Traveling with Health Conditions Part 2: Managing Anxiety

Writing things down can help us manage anxiety.
Writing things down can help us manage anxiety.

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Managing Anxiety Tips

As I was doing my packing I found myself feeling anxious and worrying about many things: would the pets be okay; would my 19 year old son be okay by himself for a week(this was his first time alone that long); would I get sick while I was away; and on and on.  I am too good at thinking of all the worst case scenarios.  The main way that I dealt with this anxiety was by careful planning and preparation.

Planning Ahead Reduces Anxiety

I had to pay bills that were going to come due while I was gone.  I had Father’s Day cards to mail.  I checked my calendar and made sure those things were done.  Anything that my son needed to be aware of, like the cable company install, was clearly communicated to him and written in red on the calendar (I have a large wall calendar in the kitchen).  I also wrote reminders on the calendar for when to put out the trash and check the garden for watering.

Since the pets were my daughter’s job, she wrote out instructions for my son regarding feeding and what to do in an emergency and showed him where everything was. These instructions were put on the refrigerator door.

I made an effort to clean the house before I left so I would, hopefully, not return to a mess. (To my delight, my son kept it that way!!)  I washed all the towels so I would not have a stinky mess when I got home.  I also made sure my son had easy to prepare food in the kitchen.  I watered all the houseplants and potted plants on the porch the day before I left. My daughter had recently had her car inspected and had its oil changed, so it was ready to go.

Brainstorm Possible Scenarios

My two daughters and I brainstormed regarding every possibility in order to have what we might need like:

umbrellas

beach towels

sandals and shoes

jackets (I forgot mine. Lucky for me, my daughter packed two)

sunhats, sunscreen, and sunglasses

snacks

drinks

napkins and plastic silverware for lunch on the beach

clothing for the number of days we would be away

personal care items

a small flashlight if the lights went out (I have been in hotels before when the power has gone out.)

phone and chargers (wall and car)

Kindle, e-reader or book/magazine

tote bags and/or coolers for snacks and drinks

You will have other items to add depending on where you travel to and if children are along.  Make sure you check the average temperature at your destination, as it was a little cool and I definitely needed that jacket and the long pants that I did not take!

Results Of Planning

All of this preparation really did help to lower my anxiety.  My son handled being home alone pretty well. The pets were fed, the kitchen was clean, and the garden was green.  The new cable install was completed. I should have reminded him to get the mail out of the mailbox each day, as I found a whole week’s worth of mail in the box when I returned.  How funny!  The mailman was probably beginning to wonder what was going on as there were cars in the driveway.

Careful planning and preparation before a trip is a powerful way to diminish anxiety when getting ready to travel.

Part 1 covers medications and medical equipment. You can read it here if you missed it.  https://upbeatliving.net/2016/06/06/traveling-with-h…onditions-part-1/

Part 3 covers what to do when things go wrong on vacation. https://upbeatliving.net/traveling-with-health-conditions-part-3-vacation-woes/

 

About Kathryn 61 Articles
I'm a writer, disabled registered nurse, and former home school parent of 6 children ages 16 to 28.

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