For most people, traveling to new places is a way to improve their mental health. But what happens when you’re traveling with mental health issues that you already have to face?
Ideally, traveling doesn’t make your mental health worse, but for nomads with mental health conditions, there are special things to consider as you travel. While some travelers can make last-minute decisions, others with anxiety, for instance, might be completely overwhelmed when things don’t go as intended.
This stress and strain can make traveling with mental health issues more complicated, and if you’re in a foreign place, getting the help you need can be a challenge.
Here are some tips for nomads who are traveling with mental health issues and who want to get ahead of the challenges they may face.
Things to Consider When Traveling With Mental Health Issues
Order Your Medications Early
The most important aspect of managing your wellness when traveling with mental health issues is staying on track with any prescribed medication.
If you’re on medications or supplements, it’s important that you don’t get caught somewhere without them. If you’re in a foreign country, it can be very difficult to find exactly what you need in the right dosing.
Try and get a long prescription before you leave your hometown. By ordering your medications early, you have more time to think about re-orders and getting them shipped in time to even the most remote locations.
For example, while you might be wondering how long the effects of Xanax last, it’s probably more important to find out how long it’ll take to get your medication mailed to you.
When traveling with mental health issues, it’s best not to get caught in a situation where you have only one days’ worth of your medication left. You’ll want to order at least a few weeks early.
Many doctors now offer telemedicine for their patients, so you might be able to get a renewed prescription ordered remotely. Or they can recommend alternatives that might be more accessible in your location.
Go Places You Know You Love
Sometimes it’s exciting to try a new place, but for those traveling with mental health issues such as those who are struggling with anxiety, the newness could be overwhelming. Not knowing where to live, work, and play can cause undue stress on certain individuals.
If you’re living the nomad life and you want to ease your stress, alternate between somewhere you know you’ll love and somewhere different, so you have a sense of peace around traveling. Living the nomad life should decrease stress, so if it’s adding more to yours, look at things you can do to make the experience more restful and give you peace.
When you go somewhere you love, there is a sense of comfort, rest, and safety that you won’t have when going somewhere completely new.
Make Time for Fun
Part of the appeal of living a nomadic lifestyle is that you get to see and experience new things. It can be easy to get caught up in working and making money when you’re on the go. But stop and enjoy your surroundings.
If you’re near the beach, get out and enjoy it. Take a boat ride, go for a swim, get a tan. If you’re near the jungle, find a beautiful place to hike to.
There are waterfalls and rivers and lakes hidden in the trees. If you go and look for these hidden gems, you’ll find them.
Travel With a Friend
Another very important consideration when traveling with mental health issues is to not go at it alone. Not everyone is cut out for the nomadic lifestyle, but when you struggle with your mental health, it helps to have a friend nearby.
You can feel confident and safer because they are with you. You have someone to talk to when you get in a funk. You’ll have someone who knows you and can help you make good choices for your mental health.
Traveling with a friend also means that you get to experience new things with someone you care about. You have someone to talk to.
The nomad lifestyle can get lonely for some people when they always travel alone. Find groups and people to meet up with so you don’t spend too much time alone.
Many doctors now offer teleconference counseling sessions. For those who need therapy, there are many benefits to getting help on the road.
While some counselors might advise against traveling when you’re dealing with mental health struggles, others might think it’s a great idea. Find a therapist supportive of your lifestyle, who is also willing to give you the help you need on the go.
You can still work through your mental health issues and live a nomadic lifestyle. It takes a different level of intentionality and you’ll want to find the right therapist for your needs.
Just because you struggle with your mental health, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel. Going to new places and exploring the world while you work can be just the thing you need to bring back some joy and excitement to your life.
Sometimes people experience a mental health crisis because of the work they do and the place they are doing it in. The stress of owning a home and working a 9-5 can be too much for some to handle.
It’s also important that you don’t ignore the early signs of mental health troubles, it’s okay to seek out professional help and get on medication when needed.
Just remember, you don’t have to stay grounded just because you have a few extra challenges. Traveliung with mental health issues is possible with the right considerations and planning.