Best Ways To Deal With Depression While Travelling
Ever wondered why traveling for holidays, family gatherings, etc. sometimes seems like a nightmare than a vacation?
For a few, this might be unrelatable, but for those it is familiar, they can relate to travel depression. Traveling affects people in different ways. Stories of people you read who quit their job to travel the world and come with a fresh outlook are one in a thousand.
For some traveling can be refreshing while for others it can be standing in long lines on the airport, eight or more hours in traffic, etc. The point here is, you can feel depressed while traveling as travel is a process, and it can be exhausting if there’s no proper planning.
Does this mean you should not travel?
No, it’s human to feel that way and fly to avoid uncomfortable situations. After all, it is a fight or flight response. But if you travel without planning, there are chances you might, get affected negatively and start feeling low again. you.
Traveling requires preparation, especially when going abroad as opposed to traveling domestically.
Can traveling make you feel depressed?
For those who do not plan and leave, it can be a stressful journey. Travel has the potential to make you feel happy or sad. Hence, controlling mental health is important and if you are struggling with depression, you might feel stressed even when living your dream. Therefore, the most important thing that needs to be taken care of when dealing with travel depression while traveling is to stay mentally fit, look after yourself no matter where you are.
“It’s not selfish to put yourself first and you shouldn’t be guilty.” Give yourself time, even if that means giving 5 minutes a day.
If proper planning and arrangements are made, the trip goes seamlessly.
Preparation is your best inoculation against stress.
While planning, another important factor to consider is to add uncontrollable factors like flight delay, bad weather, etc. People diagnosed with depression can be overwhelmed when such situations arrive. Therefore, before planning to go on travel, think how’d you feel if you go without addressing your problems. Will it be like seeing everything in the same way as you left them?
If the thought of picking up where you left, traveling isn’t the answer.
Why does it matter so much?
Traveling to a new place might make you feel a bit anxious and exhausted, and it’s normal. But when these feelings are more amplified and overwhelming, take it seriously. This can be a sign of travel depression, symptoms of which might be: lack of sleep, drained energy, feeling of hopelessness, not feeling hungry, and loss of interest in things— like travel, watching a movie, etc.
How to deal with depression while traveling?
Once you realize, the feeling of depression is coming from inside, it becomes easier to deal with it. The first step towards is to:
- Plan a trip
- Take proper sleep, diet and do exercise
- Sort of interpersonal problems
- Consult a practitioner
- Know the purpose of travel i.e. healthy respite or relaxation
The time when you travel doesn’t necessarily make things worse especially when done in a healthy way. Travelling often brings a feeling of relief and happiness, the crash comes when you have to return home at the end of a trip.
Thus making travel a momentary respite.
1. Plan Trip
If you are planning to travel for the first time, you might feel depressed, therefore, start small – like weekend trips, quick visits to nearby cities, etc. Advanced planning always helps reduce stress and minimize pre-trip anxiety and stress.
- Do the basics
Depression makes you feel hopeless on the inside, and when you feel that way, it seems as if there’s no energy left to do things like eating healthy, keeping a sleep schedule, showering, etc. Depression turns things into a vicious cycle, therefore, no matter how you feel, try to keep up on the basics. Try to go on a brisk walk; if you don’t feel like cooking try local cuisine, etc. But in doing so, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. All this might sound a bit overwhelming, so do what you can!
Just remember any step taken to do basics will make you mentally and emotionally strong. You can win a battle by taking short steps. Do what you can and celebrate your success.
2. Stay in touch with friends and family
Depression makes you feel lonely, disgusting, low on self-esteem, due to which you avoid socializing. This is even worse than travel depression! Don’t let this feeling overpower you. Remember you have people in your life who love you unconditionally and are always there to help. Try calling your loved ones weekly, send a quick text to your friend. Remember human connection and love has a way of keeping travel depression at bay as nothing else can.
Again, do what makes you feel good and to your style of travel.
3. Use digital sources to fight deal with depression while traveling
Counseling helps battle depression. Sometimes, unloading to a third party without a filter helps as a counselor can help understand the thoughts and change them into something more meaningful.
4. Take breaks
Constantly dealing with depression while traveling can be exhausting, and that’s okay. Listen to your body and mind are telling you. You might’ve had an amazing day, but are feeling exhausted rest at home instead of going out and don’t feel guilty about it.
Pamper yourself and recharge the energy.
5. Don’t be tough on yourself
It’s easy to feel depressed while traveling like it’s your fault for feeling. Remember it’s not your fault and deserve to feel this way. Depression while traveling is different for everyone, don’t compare yourself with others.
Give yourself some time, be patient, and cut yourself some slack!
You’ve got this!
Traveling is difficult, and travel depression is worse, but, there are ways to cope. Handling it at first might not be easy, there will be thick and thin time but you’ve got the skills you can overcome.
And it’s worth traveling! It is an amazing experience, don’t let it go because you feel depressed while traveling. you can deal with it and it’s worth it.
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