Are you mourning canceled trips? If so, you’re not alone. If you’re a frequent traveler or retreat goer, it’s likely that the coronavirus has thrown you for a loop in a unique way. Travel is exciting, and some people simply live for it. Many people also find that travel has a positive impact on their mental health. It makes you feel alive; when you travel, you meet new people and have experiences that you wouldn’t have been able to have if you stayed at home. So, what can frequent travelers do for their mental health at this time?
Read on to learn how to take care of yourself during this difficult time.
You might feel guilty for grieving or being upset over a canceled trip or a retreat, perhaps several. However, your emotions are always valid, and there’s no need to feel bad for the way you feel right now. You’ve likely heard the saying, “your feelings are valid because you feel them,” and it’s true. So much of life is both “this and that,” meaning that multiple things can coexist.
It could be that you usually travel for work, that you host a retreat yourself, or that it’s just something you look forward to that helps you escape from the stress of daily life. This life change, especially now that it’s lasted since March 2020, isn’t easy. Especially since we don’t know when it will end.
You can be grateful for what you have while still acknowledging that you are upset about having to stay indoors or cancel travel plans. It’s true that no one is really in their element right now. We’re all making adjustments, and it’s hard for everyone, so cut yourself some slack and let yourself feel your feelings.
One thing that you can do if you’re stuck at home is to access online retreats and other virtual social gatherings if you can. Some creators are hosting virtual retreats, which can give you a sense of togetherness that you desire from your own home. It’s true that it’s not the same, but there is a lot of strength in community. Studies show that social support is supportive of our overall well-being, so it’s crucial to remember that staying indoors doesn’t mean that you have to isolate yourself entirely. You can still reach out to people online, using video chat, or over the phone.
When you’re experiencing extreme sadness, it can be very hard to reach out, but talking to people, even if it’s from a distance, can help. Be sure to reach out to your friends during this time, too, especially if you haven’t heard from them in a while. Again, it is hard to reach out for support when you’re alone, so you’ll be helping your friend and yourself by doing this. Another thing that you can do is to take up new hobbies, whether they’re social or solo activities. Adventurous people are often creative and innovative. You can try your hand at yoga, meditation, journaling, home renovation, or art projects, for example.
For as long as it’s unsafe to gather in your area, remind yourself that you’re doing the right thing by staying home. It’s not always easy for those of us who thrive while traveling and spending time with others, but social distancing, on top of wearing a mask and taking other safety precautions, is the least we can do right now. Yes, it’s painful to cancel plans, but you are protecting yourself and others, and you should be proud of that. Again, be sure to cut yourself some slack and let yourself experience the emotions that arise during this time. There’s only so much you can control, and you’re doing what you can for your community. For updates on how to continue keeping yourself, your family, and those around you safe, check the CDC or world health organization website.
Although peer support is indispensable, it’s not always enough. Counseling is an excellent way to get the support that you need. You don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental health condition to receive therapy or counseling, though counseling is an effective form of treatment for many individuals living with a mental illness. People seek counseling or therapy for a variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, relationship problems, stress, familial issues, and more. Many mental health providers, including counselors, therapists, psychologists, and social workers, are practicing remotely due to COVID-19. You can reach out to your insurance company or contact your doctor to get a referral to a provider near you. Another option is online counseling through an online counseling or therapy website.
Online counseling with companies like BetterHelp is often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling is, especially if you don’t have insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover what you need. BetterHelp is an online therapy website that offers mental health services from licensed providers only. Online therapy has been proven effective by various studies, and it’s an excellent way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from contracting the virus while receiving quality therapy or counseling from the privacy of your own home. If you’re interested in online counseling, visit the BetterHelp website or app and get started with BetterHelp counselors today.