As you may have seen me mention, we drove up to Wales in September for a few nights away. My boyfriend has family living up there and so we get to visit quite often.
We’ve been a couple of times since my anxiety has been bad and still managed to have a lovely time. You can read about our previous trip here.
Recently we’ve started to book a hotel half way through the journey to break it up. However, with saving being our number one priority right now we decided to take the plunge and go back to travelling up in one go. In order to avoid the traffic we wake up super early so that we’re off of the motorways by the time people begin their journeys to work. This is a great approach, however sometimes in the past it’s meant that I’ve barely slept and anyone that suffers with anxiety will know that lack of sleep is your worst enemy.
In the days leading up to the trip I was more excited than nervous. I love our trips to north Wales, it’s lovely to catch up with my boyfriend’s family and it’s a different pace of life to down south – not to mention the breathtaking views.
At 4am our alarms sounded and we got ourselves up and ready to leave. I had done most of the packing the previous evening and so we only had toothbrushes and chargers to pop in that morning. By getting everything ready for the morning it eased some of my anxiety and by 4:30am we were in the car starting our journey.
My boyfriend and I had agreed that I should try and sleep through as much as the journey as I could to avoid me panicking. This was exactly what I did. I took my pillows, a blanket, ear plugs and popped my heated seat on. I was only awake for 2 out of the 5 hours that the journey took.
Towards the end of the journey we got stuck behind a very slow car on some little country lanes and I felt my anxiety flare up. Unfortunately the anxiety only kept building and as we got to my boyfriend’s family I was in a little bit of a state. I found it quite difficult to chat with them when we first arrived. I know I should have just told them how I was feeling and taken 5 minutes to relax, however I don’t like given into my anxiety. Eventually my boyfriend and I took our drinks into the living room and having a few minutes by ourselves allowed me to shake off the anxiety and relax into my surroundings.
We knew that if we stayed in all day we would only end up falling asleep and so we decided to drive down to the beach and have a walk. The weather was beautiful as we walked along the sand and took in the scenery. We came across some huge jelly fish that had been washed up. It was fascinating to see such huge creatures up close.
It was sad to see some foot prints on some of the jelly fish. They might be dead but they still deserve some respect.
We sat on the rocks for a while and just took in our surroundings. There’s something so incredibly humbling and calming about nature – it really puts things into perspective.
We were exhausted after our walk and decided to head back and have a lie down. Usually I would force myself to stay awake, however I know my anxiety is worse with lack of sleep and so I gave in. 2 hours later we woke up feeling dreadful. I’m amazed at how well I sleep when we’re in Wales – I’ve never napped during the day before unless I’ve been really unwell.
By this point it was already dinner time and so we had a quiet evening in watching the sunset over the sea.
Friday was absolutely beautiful. My stomach was feeling unsettled from all the anxiety, however I didn’t want to miss out on such a beautiful morning and so we headed out to Barmouth for a little wander around. My anxiety was quite bad this morning and so we didn’t stay out for very long, however I did manage to get some pretty pictures. We popped in a couple of shops but I found it all very overwhelming. For some reason when I’m feeling anxious I’m at my best being outside as I feel less trapped and more able to flee from people.
I love looking back at these pictures because you’d never know how terrible I was feeling inside. I was close to tears of frustration at how beautiful my surroundings were and yet I was unable to truly appreciate them. I did, however successfully manage to enjoy little snippets of time in between the worst of the anxiety. I look so happy here because the car was within 20 meters of us and I knew we were heading back.
One minute I wanted to go back, the next I wanted to stay and walk round some more. We stayed for as long as possible before making our way back to the car. I know we’ll be back again soon and so that makes the frustration a little easier to handle.
Hopefully next time we come up and visit Barmouth I’m feeling a little bit better and can walk round all of the shops!
I still cannot get over how beautiful North Wales is!
Above is a picture of the harbour at Barmouth
Today’s self care was to have a drink out. I was really fancying a coffee and fortunately we had parked opposite a cafe. I suggested we grabbed a couple of coffees to take away and my partner agreed. The cafe was lovely, we ordered and the lady told us to take a seat and she would make the drinks. We waited about 10 minutes for the drinks and I found it very difficult with my anxiety screaming at me to leave. If we hadn’t have already paid for the drinks then I would have given in and left.
I’m glad I managed to stick it out as we took our drinks back with us and sat out in the sun enjoying them. It was so nice to just sit and relax for 10 minutes after having a rather stressful morning.
We relaxed and had some lunch before decided to pop back out for a walk at the beach. We visited a different beach this time – thankfully there were less jelly fish!
We dipped our feet in the water and squealed at how freezing it was. Once we had finished our little beach walk we headed into Harlech for a wander around and an ice cream. My boyfriend opted for a huge ice cream whilst I chose a dark chocolate truffle with a rum centre. We sat on a wall by the castle and enjoyed our treat before wandering around all of the little shops – I even managed to buy my first Christmas present!
I can honestly say that our afternoon trip was the happiest I have felt for a long while.
We were going to pop out for a drink this evening, however I really didn’t feel up to it. I told my boyfriend to suggest they go without me, however he wouldn’t. I felt terrible for stopping everyone from going, however I was feeling so fragile I knew I couldn’t push myself.
Instead we got some chips from the local chip shop and had another quiet evening in.
I treated myself to an amaretto and coke this evening, however I then had a panic when in bed. Alcohol seems to really set my anxiety off and so I decided not to risk drinking again that holiday.
Saturday morning I was feeling incredibly anxious. We popped out briefly in the morning but not much would make my anxiety fade away. We decided to give up and head back for some lunch. My boyfriend watched the football for a while and then we decided to try going back out for another walk.
Can you guess where we went for a walk? haha!
Saturday was the warmest day we had and after walking on the beach we decided to sit on the sand for a while. I loved ever second of it and felt so relaxed, my boyfriend, however was not so keen on all the sand that was being blown around.
We decided to walk back to the car and stop off at the cafe for a drink. We were going to get our drinks to take away however, there was a lovely seat outside and so we chose to sit for a while. It was so relaxing just sitting in the sun and chatting, I was amazed that I could go from such an anxious morning to feeling so calm in the same day.
We had a quiet evening in and watched Strictly Come Dancing, I even treated myself to a hot chocolate rather than chancing my luck with an alcoholic drink – how very rock n roll!
It was a lovely evening to finish off a really nice day.
Sunday we drove home and were in the car for almost 8 hours. I was anxious on-and-off, however I managed to keep a lid on it and get through it.
We stopped at the services for some lunch and I chose the Gluten Free Love burger from Leon. I was a little dubious about the vegan cheese but it all tasted amazing! The gluten free bun was okay, I took the top off and only ate the bottom as I find it so dry. It was absolutely delicious and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed my lunch.
We’re going up again in October and I’m already counting down the days.
Where’s your favourite place for a little break?