Considering the images we have seen on the news each day since early 2020, it's no surprise that many of us are experiencing increased anxiety and stress when it comes to returning to their normal activities. Many of us are still uncertain about the risks that come with traveling and the coronavirus, which is why anxiety surrounding travel remains substantially higher than it was before. With that in mind, today's post is going to cover how to reduce stress while traveling post-pandemic.
There's a great big world waiting out there for you to explore! And with these tips, you can explore it safely and with less stress and anxiety.
But first, let's talk more about what research is telling us about post-pandemic travel anxiety in the first place.
One article from the Journal of Travel Medicine discusses what's known as "reiseangst" in relation to post-pandemic travel. This term, coined by Sigmund Freud about a century ago, is more relevant than ever. It comes from the German word for "fear of travel," and that fear is all too common in today's world.
The article explains:
"As the name ‘pandemic’ (from the Greek π~αν, pan, ‘all’ and δ~ημος, demos, ‘people’) suggests, nobody has been spared from the turbulent and far-reaching impact of the current global scourge of COVID-19. A high population level of anxiety has been a defining feature of this public health emergency. Near universal periods of prolonged domestic confinement, or lockdown, have exacted a heavy toll on global mental health. Evidence continues to emerge of higher levels of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia and alcohol abuse, attributed to the effects of societal lockdown, necessary of course to suppress viral transmission and flatten epidemic curves. A national cross-sectional study of 1515 individuals who endured the recent stringent lockdown in Italy uncovered high rates of mental health symptoms, including depression and anxiety in a quarter of those surveyed and sleep disturbances in over 40%."
Perhaps you don't need to read this article or these studies to know that post-pandemic anxiety is all too real. Instead, you live it for yourself each day and it has become your reality. But that's where these tips to reduce stress for post-pandemic travel will come in.
Uncertainty can be one of the greatest contributors to anxiety levels, whether it's regarding the pandemic or virtually anything else. Rather than living in this state of uncertainty, take the time to do your research about the safety of traveling post-pandemic. With this research on your side, you can make decisions you know are in your best interest. This research helps you manage and understand your risks. That includes choosing the safest places to go and the best way to get there.
We encourage you to only trust verified resources for this research. Yes, that means don't get your news from Facebook! Instead, turn to trusted sources, including the CDC, World Health Organization, and your local health department, to get accurate numbers and information to help with your research.
Not only is it helpful to research regulations, infection rates, and other information in your area, but you'll also want to do this for the areas you are traveling to as well. This can help prevent any surprises when you arrive at your destination. Additionally, you can be sure you're equipped with whatever you need (including proof of vaccination, personal protection equipment, etc.) if those things will be required on your travels.
One surefire way to reduce stress when you travel is to take any reasonable precautions that can help keep you and your family safe. While masks may not be mandated where you're traveling, many people still choose to wear them. At the same time, practicing social distancing wherever possible and regularly sanitizing your hands can go a long way in easing your mind about the risks you face while you travel.
As nice as it would be to wrap you and your family in a giant bubble to protect you from all external entities, it simply isn't reasonable. At the same time, going overboard in that way won't ultimately reduce your stress levels. Instead, it can actually have the opposite effect.
While it's smart to wash your hands after you come into contact with a high-touch surface, this doesn't mean you need to spend 20 minutes doing so!
(Use these calming breath practices to help you reduce stress next time you're feeling overwhelmed)
When it comes to stressful situations, we tend to have different triggers that add to our stress or set it off in the first place. Following the pandemic, something as simple as seeing someone cough or sneeze in public could be enough to get your heart racing. Whatever your personal triggers may be, knowing what they are can help you avoid them, or at least manage them, as much as possible. If plane travel makes you more nervous than other travel methods, stick to road trips or train traveling until you're more comfortable traveling on a plane.
As much as we would like to, it simply isn't possible to always avoid our triggers, however. That's why it's also important to have tools and strategies in place for managing your reaction when these triggers are present. If you're traveling with a partner, make sure they're aware of these triggers ahead of time. You will also want to share your coping strategies with them so they can help you however they can.
(Identifying your triggers and coming up with ways to cope with them can also help you become a more resilient person. Learn more about building emotional resistance in this post)
Speaking of tools and strategies to help you reduce your stress and manage triggers, it's time to explore the benefits of vagus nerve stimulation. Not only can vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) help reduce your stress in particularly triggering situations, but it can also promote your well-being and help you feel more calm and balanced in your day-to-day life.
There are a number of different ways to stimulate the vagus nerve. The problem is, many of them aren't accessible or reasonable for your everyday life. However, Xen by Neuvana headphones can stimulate the vagus nerve from the comfort of your own home. And all while you're going about your day! Neuvana strives to make VNS as accessible as possible for as many people as possible. And our Xen by Neuvana headphones accomplish this goal each day.
To enjoy the benefits for yourself, you simply plug in your Xen by Neuvana headphones into a handheld device that connects to your phone. Then, you can turn on the device to begin stimulating the vagus nerve through your ear. You are able to enjoy the sensation in silence, or along with your favorite music. Xen connects wirelessly to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth®, and syncs to your music library, Spotify®, podcasts and other streaming apps.
When you're operating a vehicle, you shouldn't use your Xen headphones. But let's say you're a passenger in a vehicle, on a train, or on a plane. If you're hoping to reduce your stress during these situations, using your Xen headphones can help a lot. We encourage you to give them a try, along with the other tips we shared, to travel with less stress and more ease.
Interested in learning more about the science of vagus nerve stimulation? We've got you covered. Click here to learn about the benefits of improving your vagal tone.
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