My Environmental Stressors Travel Kit
I frequently find myself in situations where environmental stressors affect my mental health, so I try to plan ahead by bringing along an environmental stressor travel kit. While these situations may not be related to actual travel stress, any unfamiliar environment can come with extra stressors.
The situations that can add heightened levels of environmental stress for me vary greatly. They include places like crowded events, bars with belligerently drunk patrons, and scenarios where an angry person is belittling another. When I’m extra sensitive, high-pitched noises or background sounds can agitate me; for example, getting seated at a restaurant near the kitchen is often stressful. I can also feel challenged in unfamiliar social situations, especially when I don’t have a proper escape route in place.
My Environmental Stress Travel Kit
Because I know these types of encounters can stress me out, I plan ahead for environmental stress. Sometimes, the planning itself and the acknowledgment of the potentially stressful situation are all I need.
However, I’m extra confident when I have certain items with me:
- Headphones: If I’m being approached by too many random strangers, I can simply put earbuds in. Fewer people attempt to talk to me (although some still do). These are also helpful if you’ve got a sensitivity to certain types of noise. In particular, listening to a meditation or some calming music can help.
- Earplugs: I see these as the next level of headphones. If your music or audiobook can’t drown out the surrounding commotion, sometimes earplugs will do the trick. These are also handy for sleeping in an unfamiliar place.
- A book: Transporting myself to another world allows me to, however temporarily, experience less of the stressful situation I’m physically in. Having a book in hand can also discourage some random people from approaching me.
- A journal and pen: Along the same lines as the book, a journal allows me to focus on something else. Bonus points if the journal is a bliss book or if you can use your writing to healthily express all the anxiety or irritability you’re facing.
- Comfortable walking shoes: Depending on the situation, I may just need a few minutes to walk by myself. If I’ve got comfortable shoes with me, fewer boundaries keep me from leaving.
- A cell phone: This is probably the most powerful item in the environmental stressors travel kit for many reasons. Most importantly, it’s got several built-in escape routes in the form of rideshare apps or contacting a friend. It’s also a connection to my more normal, less stressful environment. It can contain the meditations, music, book, or journal mentioned above, and can provide mapping for my walk.
Try getting creative with a travel kit for environmental stressors and see how much different your irritability triggers are.
Meredith, M. (2019, April 23). My Environmental Stressors Travel Kit, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, June 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2019/4/my-environmental-stressors-travel-kit
Author: Morgan Meredith
I love the idea of a stressor travel kit! We all know that we're going to face environmental stressors (and other types of stressors) having a little safety blanket emergency kit is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing.
Sure thing, Lizanne. And now that you mention it, a safety blanket isn't a bad addition to the kit!