Traveling can be relaxing and refreshing, but it can also be incredibly stressful. If you’re worried about your mental health for an upcoming vacation, these tips from Urban Balance will help you stay on track. Read on to learn how to maintain your mental health while traveling.
Be Early for Important Travel Times
Flights, cruises, tour buses, train rides – these are some time-sensitive events you may have when you travel. Plan to be available well before your travel times in case there are any delays. Show up at least two hours before your flight departure time. If the travel time to the airport is estimated for an hour, plan for an hour and a half. The more time you give yourself, the less stress you will feel if something goes awry.
Don’t Plan Every Second of the Trip
Planning is an important part of traveling, but it can lead to extra stress. If you meticulously schedule every minute of the trip, there is little room for error. You can make a general schedule for the vacation, but give yourself plenty of flexibility. Perhaps you could make a list of activities you want to accomplish, along with approximate dates/times. Prioritize this list so you can achieve your biggest goals early on. Then you can enjoy the rest of your vacation in full relax-mode.
Schedule a Therapy Appointment Shortly before Your Trip
You may miss one or two of your weekly therapy sessions because of your trip. Ideally, you should plan for a therapy session shortly before you leave. This gives you a chance to address last-minute issues you may be facing and get a much-needed pep talk from your therapist. If you feel your stress surging, you can find comfort in the upcoming therapy session. Your therapist can give you additional mental health travel tips that are personalized for you.
Stick with Your Normal Sleep Schedule
Having a sleep routine is crucial for depression and anxiety treatment. However, you may not have the exact same sleep schedule when you’re away from home. Do your best to maintain your sleep routine while traveling. Make some accommodations to adjust to the new time zone or environment, but stay close to your normal arrangements. This will make it easier to feel comfortable, no matter where you are.
Make Checklists for Everything
Checklists are great for curbing anxiety. You know exactly what you need and exactly what you have. Before packing, make a list of everything you need to bring with you. Include medications, phone chargers, personal items, complete outfits, passports/travel documents, and all other necessities. Go through your day in your head, and think about all the objects you encounter. Make sure the appropriate ones land in your luggage. Make a duplicate checklist to take with you when you re-pack to head home.
Give Yourself a Buffer Day before and after Traveling
If possible, schedule one day off before and after traveling. This gives you a day to fully prepare for the trip and another day to unwind and readjust when you get home. If you have to immediately get into the travel mindset, you may feel overwhelmed and forgetful. Prepare for that by planning additional time off.
For more mental health tips, contact Urban Balance at (888) 726-7170. We will gladly put you in touch with a therapist near you.