Saturday, 20 February 2016

Anxiety: Journeys

I thought I'd talk about journeys, I don't mean the personal journey of my life because even though a lot has happened there's still a lot to go, and I'm enjoying the mystery of it all. No, I mean journeys to and from places, anywhere from meeting a friend, going to an interview or just going to a new shop.

I hate the thought of being lost, and causes quite a bit of anxiety. And even though it still happens occasionally, with these steps it only occurs rarely now.

1- Know where you are going- For me knowing exactly where I am going eases my anxiety a lot. For example if you have a job interview, knowing the location, post code and general area means you not only will be there early, but have one less thing to worry about.

2- Look at a map- This leads nicely onto looking at maps, with the technology today Google maps is a life saver as it means you can look at a satellite view as well as the road view. However if you like to go old school and look at a map that works too. Have a look where it is, how far it is from home and think how long it will take.

3- Plan a route- Once you've had a look at the map, plan the route that suits you best. If you are using Google maps they will usually provide the route for you. But more often then not you'll find your own route you'll feel most comfortable with. See how long it takes using whatever mode of transport you use, as you'll have to know which buses you'll have to take if you don't have a car.

4- Pick out memorable landmarks- Using the satellite, I usually drag and drop the little yellow man and walk along the route where I have to walk. This sounds mad but when you are unfamiliar with the area you need to be able to pick out landmarks that will remind you you are still going the right way. And by memorable I mean, shops, a park, a building. Anything that will make you think yes I know where I'm going and feel a little calmer.

I screenshot parts of the route where there's junctions to make sure I don't veer off in the wrong direction. Also listening to music or audio books can help make the journey go a lot faster and acts as a good distraction. A final part which I regularly forget about is accounting for traffic and the time of day you have to go out. If it's early and mid afternoon you'll hit the school rush traffic. It also means the buses are packed with school kids.

I hope this has helped if you feel like you struggle with going on journeys.


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