Managing Anxiety Tips
As I was doing my packing, I felt anxious, and I was worrying about many things: Would the pets be okay? Would my 19-year-old son be okay by himself for a week? 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, too.
I attempted 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. Easy to prepare food was in the kitchen. We watered all the houseplants and potted plants on the porch the day before we 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:
sandals and shoes
jackets (I forgot mine. Lucky for me, my daughter packed two)
sunhats, sunscreen, and sunglasses
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 helped to lower my anxiety. My son handled being home alone pretty well. He fed the pets, the kitchen was clean, and the garden was green. They completed the new cable install. 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 wondering 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/
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Till next time, Kathy