How to Stop Waiting for Other People (when the big scary anxiety monster says you can’t go alone)

The idea of going on a journey alone is quite daunting. Many of us are used to travelling with friends or family, and so we quite easily get stuck in a rut of only going on holiday when we have someone to go to.

But it isn’t just holidays we’re missing out on, is it?

If you’re the kind of person who waits to do something with someone, I can guarantee you miss out on a lot. How do I know this? Because this is the kind of person I used to be.

I’ve lost count of the number of cinema releases that I haven’t watched, simply because I was waiting for someone to go with. Then the worst happens, doesn’t it? The person that you were going to watch it with has gone with someone else! Quel horreur!

It’s an awful feeling. But do you know where that feeling belongs? Yup! Right in the dustbin.

I started 2017 with a list of things that I wanted to do, and a list of places I wanted to go. They weren’t in any particular order, but there’s a lot of logic to when I go to certain places. My travel is largely dictated by my work. As a Private Tutor and Beanstalk volunteer, I am largely chained to the term time rota that many families and teachers are familiar with. Then I have to consider the weather and whether or not something is actually going to be open in that season. If I add in whether I have a friend to go with, I’m never going to go anywhere!

Something has to give.

That something is the desire to have someone to share every moment with, I mean, you’re great company so why not enjoy it?

Start small. If travelling across the county to another city is a big adventure right now, then stay local. Maybe eat out at a restaurant on your own, or go to the cinema solo. Once you’ve cracked these, you’ll be off and away!

There’s every chance you’re reading this going ‘well, that’s all very easy for you to say, but my anxiety says I can’t…’ Stop. Your anxiety can say whatever it wants, but it doesn’t mean it’s true. Unless you are currently dependent on a full-time carer, it’s unlikely that you are unable to go alone. Anxiety is something that has been telling what I can’t do. It never says what you can do, does it? And a big part of achieving these things is by deciding for yourself what you can and can’t do. Why do you think my first trip was to Birmingham? It’s a city I’ve visited before and, on the whole, it’s really safe!

Plan ahead. So maybe anxiety is holding you back, and that’s okay. Be aware of it, even if you don’t take on everything that it’s telling you. The last thing that we want to happen is to have a panic attack when we’re being brave. If you do, it’s not the end of the world, but it will likely be a setback that could impact your willingness to travel so widely. Planning ahead and looking at maps and writing schedules is a great way to avoid this.

You’ve got this. Remember that. You can do it! So, get planning. Where are you going to go first?

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