6 Effective Ways to Deal with Travel Stress

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Most of us associate travel with adventure, excitement, relaxation, and rejuvenation, but we tend to gloss over the time spent traveling. While some people do enjoy the journey just as much as the destination, for many today, traveling is a fairly stressful experience.

If you already have a stress or anxiety disorder, you will probably be even more vulnerable to common travel stressors. This does not mean that all of your travel stress and anxiety is irrational. In fact, researchers have found that travel-related stress is fairly common, especially among travelers who have to take flights.

Over 50 percent of air travelers find themselves getting stressed about flight delays, while over 30 percent worry about having to deal with customs and baggage claims.

Of course, travel stress is not restricted to air travel, and studies show that nearly 80 percent of drivers experience some level of anxiety regularly. None of this makes stress inevitable or acceptable. The key is to identify your stressors as this awareness is the key to taking action so that you can deal with travel stress effectively. Here are some strategies that you can use the next time you have to travel.

6 Ways To Get A Handle On Travel Stress

Talk To Your Healthcare Provider Before You Leave

Data suggests that the most common worries among travelers include concerns about contaminated food and water, infections, and sudden illness. While there’s no foolproof way to prevent all such illnesses, there are proven ways to lower your risk.

To begin with, you should adhere strictly to any treatment that you are on for preexisting conditions and talk to your healthcare provider about refills so that you can carry adequate medications with you. This includes medications for both physical and mental illness.

You can also save on your medication bill with purchases from the leading online pharmacies. In addition to carrying your supply of medications, also stay up to date on your vaccines, especially if traveling to a destination where any disease is endemic.

Learn Meditation And Other Relaxation Techniques

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to take off on a yoga retreat or head to a remote monastery to learn how to meditate. Meditation and breathing exercises can be practiced by absolutely anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

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That’s what makes them so useful for anyone dealing with anxiety disorders, including travel stress. You can use free mobile apps and online videos or get help from a yoga instructor or any therapist to learn the basics of meditation and relaxation techniques like deep breathing, visualization, or progressive muscle relaxation.

Breathing exercises are proven to lower stress levels, heart rate, and blood pressure in minutes making it one of the best strategies to cope with any kind of stress.

Be Prepared For Any Emergency

It’s normal for anyone traveling to have concerns about medical or other emergencies that can arise. This becomes incredibly stressful when you keep worrying about such situations, playing them out in your head, but without any concrete plan of action.

Once you have a plan in place to deal with any kind of emergency, it eliminates the stressor and gives you a sense of relief. List down possible emergencies, research emergency resources and contacts, and plan routes to access emergency services. Making sure all of your insurance is in place is also an important part of preparedness.

Start Journaling Right Now

Journaling isn’t just meant for teens or adolescents. It’s one of the most effective ways to cope with stress and other emotional challenges we all experience in life. Writing out our thoughts allows us to express them safely, providing a form of catharsis and also offering an opportunity for self-analysis.

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This makes it easier to identify thought patterns or situations that cause stress so that you can prepare for, and change the way you respond to them. It also gives you a more grounded perspective, allowing you to view your fears objectively – this means that you can discard irrational ones and use problem-solving skills to deal with valid ones positively.

The practice of journaling is so effective at mitigating stress and promoting wellbeing that it’s also recommended for patients with chronic diseases.

Redirect Your Stress And Anxiety Into Something Positive

This is a lesson that will help you throughout your life, no matter what you’re doing. Whenever you feel like your thoughts are overwhelming you and starting to stress you out, stop what you’re doing and take a break.

None of your problems can be solved by stressing over them so switch to any activity (mental or physical) that will distract you until you calm down. This could be something as mundane as playing with a fidget spinner or solving a puzzle on your phone.

If you have more time on your hands, try chatting with friends in person or over a call, or watch a movie or some standup comedy.  Once you’re feeling better, you can look for solutions to your problems instead of stressing over them.

Chris Appleford is a Nomadic Traveler. He goes to different parts of the country and tries to share his experiences with others. Also, he assists people in selecting hotels to stay in, things to do in selected areas, and expressing arts and culture.