Minimising Anxiety while Travelling
“I’m going on a holiday!”
A statement that usually evokes feelings of excitement, happiness and great anticipation. A statement that leaves you dreaming of sandy beaches, visiting landmarks, eating gourmet food and, of course, relaxing. But for some children (and adults like me), who are worriers, suffer anxiety or panic in new and unfamiliar situations, going on a holiday is far from relaxing.
Panic. Fear. Apprehension. I associate these feelings with holidays.
I feel short of breath at the thought of having to choose what to pack into my suitcase, and what to leave behind. I am filled with dread at the thought of having to leave the comfort of my own home and my familiar surroundings. My heart races at the thought of having to sit in a plane, train or bus for prolonged periods of time with a large number of people I don’t know. And I panic at the thought of having to eat food that is different to what I am used to eating at home.
Anxiety in children
There are many children who feel similar panic, fear and apprehension when the word ‘holiday’ is mentioned. Adults may think that children would be super excited about travelling, seeing new places and experiencing new things. Usually they are! But when children who don’t cope well with change, are outside of the places they feel most comfortable and safe, feelings of worry and anxiety are triggered.
Some children tend to be creatures of habit; they enjoy order and predictability. They don’t enjoy change, nor do they cope well in new or unfamiliar surrounds. They may also find it difficult to easily and quickly adapt to things that are not in their comfort zone. And often, the nature of holidays can disrupt the routines anxious children depend on to help them stay calm.
That’s when the little wuppy® can help.
What is little wuppy®?
The little wuppy® is a sausage dog worry puppy designed as an aid to help ease children’s worries and comfort them. It is small enough to be discrete, but big enough to make a difference. A child can hold little wuppy® in their hands while travelling in a car or plane. It can be popped into a pocket or backpack as children travel from one place to another. Children can also tucked little wuppy® under their pillow or blanket to help comfort them at night or during long trips.
The special feature of the little wuppy® is its heart. Children can talk to their little wuppy® and send their worries to the little wuppy® by placing its heart against their own. Children can acknowledge their thoughts and feelings, then allow something else to hold their worries. Then they can focus on having the fun that holidays offer.
The little wuppy® is backed with a soft minky fabric. This can be of comfort to children who use textured surfaces to help calm and soothe themselves. Children can run their fingers along the soft fabric to take the focus away from their worries and help them to feel more relaxed.
Having and holding the little wuppy® while on holidays can bring instant comfort to an anxious child, minimising the anxiety associated with travelling. The panic, the fear and the apprehension they once associated with holidays can now be replaced with feelings of excitement, joy and happiness. Just the feelings a holiday should evoke in children!
Linda is the owner and designer of little wuppy®
She lives west of Melbourne with her husband and two dogs and was a former primary school teacher before severe anxiety and panic attacks forced her to resign.
She is an artist who is obsessed with sausage dogs and she is passionate about helping children manage their own anxiety.
Linda is working hard at trying to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues, especially regarding children.
To learn more about Linda and little wuppy®, you can visit the little wuppy® website, or follow little wuppy® on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Little wuppy® proudly holds a Made in Australia licence.