You've been saving your vacation days, your trip is booked, and your bags are packed - so why do you feel bluer than the ocean you are going to sit by? For many people, vacation isn't a joyful and carefree experience. The stress of the planning and preparations can send those who struggle with anxiety into a tailspin of panic attacks and second-guessing whether they should go on their trip or not. For those who struggle with depression, the details aren't what causes the issue; it's the trip itself.
Between the stress of travel and being away from the routine and familiarity of home, people with depression begin to regret even deciding to go in the first place. The key is to be realistic about travel and the expectations that you have for your trip. In doing this, you allow yourself to mentally prepare for possible complications with your travel and the experiences you can expect once you arrive.
The key to keeping your depression in check before and while you travel is preparedness. Being mentally prepared for travel delays and potential hiccups allows you to feel in control and ready for the journey. Ensure that you keep a few things with you that will help you manage your mood. Whether it's music, prayer beads, or just making a quick call to a friend, when you travel with depression, it is important to have these coping tools nearby.
If you, or someone you love, struggle with depression, Legacy Freedom of Columbus can help. Our holistic approach to Columbus, OH depression treatment combines traditional talk therapy and alternative therapies like acupuncture, sound, and aromatherapy to create a customized treatment plan that is focused on you. Whether you're newly diagnosed with depression, or have struggled with depression and not found a treatment program that worked for you, Legacy Freedom is here to help.
Vacation is a time to indulge yourself a little. For those who suffer from depression, regular self-care is crucial. While some may argue that a vacation is a form of self-care, the bigger picture focuses on utilizing self-care when you feel yourself becoming increasingly depressed during your travels. When a missed flight connection, an unexpected rain delay, or other hiccup gets you blue, have a plan for remedying your mood. This can be as simple as treating yourself to a massage or ordering a fancy cocktail at dinner. Small indulgences and taking time for yourself are great ways to meet your emotional needs.
Allow yourself the freedom to say no. Whether you are traveling with your spouse or your entire family, allow yourself the ability to say no. Depression is often aggravated by fatigue or by feeling overwhelmed. Giving yourself the ability to opt out of activities and events to rest and recharge is key to ensuring that your depression doesn't worsen as you travel. By letting friends or family know you need time to rest, an absolutely acceptable vacation activity, you can decide what you do and don't want to do.
When in doubt or in a funk, take a walk, go for a swim, just get moving. Remember that exercise is a natural mood booster and can provide a wonderful way to distract or separate yourself so that you can center and refocus. Stop allowing depression to steal the joy in your life.
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