Managing anxiety in London.

Recently we visited London again. Now London is obviously a capital city so is always very busy. Especially when in tourist spots, shopping or using the public transport. It is easy to get anxious and perhaps even a bit frightened when travelling around London. So here’s how I kind of over come a lot of it.

Before you go plan routes, tubes, destinations, directions the lot and screenshot or write down incase you loose signal because shocker you won’t have signal on a tube miles underground. Plan what you want to do and when. Try to avoid rush hour and before 10am. It is pure hell travelling at this time. Find out what you want to see and do and don’t over book yourself you don’t want to be panicking all day about the next thing you’ve got to get too.

Breath, take some slow steady breaths and close your eyes quickly when you feel particularly anxious. Remind yourself you are okay and you’ve got this. I really struggle with tubes and trains since a family member died in the 7/7 attacks. For years I wouldn’t want to go on one out of fear of something happening to me. I’ve slowly got out of the fear but if it is particularly busy or the tube/train stops I get really anxious and panicky. I sweat lots, my heart goes and my fight or flight mode is on overdrive right. The way I stopped myself having one or two panic attacks was to concentrate on my breathing slowing it down and either closing my eyes or looking down at my hands or shoes. I grounded myself and told myself over and over everything is okay it’s almost done now.

Take photos. Be a tourist and get lost. Taking photos really helped me to destress and not focus on what is going on so much. If I can’t appreciate something at that second I can look back and see the moment through new eyes.

Don’t drink too much. Toilets are not everywhere and some you even have to pay for and you don’t want to be busting for a wee when there is none near by. Use the toilets when your close even if you don’t need to go. Do stay hydrated though those tubes a sauna no matter the weather.

Take a buddy with you. Take someone to share the experience to talk to and distract you while you’re feeling anxious. They can also help you if you get lost.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if confused. A lot of Londoners can be helpful sometimes and tell you where to go or what way you need to go.

Save up. London is pretty expensive especially if going for a show or something. I brought a slushy puppy for 7 pounds which would cost 2 in my local shop and a bottled water for 3.50 which would normally be under a pound. Everything is more expensive in corner shops exetera and in theatres and some restaurants. So be carefull not to be out of pocket and expect to spend more than you would being from outside London.

Wear comfortable clothing. It’s hot in tubes so wear thin layers and be comfy. Wear comfy shoes heals are a pain walking around all day and don’t think about any shoes that will give you a blister!

Have your phone charged, emergency cash and anything else you might need like medication on you.

Just try to enjoy yourself and remind yourself your safe and having fun.

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