Maintaining Your Mental Health & Wellness While Away From Home
Apr 26, 2017
With travel comes a lot of excitement and fun, but for some it can cause feelings of anxiousness, sadness and other uncomfortable emotions. All these feelings are entirely normal, but if you find yourself feeling emotional discomfort, it's understandable that feeling down can be frustrating and even scary, particularly when traveling far from home.
Here are some tips to help you maintain your mental health and emotional wellness while traveling:
Exercise releases happy hormones, otherwise known as endorphins. When you stay active, your brain releases this chemical which can lift your mood and ward of symptoms of depression. According to an article by everydayhealth.com, exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous or high-level. Activities such as walking, yoga, and simply playing outside can render these positive effects.
2. Eat right
The way you fuel your body affects how your mind works. Harvard Health Blog explains, “Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel”. It’s easy to fall victim to poor eating habits, especially abroad when there are so many new, yummy foods to try! But by maintaining a diet that is high in vitamins and minerals and low in processed foods and sugar, your mind can stay in shape.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is so important for mental health because it’s when your brain gets to rejuvenate! The National Sleep Foundation explains the correlation between sleep and mental health perfectly: “When you don't get the 7-9 hours of quality sleep you need, it can heavily influence your outlook on life, energy level, motivation, and emotions.” Drinking decaf tea, reading a book and exercise can all help lead to a good night’s sleep.
4. Bring a piece of home with you
Traveling can cause difficulties such as adjusting to new cultures and people and it’s not uncommon for travelers to become homesick. Try avoiding this by bringing items that remind you of home such as a picture of friends and family, a candle, a stuffed animal or a favorite t-shirt.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Mental illness is a real and serious condition, that cannot be combated by the suggestions above alone. If you are susceptible to certain mental health conditions, you may want to consult with a doctor or counselor prior to traveling. Some medical professionals even offer telephone or Skype services, should you find yourself in a pinch abroad and needing to speak to a professional. If you find yourself in a position where you need help abroad, there are resources available to help you.
If you’re in the United States: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/
If you’re in Europe: http://www.efpa.be/find-psychologist.htm
The author of this article is not a doctor, and for a proper diagnosis or medical care, please see a doctor or licensed mental healthcare professional. These are only recommendations and suggestions that should be taken at face value.
About the Author
Katherine joined the Seven Corners marketing team early January. She graduated from Butler University in 2017 with a degree in Strategic Communications and a minor in Spanish. Apart from work, she loves to spend time with family and friends, travel, run, and the occasional Netflix binge.
Read more of Katherine ’s blogs