Travel is great for the soul – but it can also be a challenging time for our mental health. Find out how we can ensure that our holiday is a positive life experience!
Travelling is something that most people love and look forward to; but the prospect of being taken out of your daily life and thrown into the unknown can be a daunting experience. Research proves that travel is great for our happiness – but there can be experiences and negative thoughts associated with travel that may take some of this happiness away. Currently I am travelling through Europe and I thought I would share some of the things that I have learnt and experienced through travel that may help you on your next journey!
Travel will come with its challenges
I know that we see pictures of holidays and think that every moment is going to be just like a dream – but the fact is that travel does come with some pretty shit times. You will lose something, you will forget to take a photo at your favourite place, you will unexpectedly sit in line for 3 hours. Something will go wrong! Just like any experience in life, travel will come with its ups and downs and if you go into your holiday with an accepting mindset, then you are going to be mentally prepared for when something goes wrong.
You WILL get depressed or anxious at some stage
Many of the people that I have met travelling will agree with this one! We need to accept that being taken out of our natural environment and thrown into a new world may bring some anxious or depressive thoughts. Do not feel guilty that you are feeling this way (because people say you are meant to be enjoying yourself on holiday), just know that everyone has these feelings at some stage of their journey. Let these thoughts and feelings pass and have a read of How to Smash Depression for more info.
Give Up Control
Are you a control freak like me? Haha well travelling is a good way to start giving up control. Things like diet, exercise schedules and having things go your way, will all go out of the window when you are travelling. I know there might be certain things you want to see or experience; but when you are travelling you really need to practice going with the flow. Sometimes letting go of control will also open you up to experiences that you would not have had if you were in control and everything went to plan. So enjoy the ride and don’t try to stick to a hard list of things to do.
Look after yourself
Most of the times when people get sick it is because they are pushing themselves too hard. Learn to ‘pick your battles’ and spend your time and energy where you get the most value. You will need to compromise when you travel and this will mean that you miss out on a few things. Listen to your mind and body and adjust your plans accordingly. Try and spend some time rebalancing your body with rest, vitamins, meditation, and the occasional healthy meal to help keep your energy levels up.
Challenge Yourself to Experience the Culture
If you are going to a new country it might feel like a new world and you may not be as entertained by the fact that you can try some totally different foods, experiences and cultures compared to what you are used to back home. Just because you don’t enjoy these things back home it doesn’t mean that you wont like it on holiday! Challenging yourself to try new things is a great way to grow yourself as a person and help you develop the strength to venture into the unknown when you get back home.
PS – Yesterday I tried snails and frogs legs for the first time ever in France! Not sure how I felt about it at the time but it will be something I never forget haha
Pack your bags, enjoy the experience and have fun!
Travel is always a life changing, soul inspiring experience that will help you grow and develop as a person. The challenge is to give up control, try new things, look after yourself and most of all enjoy the experience for what it is – because I can guarantee that once you get back home, at some stage you will be wishing you could go back and do it all over again! As for me I am now off to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa so I will leave the rest to you 🙂
About the Author – Stef – Positive Living and Mental Health Advocate
Stef is a positive living and mental health advocate who dedicates much of his free time to improving his own and others mental health. Subscribe to the blog and never miss a post again. Just pop in your email address into the form on this page to claim your free membership!