6 Ways to Not Stress Out When Travelling
Visiting a new, unfamiliar place can lead to anxiety and stress — which, in turn, can affect your blood sugar.
So, how do you keep stress at bay while enjoying time away?
#1 Pack Ahead of Time
Most people wait until the last minute to pack. Waiting until the night before or the morning of your trip leaves room for error.
So, start with a packing list. Make a list a week before your trip and add everything you need. Keep it close. That way when you remember more items, you can add them immediately.
After you’ve made your list, try to pack the weekend before your trip. All toiletries and clothing can be added right away. Also add in any items that don’t get much use daily — like spare charges or extra glasses.
By prepping, you’ve given yourself plenty of time to change your mind or remember important things — like extra medication.
#2 Bring Extra Supplies
It’s not just when you pack that’s important, it’s what you pack, too. When it comes to diabetes supplies and medications, there’s no such thing as overpacking.
You’d rather have too much medication on hand than run out mid-trip.
Essential items to pack include:
- Test strips
- Alcohol swabs
- Pump supplies
No matter how much you pack, be sure to have an emergency plan just in case. Locate the nearest hospital, have your health information ready (and translated), and always have your medical ID.
#3 Give Yourself Extra Time
Feeling rushed is a huge stressor. So, it’s important to give yourself some breathing room. Try to arrive at the airport at least two hours early.
With extensive airport security measures, you want to give yourself enough time to check your bags, get monitored, and get settled.
You may be tempted to sleep in before a flight. Or maybe even run a last-minute errand. But, not prioritizing extra time could cause unnecessary stress and put you in a time crunch.1
And, the extra time allows you to monitor your blood sugar levels and grab any necessary food before take off.
Give yourself a little cushion, so you start your trip off smoothly.
#4 Pencil In Relaxation
It’s easy to get swept up in new surroundings. You’ll want to do everything possible. But, it’s important not to push yourself too hard.
Over-exertion can lead to lower blood sugar levels — hypoglycemia — which can cause dizziness, fatigue, rapid heart rate and more. Rest can help you maintain your target blood sugar levels while still enjoying your surroundings.
Some less strenuous activities include:
- Reading a good book
- Sitting by the pool
- Watching the sunset
#5 Mindfulness Techniques
Thought and breathing exercises are things you can do while on the go. Just in case stress arises, have a few techniques in your back pocket. Most of these exercises only take 1-5 minutes.
If your heart rate quickens or you’re short of breath, try box breathing.
Box Breathing Steps2:
- Inhale for 4 counts
- Hold breath for 4 counts
- Exhale for 4 counts
- Hold breath for 4 counts
- Repeat until your breathing or heart rate has calmed
If you’re having trouble focusing or centering yourself, try the 5 senses scavenger hunt.
5 Senses Activity Steps3:
- Listen: Name one thing you can hear — wind, cars, your breathing.
- Look: Name one thing you can see — grass, clouds, birds.
- Smell: Name one thing you can smell — food, flowers, perfume.
- Touch: Name one thing you can feel — your clothing, a breeze, the back of your chair.
- Taste: Name one thing you can taste — gum, your saliva, a snack.
Mindfulness strategies come in handy when you’re in a pinch. Plus, you can do them anywhere.
#6 A Happy Return Home
Nothing feels better than returning home after a long trip. But, the adjustment of schedule and environment can be jarring.
It’s important to ensure you are heading home to something joyful. That may be a clean home. Or, it could be a movie night with a loved one. Either way, be sure to guarantee a happy return home.