Getting up the courage to take a medical missions trip can be a challenge. Just the thought of missions alone can make people squirm, so throwing in the idea of helping with medical issues can make it seem even more overwhelming. I want you to know that having fears are normal. Everyone has anxiety around their first trip. It’s okay. To help battle the overwhelm and encourage you that you are the right person for God to use, we have developed ten ways to lower stress before you leave for your missions trip!

Tip #1: Prayer

Before you decide if a trip is right for you start by asking God what He thinks. If your nerves start getting the better of you, pray. It doesn’t have to be a long eloquent prayer. Maybe try something like this: “Father, the idea of getting on this plane and flying halfway around the world is freaking me out. Please calm my nerves so that I can serve you well.”

Tip #2: Sleep

Make sure you are getting enough sleep before your trip. Try to stay on your normal sleep pattern. If you normally hit the hay at 9 pm, stick to it. Being sleep deprived increases anxiety and slows down the thought process

Tip #3: Get Packing

Pack early. Waiting until the last minute to pack can really intensify the nerves. Start by making a list of things that you should take with you on your trip. Here is a list that can help you get started

Tip #4: Plan Ahead

When you decide on the trip you want to take, start by making a list of tasks that will need to be taken care of before you go. We’ve made it easier for you to get started

Tip # 5: Take a Friend

Traveling solo or with a group of people you don’t really know can be nerve-racking. Taking a friend along with you can bring you a lot of peace. Just having someone to share your hopes and fears with can go a long way to helping you breathe a little easier.

Tip # 6: Ask Questions

When in doubt, ask. If you have questions that you don’t see the answers to on our website and Google seems to be failing, email us and we will get back with you. There aren’t any wrong questions. It’s okay to not know everything when you sign up for a trip.

Tip #7: Create a Prayer Team

The power of personal prayer is huge. The power of group prayer is immeasurable.  Just knowing that there is a team of people that love you, care about you, and are praying for you takes away so much of the worry. Be intentional about asking for prayer for your trip. Sunday school classes and small groups are a great way to get extra spiritual support.

Tip #8: Take Breaks

Intentionally spend more time with family and friends. Do some things that bring you joy. Getting out and moving is great for the nerves. Take a walk or a run, go on a bike ride or go for a swim. Take the kids or grandkids out for ice cream or to a movie. Connecting with loved ones lowers stress.

Tip #9: Ask For What You Need

Stress, nerves, or fear are different for everyone, and everyone needs different things to help deal with those emotions. If you are someone who knows you need more quiet downtime, then make sure you ask for it from those around you. If you need more movement or you need comfort food then make sure you ask for what you need.

Tip #10: Be Thankful

Choosing to be thankful for the opportunity to serve God can really lower the stress that comes with going on a trip. Give thanks to God for providing you with the opportunity to serve His people.

Get Ready to Go!

We hope you find this list of ten ways to lower stress before you leave for your medical missions trip useful. You can let us know what worked for you over on the Mission Partners for Christ Facebook page. We love to hear from you!