How To Face Depression While Traveling
Traveling is supposed to be a happy time, isn’t it? But if you happen to have depression, your journeys abroad might not be so fun. Mental illnesses like depression have no right time to kick in. It’s sure not pleasant in the comfort of your home, let alone while we are supposed to be having the time of our lives overseas. However, there are ways that might help you to cope with depression while hitting that foreign road.
Take a break.
It can be really overwhelming when you travel; trying to embrace it all while, at the same time, feeling like you just want to sink into the ground. While you don’t want to miss any opportunities, especially when meeting and hanging out with new people, it can take a whole lot of energy from you. This can leave you feeling more down than usual. When this happens, you have to take a break and do some self-care.
Sometimes this means taking some quality alone time and going around the place you’re at, wandering slowly through the streets, observing. Other times, it means going for a coffee or visit the park. Whichever way you take your break, you’ll be glad to know you won’t miss out on anything. And, as a matter of fact, it might help you to ‘refuel’ for later when you will be at that party you’ve been invited to by the locals.
Write it down.
This might sound like a cliché, but it helps. Keeping all your negative emotions inside and allowing them to pile up as you force yourself to continue can ruin your journey overseas. Instead, writing your feelings down on paper can distract you and, at the same time, work like a steam valve to release all your pent up ‘pressure’.
Use your support system.
Not only when you travel, but if you are a person suffering from depression, it is extremely important that you have someone (or several someone’s) who you can lean on. It is often hard to open up about your mental health, so try to tell someone who you trust and feel will be there for you.
Friends can help to cheer you with the things they know you love and even if you are traveling by yourself, you can write to them. You can call them or contact them through social media. It’s not their response that is important, but the fact that they’re there for you. They can make you feel less down about your situation and comfort you.
If you want to write down your feelings, but still contact your friends, then try writing letters to them. It is like a journal, but with something that you can look forward to.
Seek professional help.
Before you leave home, it is highly recommended that you collect information about the country’s emergency hotline and local health center for the countries you are traveling to. If you have depression and you start feeling down while traveling, do not hesitate to reach out for professional help.
All of the above are just small things you can do when you’re travelling and depression hits. It is very difficult to share your mental state with newly-met strangers – and even friends – but it is important that you don’t feel alone. Don’t neglect your self-care, even when you are on a short trip, because neglection can turn your short and sweet adventure into something crap and unrewarding, and even ruin your return home.
Remember that you can get the most of your travel experience only when you stay true to yourself.
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