Anxiety or Excitement?
|August 24, 2013||Posted by Sarah under Health & Wellness, Inspiration & Reflection, Travel|
I have a big trip coming up. I’m heading to Colorado for a few days to visit family, then I’m off to Disneyland to run the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge! I’ve been planning this trip since January when I signed up for the race so I’m super excited that it’s finally here. However, as usual for me before I travel I’m a bundle of nerves, but sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two emotions. Am I freaking out about traveling or an am super excited to finally get to see Sleeping Beauty Castle?
Here’s a little back story on my travel anxiety. Until my early twenties, I LOVED to travel. I’ve been all over the United States and have made numerous trips to Europe, including a summer semester abroad in Dublin. Flying was exciting, travel was an adventure! I couldn’t wait to take my next trip. Then September 11th happened. I only lived 5 blocks from the World Trade Center on that day and I was trapped in my apartment for several hours. It was one of the most terrifying days of my life and unfortunately it sparked a new anxiety within me. Call it the fear of the unknown, the fear of being trapped, the fear of not being in control, or all of the above. I would become paralyzed with fear in certain situations. Riding the subway, driving through tunnels or over bridges, and the thought of flying was out of the question. I actually went 5 years without flying and even made B drive to Florida for our honeymoon…he’s such a saint!
Through medication and some sheer will power I have started traveling again, but it’s not easy. The longest flights I’ve been on in recent years are just over 2 hours to Orlando and those are often difficult to get through. So you can imagine my anxiety about going all the way out to Califorina. Gaaaaahhhhhh!! Since about Tuesday, my stomach has been in knots and my head has been going around in circles. Anxiety up, then down, excitement up, excitement down, repeat. A roller coaster of emotions! And don’t even get me started with what this does to my digestive system. Sigh….
Here are a few ways of I’ve found to get relaxed before flying:
Lift Heavy Things
Exercise is always highly therapeutic and proven to take your mind off streesful situations. Never underestimate the power of sweat! For me, I love to challenge myself and lift heavy things! If I can lift 98# over my head, I can surely get through these flights.
Cuddle with Cats
Pet therapy is the best therapy! There isn’t much that a strong purr and a soft belly can’t fix, especially when you’re not feeling your best.
Chaos feeds into my anxiety, so the more organized I can make my packing the better. I like to get a list together and get everything set in the guest room before I pack it. This way, I wont forget anything while away and it gives me some sense of control.
I’m still freaking out a bit about traveling, but I’m surprisingly doing pretty well today. Just relaxing and taking it easy. This trip is a HUGE step for me into getting back to normal and being able to travel the world again. I want to see and experience all that life has to offer…I can’t let this stupid anxiety control my life. Hopefully pretty soon the excitement will be the only butterflies in my stomach leading up to a trip 🙂
Do you deal with anxiety? How do you manage?