Travel can be disruptive
When you’re traveling all the time, whether it’s for work or leisure, it can be upsetting to your circadian rhythm and routine. Your job might require travel, so you might be very used to traveling and consider it to be part of your routine, but it has the potential to be a disruptive force in someone’s life regardless of how used to it they are.
When you’re traveling, you’re adjusting to new time zones, meeting new people, staying in new places, eating meals at different times, and falling asleep at an unusual hour every night. Not all of these things are bad, and of course, traveling can be extremely rewarding, but it can be easy to feel like your life, or even your sense of self is thrown off when you’re always on the go.
Even though you’re going from location to location, you still have a core self inside of you. Here are some common challenges and how you can combat them so that you can embrace your travel experiences and use them to help you get in touch with your core self rather than stray from it.
Changing time zones is challenging
Let’s say that you live on the east coast but travel to the west coast frequently. That requires an adjustment period where your body can get used to the new time zone. You might be thrown off by the weather, too, if you’re entering a warm climate but live in a cold one or vice-versa.
All of these different variables impact how you’re interacting with where you’re staying. Time differences can throw you off and dysregulate your mood, and you might be irritable because you haven’t gotten enough sleep, but remember that despite these shifts in mood and time, you’re still who you are. You might be experiencing emotional turbulence, but you can get back to basics. Combat this by sticking to elements of your routine as much as you can. Keep good sleep hygiene and use self-care as much as possible.
How to stay grounded while traveling
One thing that you can do to stay grounded while travelling is to engage in meditation. One of the great things about meditation is that you can take it anywhere. Even if you’re in a hotel or another unfamiliar space, taking ten minutes or so per day to close your eyes, conduct breathing exercises, and imagine yourself in a place where you feel safe can help you.
You don’t need to set aside a significant amount of time to meditate because when you’re travelling, you might be very busy, but starting or ending the day with meditation can help you reset and remind you of who you are inside. You might even meditate twice a day if you’re ambitious; it’s a great way to center yourself and feel in touch with your core being.
Talking to friends and family who live in your hometown
Although you’re traveling, it’s good to keep in touch with your home base. Of course, you should enjoy the experiences that take place in your new environment, but a Skype or phone call with a close friend or family member in the area that you call home will remind you who you are. Especially if you feel a sense of chaos on the road or feel estranged from your internal self, taking the time to talk to someone that you’re close with can help. It doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy your destination; it’s a matter of striking a balance of remembering where you came from and enjoying where you’re at right now.
Talking about your travels in online therapy
Online therapy is an excellent place to discuss any issues you might have while traveling for work, school, your personal life, or for any other reason. Some people suffer from social anxiety and find it challenging to stay calm when they’re in new environments with new people.
Traveling can be jarring for these individuals. You can also discuss moving to a new place in therapy. Relocating is one of the most stressful experiences in life. A therapist is there to support you with any travel-related issues or other mental health battles, such as a struggle finding your sense of self.
There are local counselors or online therapists who can assist you with a variety of issues, whether they’re related to travel or something else. You have the right to figure out who you are at your core and find ways to maintain balance in your life.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.