Mental Health and Travelling | How to Take of Yourself


Travelling the world is one of the most exciting things you can do. But it can be both mentally and physically draining. So how do we negate these challenges? There are many ways to do this, but the number thing you need to do is listen to your body. There are many telltale signs that you are becoming either mentally or physically fatigued. 

Signs You Are Mentally Fatigued

  • You are easily annoyed or irritated
  • You start to lack motivation
  • You experience panic attacks or are overcome with anxiety
  • You feel detached from those around you
  • You start crying easily, or for no reason at all
  • You feel nauseous and dizzy on a regular basis
  • You’re constantly exhausted

How to Improve Your Mental Health While Travelling

Now that you know what signs to look out for while travelling, you’ll be able to tell if you need a mental health break, or simply need to spend more time on yourself while on the go. Here are a few things you can implement to improve your mental health while travelling.

Develop a Solid Sleep Routine

Going to bed at the same time every night (or a similar time) allows your body to form a rhythm. Forming good sleeping patterns is essential to getting the rest you need. This can be a tricky thing to do when you’re travelling the world, but there are some things you can do to help.

If your sleeping time falls while you’re on a plane, buy a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to make it a little easier to fall asleep. It’s important that you don’t eat or drink anything caffeinated close to your bedtime, as this could prevent you from falling asleep. Nothing quite compares to a good night’s rest.

Stay Active

Staying active revitalises your body, and keeps your body functions running as per usual. Try to keep up with a regular activity that gets your body moving. The more versatile this activity the better. Yoga, for instance, can be done from any hotel room, or walking can be done in every city/town, so these are great exercises to keep up with.

Staying active will also help you sleep better at night, so you’ll kill two birds with one stone. 

Keep Eating Healthy

While you’re travelling it can be tempting to taste all their delicious local delicacies. While this is all part of the experience and should be done, it’s important not to do it at every meal. Make sure you’re eating a sufficient amount of fruit and vegetables to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function. 

Stay In-Touch With a Health Professional

It’s important to have someone that you’re accountable to. This could be a friend or travel partner, but ideally should be a health professional.  You could sign up for online counselling with BetterHelp, or speak to your therapist back home about giving you online counselling sessions.

This way, you’re accountable to someone who is truly concerned about your mental health while you’re on the go.

Have a Travel Partner

Travelling with someone you’re close to makes the journey so much easier! A friend that you’ve known for a long time is always a great option, however, that’s not always possible. So being honest with your travel partner about your mental health is a must.

If you’re struggling at any point during the journey, travelling with someone who is willing to slow down or take a break for a few days is imperative. This could be something you speak about before the journey, or a conversation you engage in further down the line.

Medication and Supplements

If you’re on any kind of medication for your mental health, it’s important that you take it at regular intervals. Because time zones can change, it’s a good idea to set an alarm on your phone to make sure you never go too long without it.

If you take health supplements it’s less important when you take them, but be sure to take them to keep your health in check. Getting sick on the road is not fun, and will eventually affect your mental health.

Looking After Yourself on the Road

 Mental health is a fragile thing. And when you’re travelling, it can be hard keeping yourself in check. Often we push through in order to have a good time and enjoy ourselves a little more, but this isn’t ideal for our mental health.

When you’re feeling low, or feel like you need a break, it’s important that you take one before things get too bad. You don’t want to have a mental breakdown because you left it too long. Look after yourself out there! And don’t forget to add a healthy dose of enjoyment to your trip while you’re at it.

Matt Davison
Matt has done marketing for travel and tourism for over a decade. His first love is SEO, with entrepreneurship hotter on its heels than a girlfriend. When he is not looking up flights back to his next destination, you can find him in the garden, making excuses to walk Rusty, strategizing with the team and tinkering on sites until the early morning.