Traffic jams, angry bosses, failed promotions, overdue projects and lots and lots of overtime work. Don’t you just wish you can drop everything, go to the nearest airport and pick the first travel destination right off the top of your head? Say, the luxury and glamour of Cannes, or the traditional charm of Japan or what about swimming in beautiful sandy beaches in the Maldives? For someone who’s on the brink of going “cuckoo” with city living, any place would be a perfect place just to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the concrete world.
I myself can attest to this. I live in a big city and there’s something about skyscrapers and taxis and the daily grind that really tests my patience. So I have this routine I try to stick to every two months when I feel I’m up to my neck: I travel and surf. I know it probably sounds like a costly habit but does cost really mean something when our mental health is on the line? Numerous studies have proven that traveling is good for mental health. But some experiences can also prove that traveling is just as detrimental as it is beneficial. If you’re asking why then maybe you haven’t had stressful experiences whenever you traveled (good for you), but to avoid nerve-racking vacations in the future, read these top 10 tips on how to stay mentally healthy while traveling:
1. Prepare Before Your Fly Date
There’s nothing more appalling for a warrior to go into battle without his armor. I’m not saying traveling is a negative thing but you don’t know what’ll come your way when you reach your destination. So it’s good to do some prior research on the location, weather, people, food, language, and accommodations.
2. Eat The Right Food
Local cuisine is always a must when traveling. Just make sure to balance it out with fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains so you’ll have more energy and a positive mood.
3. Take A Calming Mantra With You
It’s very important to be mindful of our mood. You’ll never know when you’ll blow up like an old grenade that’s been buried underground for decades. Goosfraba. This is a word Eskimos use to calm their children down. And also Jack Nicholson to calm Adam Sandler down in Anger Management.
4. Control Your Stress around People
Whether you’re traveling with friends or by yourself, you will always encounter that one person who’ll wind you up along your travels, make sure to find diversions for your stress. Eat something. Listen to music. Walk for a while. Until you find that you’re ready to go along. If it’s your friends, then make sure you try to be open to them as much as possible but also keeping your temper in check.
5. Music Heals
Never underestimate the power of good music. Wherever you are, always bring your favorite tunes with you.
6. Keep Hydrated
Water is life and I can’t stress that enough. If you’re roaming around the streets of Rome under the scorching heat without water, anything can easily aggravate you. So always bring a water bottle in your backpack. Top hydration compatible backpacks feature specific sleeve for hydration reservoir which can hold up to 3 liters or 100 oz. And keep it eco-friendly, a beautiful country has no place for your excess garbage!
7. Load Up On Endorphins
We all know that endorphins are released during exercise giving us a light and happy sensation. During your travels, try to do some short exercises in your hotel gym or a quick run outside. If you’re swamped with your itinerary, then just stay active by walking more; taking the stairs instead of the elevators, taking a longer route on foot or engaging in energetic activities. Whatever you do, just keep moving!
8. Stay Connected With Loved Ones
There’s no better comfort than the comfort from our friends and family. It can be a bit stressful to feel remotely-detached from back home especially being in a new place, communicate with people from back home if needed.
9. Don’t Forget Your Medications
If you’re taking medications for your mental health, it’s a rule of thumb to always carry them with you wherever you go. Treat them with the same value as your camera. You’ll never know when you’ll need them. A good girl scout always packs the essentials.
10. Relax And Smell The Roses
You’ve probably googled every tourist destination and jotted everything down in your itinerary making sure to tick everything on your list but if there’s one thing I learned about traveling; that’s to always find time to relax. Always remember why you went there in the first place. So if you’re going to be frantic and are always in a haste during your vacation, what’s the point? Sit, enjoy and savor the moment.