This article is co-authored by Natalia S. David, Psy.D .. Dr. David is a professor of psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She received a diploma in psychology from Alliant International University in 2017.
The number of sources used in this article is 13. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.
Traveling inspires, gives strength, relaxes and even brings benefits. However, the opposite effects are also possible in the form of constant stress and mental problems such as depression, anxiety or alcohol and drug abuse. Often we have to deal with new surroundings, strangers, and even unusual traditions. It is important to take steps to help monitor your mental health while traveling. For example, you can control stress levels and follow a treatment plan. Also take advantage of travel to improve your mental health and prepare a plan for unforeseen problems.
Effective day planning
Planning is the most important thing a busy worker should practice to avoid stress. Ph.D., psychologist Michael Kahn recommends compiling to-do lists for every day, week, month, and even year. Before reading your email, check your schedule every morning. This tricky trick helps you get rid of trying to keep information in your head. By making lists, you get a sense of control.
Use of a guarantee system
Choose the most reliable colleague and instruct him to yank you every time you start to “wind up” and raise your voice. A partner interested in improving the emotional environment in the team will help you look at yourself from the outside and minimize risks. Explain to a colleague that you want to know the truth, even if it is not very pleasant.
Effective managers do not spend a lot of energy on emotional stress. Compare the heated atmosphere in the workplace with a dramatic basketball game. To slow down the pace of the game, regroup and give the leading players a break, the coach takes a timeout. Successful people know that negative emotions turn off the rational part of the brain and prevent them from making the right decisions. Every time you feel a wave of anger and frustration, allow yourself to be alone and restore your composure.
Other publications by the author:
Loneliness and solitude.
Loneliness or solitude, what's the difference? How to be with yourself and with others.
The magic of divorce.
This article has a strange name, isn't it? In society, especially in the unhurried post-Soviet space, it is customary to think that divorce is evil, terrible horror, grief and shame, moreover (more often for a woman, because more often it is her responsibility to take care of the "weather in the house"). Yes, undoubtedly, divorce is painful for most sensitive people. But I want to write about resources, opportunities and often, inevitable in personal growth, development, growing up and further flexibility and freedom, an event.
How to take care of yourself during the autumn depression.
About autumn depression, and how to live it
Shame and guilt in a relationship
Shame and guilt are emotions that are not basic, natural. Animals have no shame or guilt. These are social emotions that appeared in people as regulators of behavior among people. These feelings perfectly stop us from various socially unacceptable acts. But how often, we are simply paralyzed by them, and lose the opportunity to move forward, develop, hear our needs, and at the same time the needs of our neighbor.
Why do women recover alone
My amateur translation of the article on the topic of female loneliness and how it, sometimes, has a beneficial effect on the quality of life
Psychotherapeutic group: joys and difficulties
This short note is based on my many years of experience in managing psychotherapeutic groups (in particular, the Gestalt format of the weekly small therapeutic group), its benefits and difficulties for the client.
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Ability to say no
If you feel that the requests of your colleagues and the instructions of your boss are about to cover you head to head, you will have to differentiate them into primary and secondary tasks. And before you say no, you must part with regret. A good way out of this situation is delegation of authority. The maximum result can be obtained by applying a little less effort.
The development of healthy arrogance
Successful employees know their worth. Each of them is sure that he can reach the most sky-high heights in his sphere. Cultivate this faith within yourself. To do this, you should often look back on your past successes and brush up on strategies that have helped you overcome difficult situations.
Make it a priority to get enough sleep, and for this, develop the optimal regimen. It all comes down to discipline and planning, and even relaxation. Give yourself a word that you stop working at a certain hour. You can plan walks and sports, as well as meetings with clients.
Lack of fear of unforeseen situations
Effective performers are sensitive to stress. They have strategies that help to cope with the situation until it gets out of control. You must learn to recognize the subtle signals of your body: heart palpitations, wet palms, or muscle tension. This will give you the opportunity to switch your attention to relaxing activities: walking, deep breathing or stretching exercises.
Problem solving generation
If the deadlines for the completion of an important project are running out, people put off all the work and throw their resources into one task. For example, you can make a commitment to complete work in three hours, which takes two and a half days. The decision to prioritize will help you avoid unnecessary worries.
Anxiety can become a driving force
You will be easier to look at if you try to rename anxiety into opportunity. Most of us see anxiety as something negative, but in fact, this feeling can cultivate positive changes. Anxiety is as natural as joy or dreams. This feeling can be used as a driving force that allows you to adjust the plan of action.
A 15-minute break is best used with maximum benefit for your body and brain. Stop searching the web for funny animal videos or reply to messages with friends. Perform a stretching exercise. Sitting on a chair, clasp your hands in the castle and take them by the head. Bring the body back as far as possible, then bring the shoulder blades together and hold the position for 2 seconds. Relax and repeat the exercise 8 times.
Think of the crisis as a second chance
Financial crises and bankruptcies often force major executives to say goodbye to life. But how do those who managed to overcome difficulties behave? They perceive the crisis not as a sentence, but as a unique opportunity to avoid a programmed life and improve themselves.
