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Tips for maintaining your mental wellbeing while travelling

mental-health-apps

Traveling can be great for our mental wellbeing – even the mention of travel can give many of us a little dopamine rush. It gives us the opportunity to take a step back from the daily grind and indulge in new experiences that help us to unwind and recharge.

But just because it’s good for us doesn’t mean it’s always easy. After all, those who enjoy travelling aren’t immune from struggling with their mental health. I’m living proof of that, having struggled with anxiety and depression for well over 10 years now.

So for World Mental Health Day, I wanted to share a few tips on how to maintain your mental health and wellbeing while traveling, and what to do if you find your mental health is suffering while you’re away.

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How to look after your mental health while travelling

Make time to rest and unwind

I know travelling can involve a lot of energy and activity and it can be hard to find moments of peace, but it’s important to give yourself a bit of down time to rest in a way that feels right for you. This is particularly important if you’re traveling for long periods, – so you can avoid burn out.

Take part in mindful activities

When we think of mindfulness, we often think of meditation. But mindful activities are anything that brings you in to and makes you focus on the present moment. For example, when I was in Bali, I took part in the purification ritual they offer at Tirta Empuli Holy Water Temple. It was an unforgettable experience that really helped me overcome the intense anxiety I was experiencing at the time by bringing me into the present moment.

Consider taking a journal

Keeping a journal or diary is not only good for tracking your traveling experiences (especially for people like me who have a terrible habit of forgetting what they’ve actually done), but it is also a great way to de-stress, reduce anxiety and manage your thoughts and emotions.

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Try and avoid using social media

You’ve gone away to enjoy yourself and indulge in the culture and experiences the country has to offer. You have nothing to prove to anyone back home, trust me. They say comparison is the thief of joy, so don’t let social media rob joyous moments from you while you’re away! Try to be present.

What you can do if you feel your mental health is suffering while travelling

I know how it feels to travel when your mental health isn’t quite where you’d like it to be. That’s why I’ve collated a list of things to remember and do if you feel your mental health is suffering while you’re traveling:

Reach out to friends and family

One of the perks of technology these days is we can connect with anyone in the world at any time of day via a number of different apps – and most of them are free if you can get on to Wi-Fi! Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you love and maybe even give them a heads up that you may call while you’re away if you need someone to talk to.

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You can find things that help you feel peace while you’re abroad, just like at home

Although each country has their own unique offering, there are some similarities you can rely on that hopefully bring you some peace. For me, I love to be by water. It’s fair to say most places have some form of water whether it be a lake, river or the sea. Do some research into where your peaceful place could be while you’re travelling.

group of travellers on boulders beach looking at african penguins

Image source:Contiki

Avoid triggering activities and opt for those you know will bring you peace

If you’re not feeling quite like yourself, the last thing you want to do is add to how you’re feeling. It’s important to understand what triggers or enhances your mental health struggles and opt for things that improve it, instead. This might require a bit of reflective work before you go away but it will be worth it.

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