OUTFIT | TRAVELLING ALONE WITH ANXIETY

29 October 2018


If you follow me on Instagram and have watched my Instagram stories over the last few weeks, then you might have noticed that I was in Sweden last week for the interviews for my dissertation for university. This was my first time flying alone as well as spending a lot of time on my own in a different country. I am quite the anxious person already just by being at home or even when I travel with someone. Since I didn’t know that many people in the two places I went to in Sweden I was on my own quite a lot, which was such a mental challenge for me. Throughout the week I slowly started to notice how I could control my anxiety and thoughts a bit better and what helped me feel less anxious.

Be prepared

One of the most important tips I can give you, is try to prepare yourself for your trip as well as you can. My anxiety usually kicks in as soon as I feel like I have lost control of a situation or because I feel like I didn’t properly prepare myself for everything. This is why it’s best to start planning what you would like to bring with you a couple of days in advance. Make a list of it somewhere. This way you don’t have to stress and walk around frantically and panic-y about what to bring with you while going away.

Because I travelled on my own and I had to be at certain places during certain times, it was so important to me to have all of the things that were important to me printed on paper. For instance I printed my hotel reservations as well as the planned itinerary that had my flight numbers on there. As soon as I had printed these kind of things I also started to feel a little bit less anxious. To me it felt better to have this kind of information printed somewhere so I would be able to reach for these papers in my bag instead of having to look them up on my phone. As much as I love and enjoy using my phone, it definitely is not the most reliable travel partner as my phone dies so quickly when I travel. So to keep myself sane, I ended up printing everything instead, which really helped me.

Another something to do is to start looking into the cities you’re going to a couple of days before you leave. I can get quite anxious for example by not knowing how to get to a city centre when I arrive at the airport. So what I like to do is visit websites from the airport, the city itself and of the public transport company to make sure I know how everything works. If that didn’t work or you can’t really figure out how public transport works, I also like to check if there’s Uber available in the city I am going to. Anxiety-wise it works best to have a Plan A, Plan B and a Plan C to get anywhere, just so I know what to do if any of the plans don’t work. An example could probably be: Plan A is to travel by train to a city centre, Plan B is to travel by bus to the city centre and Plan C is to travel via taxi or Uber to the city centre. It’s just so I feel like I have my travels under control.


This Works Deep Sleep spray/rollerball

An actual product that helps me feel less anxious is the This Works Deep Sleep spray and rollerball. I already noticed that once I woke up in the morning I was feeling very anxious and if I could start crying at any second. This is basically how coping mechanism with anxiety, which is not that great. So the firstly I had to calm myself down a bit. So just before I got onto the plane I rolled this onto either my palms or spray it onto my jumper. Because this product has lavender in it, it is known to calm you down. I don’t know even know how it works or if it’s just inside of my head, but because of this lavender-y scent I could feel myself feel a little less stressed, which is always great.

Don’t fight it, it’s going to be okay

The first two days I got to Sweden I was quite the mess. I just couldn’t really function and was quite anxious. This was mainly because I was also super nervous about being in another city, sleeping somewhere all alone and don’t even get me started on how nervous I was about having to interview Swedes in English about a certain topic. Like I said, I was quite the mess because I felt so anxious about all of this so naturally, my coping mechanism kicked in and I cried for a little bit. I also had heart palpitations and found it difficult to breathe every now and again, which are typical signs of when I have an anxiety attack.

At first a voice inside my head was constantly saying stop it, don’t be such a baby and suck it up, but that only made it worse. So instead having this negative voice do the talking, I tried to let another voice inside of my head speak instead. I tried to give myself reassurance and made sure to know that it’s okay to feel anxious in this situation, as many of the university students, friends and family members around me had told me already. So somewhere throughout those first two days I just let that it happen as soon as I started to feel anxious. Anxiety attacks usually only happen for a small amount of time and they can usually go away quite quickly after they first start occurring. It’s better to just let it out for a little bit instead of cropping it all up inside.


Distractions

Something that always helps get my mind off of things is a distraction. It doesn’t really matter what I do, it’s just as long as I don’t have any silence going on inside my head to make me start feeling anxious and panic-y. So what I liked doing when I felt anxious while waiting at the airport was to either read a book, listen to music or to watch some Friends on Netflix. This definitely helped me get my mind off of things.

If I was alone in my hotel room and started to feel anxious, then I would usually put some background noise on. This would usually mean that I would put an episode of Friends on or I would watch some Dutch tv. This really helped me because I am used to having sounds around me all the time when I am home as I still live at home with my parents and we live in quite old and noisy house in The Hague. So as much as I appreciate silence when I am at home, I needed those little background noises when I was in the hotel to help get my mind off of things.


Something that brings you comfort and makes you feel safe

This may sound super lame, because I am in fact a 21 year old (which means I am a grown up) but when I tried to go to sleep the first night, my head seemed to go into anxiety overdrive. I honestly had the worst night’s sleep that night. I seem to be having this ever since I was younger because my parents always tell me how attached I was to my stuffed animals or little blanket.

When I am at home and going to bed at night I usually have to snuggle into my bedding or a guling, or a so-called roll pillow to fall asleep. I couldn’t possibly bring my roll pillow with me to Sweden as I only had hand luggage while I was away. That first night I was having so much trouble falling asleep because I couldn’t ‘find’ that thing that something that brings me comfort when falling asleep at night. So the next morning I quickly hopped into Flying Tiger to get myself a very small stuffed animal to have something I could snuggle with before going falling asleep. This actually made me feel a lot more as if I was at home and made it easier to not have anxiety during the night. If I were to have a boyfriend for example, I could totally imagine me bringing a t-shirt or a hoodie of him with me to fall asleep at night.

SHOP MY OUTFIT

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for leaving comments on my blog! I read and appreciate every single one :) If you ever have any questions, feel free to tweet me @styleansushi or email me styleandsushi@hotmail.com