Updated: Feb 13
Expat Fitness aims to provide tips and share locations across the globe to help you keep fit physically whilst travelling. Some of us can find ourselves in difficult situations facing moments of anxiety, panic or separation from family members or our home country. Anxiety can hold us back from many things we enjoy in life. Sometimes it can be the things which could help us overcome it, such as travel. Being exposed to things that leave your comfort zone repeatedly can help you build a resistance and become used to things that would previously make you anxious. During times of panic it is important to remember and practice some calming techniques or routines to help center ourselves and stay focused.
It is estimated that 40% of disabilities worldwide can be related to anxiety or depression, so firstly you are not alone. Here are some things you could do to help prevent and manage your anxiety whilst travelling.
Understand yourself and your anxiety.
It is important to know your triggers, what makes you anxious? Is it travelling by plane? Is it being alone? You can help put things in place to help you manage and overcome these triggers. For example, if you are an anxious flier you can prepare yourself with breathing techniques, familiarize yourself with the plane and its noises or just tell someone like a flight attendant who will be happy to help, remember the stats they have been in this position before just like you.
Skip the caffeine, sugar, alcohol and drugs.
This rule doesn’t necessarily apply to all the above, but these substances can increase anxiety levels and help cause it. Swap your morning coffee for a fruit juice and you will feel the benefits in more than one way. Here are some healthy snacks to take with you on the plane.
Many studies swear by exercise for decreasing anxiety and stress and mental fitness in general. Of course, you will feel the other benefits also in your physical fitness. Travelling doesn’t mean you cannot exercise, you have some of the best running spots in the world (those morning runs on the beach). Also look for an option when booking your hotel for a swimming pool or gym to help you sweat it out.
Get a routine
We know it is harder said than done whilst travelling… Sometimes you have that random 4am flight to Bali and you don’t even know if you are going to get any sleep. If you can try to avoid these situations, try to set yourself a bed time and stick to it within the hour and wake up in the morning at a similar time also. Remember to get enough sleep as fatigue and lack of sleep can be a trigger for anxiety.
Occupy yourself, create a project or learn something new.
A great way of dealing with anxiety is to turn it into a positive, use it to help share your experiences with others. Perhaps start a blog or a diary keep yourself occupied and document your accomplishments and how you overcame difficult situations. Once you learn to overcome something you know you can do it again and again.
Finally, remember to talk to people. Keep your friends or family close even while you are away and let them know how you feel. Even find a community there are many Facebook groups out there or reddit threads with people sharing positive vibes to help you keep winning at life.