Now in its 25th year, Stress Awareness Month, which takes place every April, sees health care professionals and charities across the country increase public awareness about the causes, management and cures for stress.
One such charity is No Panic which supports people with phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders and other anxiety disorders. As part of Stress Awareness Month, Staysure spoke to the team at No Panic and asked them some of the most common questions about travelling with anxiety:
Q. Can you give us any advice for a first trip?
A. For your first trip away do a bit of research about your destination and any planned activities and make sure any phobias or stressors are easily avoided.
Plan your trip so you know what you’ll be doing each day and can prepare adequately for each activity and prepare for the trip well in advance as that will relieve some of your anxiety.
Q. Are there any precautions that someone with an anxiety disorder should take before a holiday?
A. Plan out some coping strategies and coping techniques for the holiday. Make sure to learn any techniques you need beforehand.
Make sure to have any medication and herbal remedies ready for the trip so you don’t run out and plan when and where you’re going to sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things to combat anxiety and keep you going throughout your holiday.
Q. What tips can you offer for someone travelling with medication?
A. Take plenty of medication with you, keep all medication where possible in your hand luggage and don’t risk running out of medication or missing doses.
Q. Are there any activities that people with an anxiety disorder should avoid?
A. People with anxiety disorder should be mindful of their triggers and avoid their triggers when necessary. There are no specific activities for a person to avoid unless they need to avoid certain triggers like avoiding the reptile house if you are afraid of reptiles.
Q. Does anxiety disorder prevent people from enjoying their holidays?
A. Anxiety disorder can prevent people from enjoying their holidays if they mismanage their anxiety. Making mistakes in taking medication, missing preforming regular coping methods or strategies and not managing sudden onset anxiety in a useful way can all degrade the experience they have on holiday. Equally a correctly managed holiday with realist expectations can make for a wonderful holiday for those people that suffer with anxiety.
For more information on anxiety and how to cope with it please see the resources section on No Panic’s website.