these tips to ease stress during your next trip:

  • Pack an item that brings you joy - If you tend to get travel anxiety, pack something that makes you feel happier, no matter what it is. This is different for everyone, but it should be something that will help make your trip a joyful or calming experience for you.
  • Channel nervous energy - When you feel out of control, finding something to do with your hands to distract you can help. Things like knitting, coloring and journaling let you be creative and use the travel time in a way that can make it feel less stressful.
  • Plan your meals - According to Vasan, you shouldn’t leave anything up to chance, including your meals. She recommends thinking about what you want to be eating and planning accordingly, even if that means packing food for the trip.
  • Give yourself extra time - Being late only adds to the stress you may be feeling, so having extra buffer time will help you avoid that.
  • Try calming breathing techniques - No matter where you are or what time it is, one thing you can always do is take a deep breath. A few deep breaths can help ease anxiety and stress while you’re traveling.
  • Move your body - Vasan says physical movement is “incredibly helpful in reducing stress” even if it’s just taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Have a backup plan - Before you start traveling, Vasan recommends thinking ahead to figure out what you’ll do if things go wrong, like your flight gets canceled. She says having a “crisis plan” in place can decrease anxiety because you’ll already know how you’ll handle things if they come up.

Source: Travel And Leisure

[Courtesy of Dr. Dave’s Ultimate Prep]

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]


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