This weekend I am going away for a few days to Scotland to my best friends wedding and right now I’m dealing with travel anxiety. I’m full of worry about what to pack and what could happen, so let’s have a chat about it.
When you have chronic illnesses, both mental and physical, routines become something that help you to cope. Doing things in a particular order or a certain way is comforting and makes having illnesses easier to deal with.
But routine can become a kind of prison, you can’t do everything the same every day, it isn’t living life to its fullest. So, when we were invited to my best friends wedding in Scotland we said yes, the idea of a few days away sounded so lovely as well as celebrating with them.
However, in reality I’m nervous, there are so many things out of my control, and I cannot pack everything for every eventuality. I know my mom is in good hands because her friend is coming to stay with her while we are away, which just gives my brain more time to worry about being away!
Here are some tips for dealing with travel anxiety:
- Plan the most important things – make sure items such as medical devices, medications, heating pads etc are organised and ready first. These are the things that will get you through and keep you feeling as well as possible.
- Make sure to have all the information – speak to the hotel or resort about accessibility, plan restaurants around food allergies or take food with you, talk to friends about the things you need so that you can plan and be ready.
- Rest is important – we all get excited but when planning visits and days out, make sure you know when rest time is going to be. Keep things manageable so you don’t have to worry about flares or exacerbating symptoms.
- Practice calming techniques – things like mindfulness, grounding and meditation can all help when things get overwhelming. Making sure you have different techniques in your toolkit will ease your worries and keep you calm when anxiety rears its head.
- Remember our imagination is always bad – this is a big one for me, I’m very good at imagining the worst. But most of the time nothing bad happens and you just have a lovely time, remembering that will help when your anxiety starts to get bad.
- Have fun – planning and getting ready to go away can be so fun, getting new outfits, trying new make up ideas and getting everything together can be so exciting. So, cherish those moments and allow them to ground you into the fun of going away.
I am so excited to have some time away from being a disabled woman who is a carer, and to enjoy some time in Scotland. It’s only a couple of days away so I’m determined not to let dealing with travel anxiety ruin that!
Thank you xx