Escape rooms can be thrilling, unique adventures that you and you friends and family will remember for a lifetime; an achievement of skill and ability. Speak to anyone whose tried one, and they’ll tell you it’s a venture worth trying.
But being in an escape room can also be a trying time for some people. The pressure of time and completing puzzles, all while being locked in a room with a small group of people, can be a trigger for most people with claustrophobia and anxiety.
Being in a confined, locked room isn’t the best place for a claustrophobic. But most of the anxiety springs from a fear of the unknown and the intense reputation that escape rooms have. And it doesn’t mean it should stop you from doing an escape room.
Here are a few tips we recommend to feel safer inside an escape room:
- Find a place to sit comfortably within the room. A chair or bench against a wall may be the best place, as you will be able to have a moment to yourself and take a breather.
- Locate the emergency exit – and feel comfortable enough to use it. Escape rooms will ALWAYS have a way for people to escape from the room in case of an emergency. Whether the door is not locked in the first place, or there’s an emergency button to open the door, there’s always a way out. Game Masters will not penalise you or your team for taking a moment to leave the room if it gets too much for you.
- Make it known to your Game Masters that you may experience some anxiety within the room. If we know what to look out for, it will be easier for us to assist in making you more comfortable.
- Play with people you’re most comfortable with.
- Take a personal calming item with you. Whether it’s a bottle of water or something to fiddle with, take something in with you that you know can have a calming effect on you.
There are many others ways you may be able to handle your claustrophobia and anxiety – it’s a personal journey you can learn to do anywhere, not only in an escape room. Practice and find the best way for you, and remember – your anxiety shouldn’t be the reason to hold you back from doing anything!