How I Travel and Vacation with Depression
I travel with depression at least three times a year, and most of the time I find myself on solo trips. Whether I am traveling for work or vacation, it seems like my depression never takes a respite. Instead of seeing this as a weakness that prevents me from traveling internationally, I try to work around it with a few techniques I've learned over the years. I have learned to travel and vacation with depression.
Distraction Is My Key to Vacationing with Depression
I find it extremely difficult to find distraction while I'm at home. I find myself dwelling on the thoughts and feelings that lead me into a deep hole. When I'm traveling, I find it much easier to focus on my surroundings. If I get lost, I can focus on finding my way to where I want to go, forgetting my feelings. When I am at home, I might forget to eat. When I'm traveling, seeing other people enjoying food makes me want to try it, too. Sometimes living without the comforts of daily life offers a fortress protecting me from depression.
Vacationing with Depression Forces Me to Be Social
The first time I traveled with depression by myself I was terrified. Living with both depression and social anxiety made me believe I would never be able to do anything, let alone backpack for six weeks on my own (Anxiety on the GO - Travel Anxiety Breakthrough). My first night in London I made instant friends simply by sitting in the common room. When I'm at home this never happens. It feels so much easier to curl up in bed, never wanting to leave. Travel doesn't let me have that.
Vacations with Depression Require Extensive Self-Care
Self-care is absolutely essential when I am traveling with depression. I don't deny myself certain types of luxuries, including my morning cup of coffee and a brief workout. I usually stay in hostels, but I also try to find a single room every once in a while so that I can regroup and relax on my own without letting the social anxiety get to me. I also check in with myself regularly, reminding myself that I am going to be okay.
I'm leaving for London in less than one week. Watch this video about how I plan to tackle my upcoming trip. What advice can you offer somebody who will be traveling alone with depression?
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Horsfall, A. (2016, December 6). How I Travel and Vacation with Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2016/12/how-i-travel-with-depression