Things to consider about mental health before, during, and after traveling
I am someone who has personally experienced the way that mental health can impact your life. I've seen myself, friends, family, and loved ones struggle with their mental health. In our world today, it is more important than ever to prioritize taking care of our mental health. This includes being aware of the impacts (positive and negative) of travel on our mental health.
I believe that travel is the ultimate form of self-care. However, there are stressors involved in traveling, I want to candidly discuss ways to take care of yourself, alleviate anxieties, and get the most out of your well-deserved vacation.
Have you ever struggled taking care of your mental health surrounding your travels?
There are many positive and powerful effects of travel on your mental health. Travel can be a stress reliever, confidence builder, happiness booster, and have many other benefits on mental health. I believe there are ways to improve your travel experience to receive those benefits.
Before - Am I amply prepared for my journey?
I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. The more you know and the more prepared you are the less likely unmanageable situations will arise. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to travel. Doing your research, planning ahead, or hiring a professional will help you feel more confident in the choices you've made for your vacation. If you are someone who struggles with mental health, consulting a professional or discussing with close loved ones prior to choosing to take on a big trip can help you consider ways to prepare.
During - Have I created time and space for my safety and mental health while on my journey?
Creating time and space for yourself, your mental health, to process, and enjoy yourself are so important when traveling. Traveling is a great time for you to learn more about yourself and practice enforcing boundaries surrounding your needs. That is why Cherish builds in personal choice and free time for each of our guests while traveling on our trips. Journaling, reading a book, or taking a long shower, are some examples of ways you can take time to decompress after an adventurous day traveling. If you're someone whose cup fills from being around others, socializing at a local restaurant or bar can be a good way to talk about your day and the experience you are having while on your trip. I always encourage travelers to build in downtime while on vacation. To some, that may sound like a waste of time during your limited vacation, but I believe it can make your overall experience more enjoyable while giving you more energy for the bigger activities.
After - Do I have time to decompress and reflect on my journey?
It is important when returning from a big trip to take time to reflect on your experience. Decompression is something many people forget to consider upon their return from traveling. It has become a habit of mine to build in a minimum of one day off between returning from a big trip and going back into my regular routine. For example, instead of taking a trip that returns on a Sunday and going back to work or into your regular routine Monday morning, consider flying back Saturday so you have a full day on Sunday for yourself.
Some great resources to learn more about travel and mental health:
Blond Wayfarer - female blogger who writes about anxiety and travel tips.
Life Well Wandered - female blogger who encourages people to see the world and travel more deeply, respectfully, and mindfully while also discussing her own journey with mental health.
Dream Travel Girl - this article specifically talks about this female blogger's battle with mental health while traveling.