Written By: Sara Anderson
Traveling can be fun, but not when you’re constantly second-guessing yourself, feeling watched, or worrying about others’ disapproval. Getting out in public can be draining, but traveling should be fun, engaging, and life-changing. We’ve shared the five traveling tips that will help you if you’re struggling with social anxiety.
- Set Your Own Pace
In this age of social media, you can get lost in yourself as you marvel at how your peers are spending some incredible times somewhere in the Bahamas as others cruise across the world. Comparing yourself to others is the worst way to drain your self-esteem, which will get your social anxiety through the roof.
Setting your own pace means being comfortable with what you can accomplish for yourself at the given moment. It’s accepting that we’re all different for a reason and that there’s no wrong or right way to travel.
Depending on what works for you and provided you’re comfortable and happy, any travel destination is perfect in its own right. You don’t have to follow the masses’ flow. Define your own happiness and live up to your own set of expectations.
If you catch yourself looking down on what you’ve accomplished while traveling, take a moment to relax and decompress. Detach yourself from the world and remind yourself that other people’s experiences have nothing to do with your value and self-worth.
A few minutes of meditation or deep breathing can help you cope with the feeling of being unworthy or having intense emotional breakdowns.
- Commit to the Travel
What this means is to have 100% focus on traveling and cutting off all the other distractions. Just like you won’t handle work issues while on vacation, you also want to avoid unnecessary commitments and disruption while traveling. If you’re often triggered with social mishaps and are more likely to get anxious, give yourself a break from social media or any social setting that’s likely to jeopardize the great times and good moods.
It takes one miserable story or picture on the feed posts to ruin your moods or one negative comment on your last Instagram photo to trigger a bad day. The good thing is that you can cut off all these negative experiences by simply staying away from social media and other social groups or engagements that would otherwise compromise your travel experiences.
- Live in the Moment
“Living in the moment” has become a cliché, often used by life coaches advising their students on living a happy life. Many people often use this term when referring to meditation best practices, but the truth is, it’s a whole virtue on its own.
There are several ways you can live in the moment when traveling, all of which will help you eliminate unnecessary pressure and too many expectations. Below are tips to keep in mind:
- Plan your trip to know what to expect and how to cope with social interactions.
- Put yourself first. Feel your presence in every place you travel to. Take a walk, take pictures, and shine your way to happiness.
- Appreciate the new environs and find a way to connect with nature instead of trying to please strangers.
- Don’t carry past experiences with you and worry less about the future. Instead, you want to embrace the present moment. Smile and laugh when you can, and enjoy the feeling of being away from home or work.
By focusing more on yourself and achieving goals at the end of your trip, you avoid giving attention to other people’s opinions. This way, you can avoid the crippling social anxiety.
- Get through it, not over.
There’s a huge difference between getting over and getting through an event or occasion. The idea of getting over past relationships and life ordeals is common, but the truth is, we’re more likely to catch ourselves thinking and worrying about these old experiences. Getting over is passive and seeks to solve a short-term problem.
On the other hand, getting through is evaluating the problems and facing each of them with facts. This way, you avoid being insecure or having your opinions, fears, and past experiences limit your thinking and judgment scope.
Traveling to some new place or country is enough to trigger social anxiety. Unless you dig deep to unearth and face the possible triggers, you’re more likely to get your social anxiety burning.
- Practice Meditation
If you’re battling social anxiety, meditation will help you calm and relax the mind so you can live your best life. There’s no one right way to practice meditation, especially if you are off traveling miles away from the comfort of your home.
Even then, there are meditation resources for anxiety, which allows you to acknowledge the presence of conflicting thoughts and let them be so you can be in control. Instead of fighting the feeling, you welcome and tame them; this way, you can soften and extinguish the recurring patterns of stress and anxiety.
Many people suffer from social anxiety and aren’t willing to take the necessary steps to solve the intense and draining feeling. If you’re currently traveling or looking forward to, but are going through some persistent and intense fear of being judged or watched by others, the above tips are there to guide and help you come out of this mental trap.
Sara Anderson is the head of content for the EzCare clinic, a medical clinic that provides world-class health care services. She has been associated with the health care industry for 10+ years and specializes in health care and medical content.