Traveling can be hard for those that are struggling with depression. They feel sad leaving the comforts of their home and traveling can be overwhelming if you have to go on a trip for work or family obligations that disrupts your usual routine. It is important to see travel as a way that can step you out of your comfort zone and show you a part of the world that you would not have been able to experience if you continued staying at home.
Plan Out Trip
Because you are used to having a routine, you can plan out your trip in advance so that you do not need to go searching for restaurants or entertainment once you get there. To make sure that you feel safe, you can look up the names of hospitals surrounding your areas as well as pharmacies. You will not feel overwhelmed by being in a strange place where you do not know where everything is if you do your research. Continue with your usual rituals that you have at home in terms of when you eat your meals or do your exercises. At the same time, do not be afraid to see or try something different that you would not be able to do at home.
Another way to plan your trip is by bringing with you your medications including prescription labels in case you lose them and you need to get another prescription. Bring enough medication to last you for your trip as well as a few extras in case something happens to them. Also, have the phone number of your psychiatrist with you if you ever need to talk to him or her or if you feel like you are about to have a depressive episode. Planning out your trip should leave you with no surprises. You can even come up with back up places to go to just in case certain venues are too crowded to get into.
Have a Positive Attitude
Having depression can make it very easy to only see the negativity of going on a trip. You may think that the weather will be lousy for the whole duration, your mode of transportation will break down, you will get lost, you will not have fun, etc. You should see getting on the plane, train, or car to your destination as an accomplishment in itself. That you did not let your fears get in the way of your goal to get out of the house and venture to a new area. It is important to know what your depressive triggers are so that you will know in advance what you should do if you run into a trigger. If you feel a trigger is heading your way, take a deep breath and use others as support of what to do. Just believe heading into this new area that everything will be okay and will have a fun time.
Depression has a tendency to make you feel alone. You do not need to feel that way for the whole duration of your trip. If you feel too nervous about planning this trip by yourself, have someone help. Pick someone who has either been to where you have been before to give you great recommendations or someone with experiencing traveling a lot. If your symptoms become too hard to manage, know that there is someone you can call who will have the time to talk you down from an episode. See if your therapist can speak to you through the phone or through a Skype call whenever you need it. If your have any friends or relatives in the area you are traveling to, see if you can visit them or meet them somewhere so that you know there are familiar people nearby.
Be Careful with Alcohol
Do not feel like because you are feeling depressed being away from home that it gives you an excuse to drink excessively. Many may think that drinking will loosen them up and relax them to avoid having a depressive episode. The truth is that alcohol can make your depression worse so it is important to make sure that you do not drink too much alcohol during your stay.
Reserve Room for Downtime
When you are traveling, you do not have to put pressure on yourself to always be busy every day that you are out of town. You can use some times or days to just relax in your hotel room or by the beach. While you may not want to waste any second when entering a new place, people with depression need to have some down time just like when they are at home. If you are planning to go to a particular event or activity and you do not feel up to it, just cancel your plans and relax as you might feel refreshed when you wake up.
Take Care of Your Body
The most important thing that you can do while you are on vacation tackling depression is by taking care of your body. Remember to continue exercising, get out in the sun, eat and drink right, and sleep for seven to eight hours to reduce the chances of depressive symptoms appearing. Preparing for your trip and knowing that people who care about you are always within reach will improve your mood when it is time for you to travel.
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