For many of us, a holiday is something to look forward to. Some time to unwind and relax. But if you suffer from poor mental health it might not be so easy and it could well be something you will dread. The good news is there are things you can do to look after your mental health while on holiday. So for all of us who have our problems, I hope these ten tips based on personal experience help you…
Make Sure You Have Enough Medication
It’s not just a case of making sure you have enough for the number of days you are going, but also some extra for any eventualities. What if you drop some, lose some? By taking extra you have those sorts of things covered.
Sleep Well and Sleep Long
While on holiday do make sure you sleep as much as you can. Even if that means taking a few sleeping pills with you, by getting as much rest as your body needs will make the holiday more relaxing. Holidays are all about “me time” so make sure it is all about yourself.
Consider Emailing or Arranging a Call Time With Your Therapist
If you would normally go to therapy at the same time you are away do consider arranging a time to call your therapist instead. While this is obviously not as good as a face-to-face meeting it might well give you a bit more strength if you are feeling down or nervous while on holiday. Just remember to check any time differences if there are any.
Is Your Medication Flight Safe?
You will need to make sure it is OK to take the medication you need with you on the plane, or just in the baggage hold. Some airlines have strict policies when it comes to medication so do email them or call then a few weeks before to make sure you know and fully understand the rules.
Make Sure Your Budget Has Wiggle Room
There is nothing more stressful than running out of money while in a foreign country so do make sure you have more than your needs and that you can get access to more if something happens or you just need more spending money. By making sure you have a large holiday budget will put money matters which are otherwise very stressful at the back of your mind.
Know Your ICE Numbers
ICE numbers stand for In Case of Emergencies and you should have quite a few of them. Maybe the number of friends, family, the hotel, a local taxi firm, the local hospital or even just the number of everyone you are on holiday with. By being able to reach out and connect with people will make any panic attacks or stressful situations seem a lot less problematic.
Make Sure You Get Insurance
Holiday Insurance is something most people don’t bother with, but it might play on your mind if you don’t get it. Sadly accidents do happen and being fully covered for any eventualities will put your mind at ease if you plan to visit some tourist spots or sites.
Know Your Location
By taking a few hours when you get to the hotel to understand where your room is, where the hotel is located and the exact location of any taxi depots or bus stations will make any travelling you need to do a lot less stressful. They say knowledge is power and knowing those sorts of things will give you power of any anxiety you are feeling.
Consider a Travelling Letter
You might not have heard of this before, but a ‘travelling letter’ is essentially a small and basic description of your mental health needs and diagnosis. It will often have details of your local doctor or therapist and will help anyone helping you if you suffer any sudden problems like panic attacks or anxiety freezes.
And last but not least, try to make sure it is a restful holiday and not a whistle-stop tour or local sites. By making sure you have plenty of “me time” you will make the most of your holidays and get as much out of them as you need. Holidays should be out recharging those batteries, so make sure you are not depleting them instead.