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Packing Tips to Ease Anxiety

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Packing for a trip can make all of us feel anxious. It is easy to worry about what we should bring and if we will remember to take everything we require. Just thinking about packing for a trip can make us feel anxious. Therefore, we need to take a deep breath before we start packing. If we spend a bit of time preparing and consulting others about what we might need, we can help to reduce our anxiety. Traveling is such a memorable experience and a meaningful way to connect with friends, family, and culture. Learning how to pack without all the extra anxiety is key to making the most of our trip.

The Power of Preparation

The first step to reducing travel anxiety is to prepare. Making a packing list is beneficial for everyone. A list gives us a sense of accomplishment as we cross off tasks and ensures that we don’t forget anything. We can create a list on paper or on our phones and include a section where we can include items we need to pack the morning of our trip.

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For example, toiletries or chargers for all our family’s tech devices will all be morning-of additions. We must start packing early to spare ourselves anxiety if we put our bags out a day or two before we leave. We can add things as we start preparing for the trip ahead. This will also give us ample time to shop and buy anything we might need for our trip.

Knowing What to Pack

It is always a smart idea to check the weather before heading on a trip. In addition, it is critical to consider what activities we plan to do to ensure we bring what we need. For example, packing in layers is often a wise idea because we will be prepared no matter what the weather turns out to be. It can also help us to reduce our anxiety if we remember we can often buy any items we have forgotten at our destination. And in some cases, the hotels we stay at will offer commonly forgotten items like a toothbrush or small mending kit.

Know Ourselves

It is also critical to know ourselves and what makes our family anxious. Sometimes, acknowledging what we are experiencing can help us manage our anxiety. For example, if we feel anxiety when running late, we can ensure we get to places like train stations or airports in advance. If we feel anxiety about motion sickness, we can be sure to pack our motion sickness medicine.

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If we are already taking anti anxiety meds we can make sure we have plenty for our trip. Finally, sometimes the most effective anxiety tips are the simplest. For example, we should always pack our favorite stuffed animal, fidget spinner, or other tools our family uses when stressed.

Tap Into Other People’s Experience

It is helpful to check in with others who have already taken a similar trip to prepare for our own. This includes looking up hotel feedbacks and recommendations so we have a clear idea of what we are getting ourselves into. For example, if a hotel is known to be cold, we might throw in an extra sweater. If a hotel is a bit noisy, we might throw in noise-canceling headphones. If the hotel does not come with breakfast, we might want to pack some quick and easy meals so we will not be hungry. Knowing what others have experienced will help reduce our anxiety around packing.

Mindful Travel

Giving ourselves time and space to reflect on our experiences is a critical component of traveling without anxiety. Reflection, whether it’s sitting quietly with our thoughts, journaling in a notebook, or creating art, directs our attention inward. This is helpful in processing the events of the day. Mindful travel can help us reduce our anxiety and can be as simple as taking a few minutes out of our day to focus our attention on our breathing. Being mindful can add another level of meaning and wonder to our trip, all while being able to reduce the anxiety that we are feeling.

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