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Visiting London if you're anxious about lockdown ending

After a very challenging year for tourism there are crackles of anticipation amongst Britons eager to start taking holidays. Government policy and travel lists are still in a state of limbo which means many of us will either be planning UK camping trips or urban staycations for our 2021 summer holiday. London is hotly tipped to be amongst a favourite for summer 2021 as it offers sights, activities, food and culture revered by international standards! But whilst many are gladly anticipating the looming freedom and chance to travel, others may be feeling reserved, hesitant, nervous or even anxious.

Medical News Today outlines the mental health cost caused by social isolation, working from home and restricted freedoms. It’s been a tough few months which explains why we’re poised for a change in scenery and chance to unwind. If you’re desperate to plan a trip to London this summer but feel a pang of apprehension, don’t worry. This article is meant to reassure you and provide you with the tools you need to handle any reservations about visiting a city like London this summer.  

Man sitting on platform
Having a full eight hours of REM sleep means you’ll be rested, fresh and calm before you set off.

Traveling anxiety is very well known with an estimated 44% of Britons suffering from the condition prior to the pandemic. CN Traveler aptly highlights how the pandemic has intensified the condition for many of us which will still be present even as COVID starts to retreat. If you plan a trip and are start to feel anxious about traveling, it’s important to take preventative steps:

Eight hours of sleep the night before

Getting a good night's sleep before you travel to London or anywhere for the first time in a while is probably the most important measure to take. Stress and sleep have a two-way relationship in that a lack of sleep can cause stress, and too much stress can cause lack of sleep. Having a full eight hours of REM sleep means you’ll be rested, fresh and calm before you set off.

Understandably, pre-travel anxiety might be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep in which case we recommend doing some cardiovascular exercise an hour or two before you turn in. LISS (low intensity steady-state) cardio can be done at a moderate pace and includes jogging, bike riding or vigorous walking. It will flood your body with feel good hormones such as serotonin which counteracts the cortisol hormone that causes feelings of tension and restricts sleep.

Hydration 

Make sure that you are adequately hydrated before travelling as the link between stress levels and dehydration is well documented. WebMD claims that being dehydrated by even half a litre can lead to increased cortisol levels aka the stress hormone. Your body needs water to function as vital organs like the brain, kidneys and liver are composed of up to 73% water. When your body is not hydrated it makes these organs work harder and harder which puts your body under stress and results in mental stress.

Get everything organised

A common source of travel anxiety can be uncertainty and the thought of things not going to plan. Even though being late, missing a train or getting lost on the way to your destination aren’t strictly related to COVID related, they can be stress triggers. The aim is to be prepared as possible in order to prevent any unexpected situations that might cause stress or send you into a tense state. Make sure that before you set off, you:

  • Have your tickets/passes ready beforehand
  • Arrive for transportation with time to spare
  • Know where you are going (route familiarisation) 
  • Charge your phone
  • Pack some kind of entertainment for the journey (book, headphones for podcasts and music).
Busy London street

How to deal with stressful situations in London

London is a very big city which means you’ll be traveling around often in order to see places. This will most likely involve traveling on public transport and being around strangers. As mentioned earlier, this is a huge jump compared to how we’ve been living for the past year so it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous about crowds and proximity to strangers.

Ultimately, you deserve to enjoy your trip and have more than earned the right to so! If you feel a little bit apprehensive about getting around and being amongst strangers, then a combination of positive thinking and techniques will make you feel at ease.

Controlling public transport anxiety

  • Avoid using public transport at busy times of the day
  • Take your transport a part way of the journey
  • Sanitise your hands before and after your journey 
  • Keep breathing regularly
  • Listen to music or a podcast to focus your mind
  • If on a train, bus or tube stand near the door if this gives you peace of mind.

Dealing with anxiety in crowded places

  • Don’t push yourself into any situation you are too uncomfortable with
  • Challenge your thought process and use rational thinking
  • Practice breathing techniques
  • Understand the space you are in
  • Visualise yourself coming out of the situation unphased.
premium 1 double bedroom apartment
Our accommodation locations have also been fitted with extra hand sanitiser stations.

Feeling good about staying in London overnight

For many people planning on traveling to London over the summer, it will be their first time staying overnight in a different location since the pandemic started. This might be a strange experience for two reasons. Firstly the idea of being away from the place you’ve spent the last 365 nights will be different and it may take a bit of time to relax.

Secondly, there is the issue of cleanliness. We’re bound to feel slightly cautious about being in an environment which has been cleaned and prepared by someone else. This is because our hygiene and sanitation over the last year has been very controlled: lots of us have been regularly washing/sanitising hands, guarding our bubbles, disinfecting our doorbells, spraying shopping and scrutinizing anything that might come into our domain. Leaving the matter of cleanliness and hygiene in the hands of someone else will feel strange and it might take some time for you to relax.

At Stay Central we understand that staying in accommodation might be a big step for some guests. This is why we are meticulous and thorough with our cleaning processes. Our accommodation is deep cleaned on a regular basis after every stay ensuing every guest is greeted by an immaculate room or apartment. We also regularly disinfect surfaces in all of our sites to make sure that they remain constantly clean. This includes floors, receptions, dining areas, kitchens, toilets door handles, banisters etc. Our accommodation locations have also been fitted with extra hand sanitiser stations.

Happy group of friends
Return to normality at your own pace with Stay Central

As we gear up to return to normality it’s important to not rush or go at a pace beyond what we feel comfortable with. Lots of us will be raring to go and explore the UK this summer and will have no reservations about traveling or staying away from home. On the other hand, some of us might be nervous about holidaying which is why at Stay Central, we take cleanliness and customer comfort very seriously.

Whether you require self catered or bed and breakfast accommodation our rooms and apartments we seek to offer all guests stress free, well maintained central London accommodation at a reasonable cost.

For more information about summer 2021 bookings contact us today.

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