Depression: Traveling Light in the times of Darkness

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Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. People with depressive symptoms tend to use more first-person pronouns , revealing an increase in self-focused attention, according to a study that looked at online forums, published in Clinical Psychological Science.

The study also found that people with symptoms of depression tended to talk in absolutist language. Depression frequently leads to distortions in thought patterns called cognitive distortions which affect how we feel. Black-and-white thinking is a common distorted thought pattern linked with depression. Everyone uses these kinds of phrases from time to time but people with depression use them more often as a pattern of language.

So, the key is to recognize a pattern over time.

Guide Depression: Traveling Light in the times of Darkness

Be alert to the silent signs you may need depression medication. Depression brings huge amounts of guilt and self-blame, part of the overgeneralized, all-or-nothing feelings that depressed people are prone to. Serani says. With depression, physical and emotional symptoms may coincide. Read more on depression as an inflammatory disorder. What ensued were many hysterical interactions with the local shopkeepers as I totally butchered my Spanish. That experience really uplifted me. I was doing something at my own pace, talking to other people, and exercising my mind at the same time. They also can turn you into the worlds biggest liar.

Making excuses comes naturally after a while.


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I had to consciously stop myself from making excuses. Travel feels like an antidepressant for me. The frequent change, always something new to experience and explore, etc. Routine seems to be one of my bigger challenges, and travel offers a significant break in the routine. One of the most important things you can do, at home or abroad, is to look after your physical health.

Everyone knows about the mind-body connection, and sometimes this is much more noticeable in those who deal with depression or anxiety. Here are some things to keep in mind while travelling to stay balanced and keep your mood stable:. Just as the body can affect the mind, the mind can affect the body and much more. If I let it go too long, it can get deeper and take me to scary places. When there are a lot of factors adding to my depression, as sometimes happens with life, then I know I have to work hard to focus on every little positive thing I can and to take even a short trip so I can change my scenery and bring about some change.

Finding a way to maintain some balance will allow you the time and space to enjoy yourself and also rest. One of my favorite defenses to depression or anxiety is actively seeking out the good and inspirational in my life. These things — regardless of media or platform — help me refocus, feel thankful, and approach the world with a renewed sense of wonder. Everyone talks about physical and mental health, but I honestly think we cannot overlook the need we have to feed our soul.

Many of the depressive episodes I have had have stemmed from feelings of aimlessness, boredom, and exhaustion. Taking items out of my inspirational tool belt reignites my passion and creativity so that I too feel motivated to go out and inspire others. Need a bit more encouragement or inspiration?

In Alaska, Darkness and Depression Descend

I asked my fellow travelers if they had any parting advice to give for those who want to travel the wold, but their fears surrounding their mental health hold them back. Be kind to yourself. If you want to travel, travel. Just book the ticket. You will get through any adversities that come your way.

Travel is for everyone and you are not an exception. You deserve to travel too and you are more than capable.

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It WILL change your life, trust me! It grounds you, reinforces who you are and makes you appreciate your home country all the more. Talking to people with vastly different backgrounds from yourself, with different upbringings, with different views, cultures and ways of doing things opens your eyes.


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It can be a huge benefit. My turning point came about when I felt like I had hit rock bottom. For too long I had played into the mindset that I was a prisoner of my circumstances. I found freedom when I allowed myself to accept it as an option. Others have gone before you who have dealt with the same, or similar, issues and have been rewarded for chasing their dreams of travel. Travel has challenged me, inspired me, and allowed me to grow stronger; I will forever be grateful for the opportunities I have had.

And if you have an amazing time while traveling which I know you will! Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Depression at Dusk With dusk approaching, the sky blossomed into deep reds and purples, and lights in the village began to twinkle like lightning bugs in the cool air. My view from the guest room while staying in beautiful Villa de Lleyva. Coping with Depression on the Road Having a checklist, and putting things in place before you go, can help you overcome the anxiety of starting off on a new adventure.

Know Before You Go One of the hardest parts about traveling when one is dealing with depression or anxiety is taking that first step. Adjust Your Expectations One of the biggest lessons I have had to learn in life and travel is to drop my expectations.

It was one big loop which was eternally reaffirming itself. Take Care of Your Body One of the most important things you can do, at home or abroad, is to look after your physical health. Being dehydrated can make you feel listless, cause headaches and worse. Being well-hydrated is key to optimal health as it flushes toxins and helps every system in your body.

Traveling Light in Times of Darkness : One Woman's Victorious Journey Through Depression

Start your day off with a glass of water and make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Rest: A good sleep schedule is paramount to good mind-body health. Better sleep results in improved mood, stronger immune system, and healthy cognitive function. In fact, according to Psychology Today better sleep has been shown to help treat those who deal with depression. Sleep aids in many regenerative processes necessary for good health.

When traveling, consider adopting a somewhat consistent sleep schedule; go to bed and wake up roughly around the same time each day. This will prime your body to prepare itself for sleep. Also be sure to cut screen time and allow your mind and body to relax. Your place of rest should be for sleep only. I stayed at a party hostel in Melbourne and people came and went at all hours of the night.

If I had ear plugs or a mask, I probably would have slept better and not been so grumpy. Exercise: Exercise has been shown to have numerous health benefits, not least of all how it affects your mood. It can reduce stress and negative moods, as well as result in better sleep and higher cognitive function. Exercise can be as simple as going for a walk around the city, taking a day hike, jogging in the local park or starting the day off with yoga.

Healthy Food: Garbage in, garbage out. Most hostels will have a communal kitchen, which will allow you to purchase and prepare your own food. This will not only be healthier than eating out, but it will also save you some cash as well! When I first started traveling, I went with the bare basics in food ham sandwiches and instant noodles as a way to cut costs.

Eats lots of dark, leafy green veggies and plenty of fruit as well.

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