Identification of areas of control
When you are faced with a practically insoluble situation, there is always the opportunity to identify one part of the problem that you can control. Now you can look at a difficult task from a position of strength, and this will increase your self-esteem.
Experience from the past
Sometimes things look so gloomy that they prevent you from breathing freely. But if you look back, you can probably recall similar situations. People have many more opportunities that enable them to withstand change. Perhaps the main support is the positive experience from the past.
Depressed people who go into themselves often fall into social isolation. They are locked in four walls and even more provoke the birth of disturbing thoughts. Potentially, this can lead to suicide, or the desire to lay hands on oneself. And if you want to avoid this fate, we advise you to leave home and go to seek solace from friends.
Striking a balance between the three areas of your life — home, work, and your own needs — will provide solid protection against stress. If things go wrong in any of these areas, you always have the opportunity to take energy from other sources.
The power of imagination
When people worry, they hide their fears somewhere deep inside their minds. However, your imagination can help you. Mentally draw the most negative scenario, now come up with a retreat plan. This way you will be prepared for the worst case scenario.
Endless comparisons with friends or colleagues put you in a state of increased stress. If you have problems with anxiety, every day you gain new ground for oppressive thoughts. The critic who sits inside of you enslaves and lowers self-esteem. Comparisons are only relevant in one case: if you focus on your past achievements.
Use meditation apps
It has been proven that meditation reduces stress, fights depression and alleviates anxiety. Sit still, take a deep breath, and don’t think about anything. Try to meditate for a few minutes before you go on an excursion.
Meditation apps can give you some guidance to stay calm for a few minutes. Headspace is an application that makes meditation easy to understand and practice. Your guide in a soothing voice with a British accent will explain how each practice can help you. It is also accompanied by a fun video with interesting graphics to make meditation more relevant.
Pacifica is another meditation app that also offers cognitive therapy, setting up psychological goals, and journaling. You can register, document how you feel, and perform psychological tasks, games that will help you relax.
Get enough exercise by meeting or grouping
Exercise is just as important to your mental state as it is to your body. You can go jogging, go to the hotel's pool or do exercises at your hostel: exercise is always good. If you already feel depressed, this can be an obstacle to training. Then find your local gym, yoga studio or go hiking, which can be found at Meetup.com. There are a lot of people in groups, so you will get the mental benefits of socialization.
Take a walk from time to time in a comfortable hotel
Traveling with a backpack and walking can save you a ton of money, but long bus rides, crowded hostels and peanut butter sandwiches will quickly tire you out. If you feel that you are losing the energy you use to save money, treat yourself to a hotel. He can work wonders for the mind and body: stay alone for a while, take a hot bath, and lie on a soft bed.
Make friends with foreigners and other travelers
Making friends with the locals while traveling is always a great idea. However, this can lead to the leakage of your psychic energy, as you will try to understand cultural differences, communicate in a foreign language and over time you will have experiences related to this. Break your social time between exploring local life and chatting with other travelers and foreigners. You can find them in hostels, at Couchsurfing meetings, or through apps like Bumble and Tinder (people use them to chat with friends). You can talk about local traffic rules or that the country uses a lot of cash instead of bank cards. And when you find someone from your country, you will begin to feel more comfortable even in the most remote places.
Video chat with friends and family
There are many digital tools that let you chat with friends and family. You can send videos to Snapchat, use Facebook call, Skype, Google Chat or Facetime. If you have a phone and an Internet connection, then you can see your family. Allocate time for this no matter how busy you are on the trip.
Make a spa day
If this is within your budget, then treat yourself to a spa day. Soak in Thai massage for an hour in Bangkok or try the Cambodia fish spa for your feet. Indulge in a traditional Japanese bathhouse or classic hammam in Morocco. Try acupuncture in China or do manicures / pedicures in Europe. Choose the method that helps you relax the most.
Find a comfortable meal
Trying local food is one of the best parts of the trip. However, you can only eat Thai and yellow curry. Sometimes, you just want a starchy, raw or sweet dish from your home country. Most major cities around the world have overseas supermarkets. Try to find one such near you, because there, most likely, they will sell goods from your country. And you can probably find a restaurant that serves food from your country. There are realistic British pubs in Chinese cities, Hong Kong has a restaurant serving poutine and Molson, and Chiang Mai in Thailand has a restaurant serving South American-style food (including sweet tea). Eating from home can almost always fix a bad mood.
Allow yourself to do nothing during the day
Do not give yourself promises to see every place, every attraction and thoroughly explore the local culture. You think that this does not mentally burden you and strive to see the world's largest collection of attractions only because you think that you need it. Trying to do too much while traveling can lead to psychological exhaustion and you may not be able to enjoy anything at all.
Have an emergency fund that can pay the plane home
This is especially important for long-term travelers who are not entirely sure when they will return home. The situation when you are abroad and want to return home, but do not have money, can cause extreme anxiety and depression. Always have an emergency fund if you just want to pack and board a plane. A sense of security can bring peace to your troubled soul.