Thursday, 19 November 2015

Tips on travel anxiety!

As someone who struggles with severe anxiety and panic disorder the thought of travelling alone on the train scares the heck out of me and because I live at university 80 miles away from my family house I have to travel a lot to go home for work and to see my family and friends. This weekend I'm at home for a promotional event with the local performing arts group my mom, my sister and myself are a part of. As I'm currently on the train I thought I would share my tips on how I control my anxiety when it comes to travelling home.

Pre-book your train tickets! This is really important and something I do every time I travel as it means I don't have to get into the hussle and bustle at the train station before I've even got onto my platform. I always print my train tickets as well as it means I go straight onto the platform without faffing. Also if you pre-book your tickets you automatically have a seat reserved so you don't have to worry about finding one!

Ask a staff member what platform your train departs from! I say this because it's so much easier than having to find your train on the departures board. I always panic when I have to do this as I can never find it, especially in a busy station so I always ask a staff member, they are so friendly and helpful, it's their job! The staff member I spoke to tonight even took me to my platform as I hadn't got a clue where it was!

Give yourself enough time to sort yourself out! I always get to the station at least 20 minutes before my train departs as it gives me time to do everything I need to do and then get on the train with plenty of time to spare. There is nothing worse than rushing because you're worried you're going to miss the train and I would much rather sit in the station for 10 minutes than be late and miss my train. Today I'm travelling with a lot of luggage as I'm taking all my Christmas presents home so I don't have to when I come home for Christmas, because I'm back for 6 weeks then so will need a lot of other stuff without my suitcase being full of presents like it is now. I booked a seat near the luggage holder so I was able to get straight on the train get my suitcase where it should be and then sit and chill. There were so many people who were late for the train and they were fighting over the luggage holder so I'm so glad I was early!

Give yourself something to do on the train! My train back home is always busy so it does trigger my anxiety being surrounded by so many strangers for a long amount of time so I always like having something to do. I normally bring a book that I can sit and read and I always make sure my iPad is fully charged and my favourite playlists are offline on Spotify so I can put my earphones in and listen to my music, I'm currently sat listening to Ed Sheeran. I also like to buy magazines in the train station shops so today I brought Elle December edition and Glamour December edition, I've had a good read through my Elle magazine and am looking forward to using my benefit they're real tinted primer that I got free and I'm saving my glamour magazine for the trip back to uni. I also like to download films from the App Store, sometimes you get them free, I got home alone and 3 minions mini movies for free last Christmas and I love to watch them while travelling!

Finally, take snacks and a drink on the train with you! This is probably the most important one!  Snacks will make you feel better if you feel a bit panicky and a drink can help stop a panic attack as it is impossible to hyperventilate if you're sipping on a drink! This is something that helps me massively when having a panic attack as it instantly helps stabilise my breathing so I can get myself together again. As soon as I feel like I'm going to have an episode I sip my water and breath properly it can stop it in its tracks!
I hope these tips are helpful and you enjoyed this!

Jess x 

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