7 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health While Travelling

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Practical Strategies to Protect Your Well-being During Work-Related Travel

Are you a business traveller planning your next work-related trip? Don’t forget to leave some space in your carry-on bag for these mental health tips! Work-related travel can be particularly stressful because you’re away from your usual routines and support systems. Time zone changes, poor sleep, and unexpected changes in your itinerary can all contribute to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. To ensure you’re able to stay mentally healthy while on the road, we’ve put together a list of the top seven strategies for protecting your mental well-being during travel.

#1. Bring the “Sensations” of Home With You

While travelling is all about new experiences, it doesn’t necessarily turn us into a new person overnight. That’s why bringing along creature comforts from home can help to ease anxiety and homesickness. This can be done without taking up a lot of space our luggage. Bring along a favourite set of pyjamas, a shampoo with a calming scent, or the pillow you use while watching your favourite shows at night. These little slices of home can help you feel centred in an unfamiliar environment. 

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#2. Communicate With Your Mental Health Therapist

If you’re currently working with a therapist, be sure to inform them of your trip. You may be able to schedule telehealth sessions from wherever you are. If you take medications for mental health, your therapist or care provider can create a plan to ensure you won’t unexpectedly run out while travelling. And if you don’t have a therapist but need someone to talk to before during or after travel, World Travel Protection has telehealth services available to you as well.

#3. Assess Your Itinerary From a Mental Health Angle

While you may have scanned your itinerary to make sure all your travel dates and engagements line up flawlessly, you might want to consider going back to assess it from a mental health angle. Have you scheduled adequate breaks and rest times? We often assume we need to squeeze every bit of juice from a business trip or study abroad trip. However, aback-to-back, no breaks itinerary can leave us depleted. The joy of travel is more about savouring experiences than checking off boxes. Whenever possible, schedule in empty blocks of time that can be used for self-care and decompression.

#4. Download a Wellness or Meditation App Before Departing

If you’re concerned that travel will leave you overwhelmed, download some meditation or wellness apps to your phone. There’s so much great content out there that can help you to focus and breathe when the only familiar thing you have within arm’s reach is your phone. Don’t worry if you don’t meditate often, guided meditation exercises for de-stressing don’t require any practice or experience.

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#5. Journal the Journey

Journaling is a fantastic tool for processing our emotions. Even if you don’t journal in your ordinary life, “holiday” journaling can be a great way to work through everything you’re experiencing. Writing things down helps to solidify thoughts and feelings that are hard to work through as you’re tumbling through them. The best part is that a holiday journal is a cerebral snapshot in time which allows you to preserve personal memories from a trip.

#6. Make a Homesickness Pact With Someone Back Home

If you have a supportive friend or family member who always feels “like home” to you, enlist their help! Ask them to make a pact with you that allows you to reach out to them at any time during your holiday. You’ll never have to explain or justify why you’re calling. You can simply pick up the phone to have a soothing chat that helps to ease your homesickness. Simply knowing you have a “homesickness lifeline” if you need it can often be enough to ease stress. Of course, you’ll return the favour when this trusted person takes a trip of their ow

#7. Have a Solid Plan for Emergencies

Creating a plan for emergencies removes some of the stress and uncertainty from travel. Ensure that you have coverage and access for any emergencies related to physical or mental health. It’s also smart to familiarise yourself with clinics and hospitals in the vicinity of your hotel or rental home, and this is something World Travel Protection can assist with.

Ease Your Mind With World Travel Protection

Travellers covered by World Travel Protection’s 24/7 travel, medical, and security assistance can enjoy the journey without worrying about what will happen if they need support. Our Travel Risk Management solutions cover your needs during all stages of travel with real-time engagement, support, and monitoring. We’ve been trusted by travellers for more than 30 years! Reach out via the form below to learn more.