Keeping an eye on your Mental Health when travelling
We all know how important it is to take care of ourselves when we are at home. However, it is equally as important to take care of ourselves when we travel away from home.
Travelling and staying in unfamiliar places can cause high levels of distress and discomfort. We automatically have our radar on high alert. We start to overthink about the logistics of getting there, not to mention what we will find when we do. Lack of familiarity, language and culture barriers all intensify stress levels.
This list will help you to travel with the least amount of stress.
It goes without saying that insurance can be a great reassurance when travelling. Making sure that you are covered while you are far from home can set your mind at ease. Insurance will make sure you can return home in the case of an emergency.
There are many providers that offer specialised medical insurance and remember to declare all of your medical conditions when taking out a policy.
Research your accommodation
We can all be drawn in by great package deals but a few simple steps can ensure you have a smooth stay at your destination. Call ahead and ask what the facilities are. Use the internet to read reviews and find tourist pictures to see if the accommodation fits in with your needs. Is it close to local transportation or wheelchair accessible if needed, and is suitable for any additional needs you may have? Also is the front desk available 24 hours if you need them?
Any decent accommodation will have no problem putting your mind at ease. They will be accommodating and reassuring with any or all requests you may have. The hospitality industry is their bread and butter and if you feel at any way uneasy then change your accommodation to one which you are satisfied with.
If the unexpected does happen and you need to access health care make sure you have carried out research beforehand. Contact local clinics/hospitals to find out where they are and how you can get to them. You can also ensure that they will be able to help you. Carry a copy of your current prescription medication as well as dosage and any additional healthcare requirements you may have. You could also have this translated into the local language (use google translate) which will help to ease your mind. Download a translation app onto your phone so you can communicate with the doctor while you are receiving treatment.
Ensure that your medication is legal in the country you are visiting. It is also important to ensure that your medication is available if you lose it or run out. This can be done through the UK government travel website (here)
Practice relaxation and calming techniques
High-stress situations can be helped by learning and practising relaxation techniques. These can be anything from breathing exercises to yoga etc. Check out the NHS websites (here) for more helpful tips.
Basic Breathing Exercise
- Close your eyes
- Breathe in for a count of 4
- Hold for four seconds
- Release slowly.
- Repeat as necessary
This can help you to focus only on your breathing thus helping to reduce the stress your body is under.
Keep in Touch
Stay in touch with friends and family at home. Ask them to be aware if there are any changes in your behaviour. Let them know where you are and if you have any tourist plans such as days trips planned.
Enjoy your holiday. It is a holiday and meant to be relaxing and don’t worry if things do go wrong. You can and will get through them especially if you follow the tips above.
Also, check out my post on travelling to New York on a Budget here.
Until next time,