How to Cope with Depression When You’re Travelling

How to Cope with Depression When You’re Travelling

 

How to cope with depression when you are travelling

How to cope with depression when you are travelling | https://lucylucraft.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things you’ll probably notice when you travel is that your highs are high and your lows are oh-so-low.

Travel changes you. It highlights parts of your personality that make you feel a little icky (I have a BIG mouth) and makes you appreciate the small things that make you happy (proper tea). Alongside amazing experiences you will undoubtedly have, there will be lows. And when those lows hit you, they hit you harder than the season finale of Parks & Rec.

How to Cope with depression when you 're travelling

Source: Flickr

Accepting that you’ll run into these lows is probably the best thing you can do to prepare yourself. I don’t say this to turn you off from travel, or to make out like it’s so much harder than it is. I mean, if I can do it, anyone can!

It’s completely normal to have anxiety before, during and even afterwards when you come home and I think that even the most laid-back person gets stressed out and exhausted by the inevitable ups and downs.

But what about when it’s a little bit worse than that? What about the times when you’re a million miles from home. It’s sunny, your view is of the Taj Mahal or a beautiful beach and you just feel meh.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you absolutely can’t appreciate where you are, and can’t seem to get into the present? All you can think is that you are so tired….and you just want to curl up and enjoy Netflix. Incidentally, if you do wanna do that – check out my post on how to watch Netflix abroad 😉

If you have had one of these moments, know this. It will pass. I promise. It helps to have some coping strategies in place to keep your sanity intact.

These are mine.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

If you don’t wanna go out in the sunshine, or go on that hike, or eat that authentic Indian curry then don’t. Making the most of every day doesn’t mean subscribing to someone else’s schedule or idea of how you should be travelling. I mean, obviously don’t spend your entire 3 months hiding in air con spooning with a Big Mac, but give yourself a break. Never listen to the people telling over-using the word ‘should’. Those people suck.

When I feel crappy, I know that there are a few things that will always cheer me up. Having a massage at my fave spa (which is to say, shack with candles), a dreamy night at my favourite restaurant and honestly, a good old cry!

A nice self-indulgent cry is one of the most underrated coping strategies. It’s even better when you try to channel a celebrity while doing it….plaster mascara on (not waterproof obvs) so that you get panda eyes, that kind of thing.

How to Cope with depression when you 're travelling

Source: Flickr

Surround yourself with people that make you happy.

This seems super obvious but when you’re travelling, your relationships become pretty transient and your exchanges can often be exclusively small talk. I hate small talk. I also hate big groups.

So when I’m feeling blue, I avoid people who bring the drama. I stick with people who make me feel happy. That should actually be a rule for life anyway, but sometimes you need to hang out with people you don’t normally — and that’s cool, but if they don’t make you happy? Avoid them for a bit 😉

Plan your next move. 

I had a meh few weeks recently (yeah, mine last a little longer than some!) and one of the things that I found really helped was looking to the future and planning my next moves. Just giving myself that permission and reminding myself that I have the freedom to move wherever I want, helped,

What do you think? What are your coping strategies?

L x

8 Comments

  1. 6th August 2015 / 6:36 pm

    Great post, I think there’s definitely a pressure to be having the time of your life every single moment when you’re travelling but obviously that’s not always the case. Sometimes you will have lows just as you might at home and I think it’s important to accept this fact and focus on what will make you happy.

    • Lucy
      Author
      12th August 2015 / 12:28 pm

      Completely agree. Social Media has a lot to answer for eh?! L x

  2. 14th August 2015 / 11:18 pm

    Fantastic post and I’m so glad more and more people are brave enough to tackle this topic. I wrote about my experience with it back in January, and found it therapeutic hearing the response from others. http://www.girltrieslife.com/travel/traveling-with-depression/ Some of the coping mechanisms that helped me were as simple as what I ate, drank and how much exercise I got. Sometimes it’s the simplest things, but they make a difference. I totally agree with you – have a cry, be gentle with yourself and you will get through it. Kudos to you for writing such a post.

    • Lucy
      Author
      21st August 2015 / 12:57 pm

      Thanks Victoria, and thanks for sharing your post – loved it! Totally agree with you about the effect food, alcohol and exercise play in managing depression — I always feel better when I avoid certain things, namely alcohol! x

  3. 16th August 2015 / 3:59 pm

    The Man of Wonders has always said that life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards. Planning the next move is always the best strategy! 😀

    • Lucy
      Author
      21st August 2015 / 12:58 pm

      Haha! Thanks Raphael, totally agree with the wise words of the Wonderous & Journeyed Man 🙂

  4. 16th November 2015 / 3:18 am

    Thanks for penning this honest post, Lucy; it’s something I deal with often on my travels but write about rarely. A good old self-indulgent cry certainly helps (I’m yet to try the mascara play though ;-)). A run or some physical activity helps too, with all those endorphins released. In a strange way, glad to realize that misery has company. x

    • Lucy
      Author
      17th November 2015 / 7:05 pm

      Ah thanks for your lovely comment, and yep, totally get the whole misery loves company thing — it’s partly why i wrote it, you know? It feels good to know someone else is in the same boat, and is still (sorta) functioning!

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