Since I was little I have been used to travelling a lot. Long and short distances, mainly because my dad didn’t drive and we would go out a lot when I went to visit. I have always been that friend in the group who knew where they were all going. I was the one who knew what bus or train we needed to get, where we needed to get on and off and what time. I started to know the area where I lived, transport wise, like the back of my hand. When i was 10 my dad moved a long way-away and every time I went to visit I learnt the whole travel. 1 bus to train station, second platform, train to —- off at — switch over from stations go to platform 4 get on train to meant for — and get off at — and someone will pick me up. At 12 I knew that routine enough to travel alone, all the way there. I was a very independent person who did my own thing a lot. I’d get myself places and get home myself. But for a long time now, my anxiety has taken over me and I don’t like travelling alone any-more, I’d even say I hate it. The crowded places with people all eager to get a spot on the train and on the platform. The pushing and shoving moving from one place to another. Worrying the train/bus will be late, you’ll miss it,it will be too full or even cancelled,the hauling my heavy suitcase from one platform to another and planning out my journey so I get to the intended place on time. All these things now bring up a big RED light to me and it all just equals stress+added anxiety. There is obviously a big problem with my problem with travelling because, I don’t drive as I’m only 16 and I can’t except my mum to take me everywhere. So as much as I hate travelling, I have to sometimes do it and as soon as i get a drop I am going to have to get over it. I feel that maybe when I start using it again more regularly, i will feel less stressed. There are a couple ways I have found helps ease my anxiety and they are:
- Reading something will waiting for transport to distract myself from my surroundings either a book, magazine or something on my phone like twitter or a news article online.
- Listening to music and zoning out while on public transport. This way I can get rid of the sound of people talking loudly to one another or on the phone and just look out the window and think about other things rather than the fact I’m on public transport filled with people I don’t know.
- Watching something. This keeps my eye off my surroundings as well as the noise around me. If you have downloaded videos, programmes or movies off something like iTunes then you could watch them with your headphones in. They could even last the whole trip or half. That way it goes quicker and you are kept entertained.
- You could work. The best way to get work finished sooner is to do it when you have 20-30 on that bus to your workplace or anywhere. Use that time to finish that work while you have nothing to do except sit there and look around for a while.
- Zone out. That could be while listening to music or just looking at one spot and zoning out and entering a different place for a little while.
- Talk to someone. Not a stranger, but either travel with a friend or talk to your friends on the phone or through text. It will keep you occupied and not thinking about the travelling.
These are the only ways I’v found work for me.I hope they helped anyone going through similar things to me. If you have any other ideas let me know it the comments or tweet me at Lifeasshanx on twitter.