Screw the stigma- I have dealt with varying degrees of mental health struggles since my early twenties. Most of the people I surround myself with are luckily understanding, most having also experienced some sort of issue that required self or professional help. For me, routines and most recently, exercise, have been a big part of managing my mental health. But one thing that I also use is travel. It’s more than just a passion of mine now, it’s a management strategy. Yes, sometimes it can worsen my anxiety around missing connections and travel plans gone wrong, but here are some of the ways travelling has helped me manage my mental health:
1. When travelling solo, it has forced me to push through my anxiety of asking for help or meeting new people.
2. Flying while disconnected from the world is so necessary for gaining perspective.
3. Proving to myself that I can achieve goals alone has done wonders for my self confidence.
4. Changing routine and getting active while away helped me figure out what wasn’t working back home.
5. Dealing with changes out of my control quickly has helped me quieten (not silence) the anxious voices I have about needing to merticukously plan everything.
6. Having something to work towards is a huge motivator.
7. Having travel friends from all over the world & Australia means I regularly have someone visiting my city who wants to do something out of the house.
8. When you travel you usually have to think about when/where your next meal will be. Having those regular meals, and being conscious of what you put in your most is so important with mental health.
9. Doing everything I thought I couldn’t by myself when solo travelling is liberating.
10. Having endless places to explore on my bucket list is a huge motivator to keep going, even when it gets tough!
Do you have anything you want to add to this list? Let me know below!