Andrea had been looking forward to this vacation for months now. She had recently booked her tickets, told her friends and family about it, started working on her itinerary.
She might have forgotten to pack a few pairs of extra socks or undergarments but she didn’t not forget the most important item without which she couldn’t travel.
It wasn’t her passport or her flight tickets but her medication. She had been suffering from clinical depression for years now. This vacation was only a way for her to breakout from her work routine.
It wasn’t her medication.
Andrea wasn’t the only one travelling with depression. There are thousands like her who travel across cities, states and countries hoping to find a cure to this depression. Many of them fail to realize the real cause behind this depression.
Depression would follow them during the vacation the same way it did during their workdays.
Elisha was one of them, she hadn’t been diagnosed with depression yet because she never went for a check up. She was only told her that it was in her head. She had no medication in her hand. That was because she was told she didn’t need any medication.
Both Andrea and Elisha were patients of depression. One had medication, the other one didn’t.
The only thing common between them apart from clinical depression was that they knew a few ways of handling depression when traveling .
The methods and techniques they used could be easy broken down to five simple ways.
1. Take A Vacation From Your Vacation
Yes, everyday is an important day. Andrea and Elisha both have paid for their accommodation in a pretty well maintained hostel. The food and transport are great.
But wait, both of them decided to take a break after the first two days of travel. Yes , there was lots more to see a lot of new people to meet. Yet, they knew that constantly moving would tire them and they needed a break from it. The needed to recharge their battery, so that they could travel better the next day.
Instead of going out, they went to the nearest food chain, got some take away chicken. After that they binge watched a few episodes of Rick and Morty. Once they were done with it, they opened Skype and called their moms and gossiped about the entire journey.
2. Write The Daily Occurrences In Your Dairy
This might sound like something out of romantic comedy. Both Andrea and Elisha kept a diary. It wasn’t a very fancy one but contained a lot of little personal stories, some of it was about how good their journey was but mostly it was about how they were thankful of the little things that they had in their life. This was Andrea’s Diary which was mostly in written.
Elisha had a different diary, it contained flight tickets, recipes, receipts, Polaroids and postcards that she had collected throughout her journey.
This was a good way to remember the good times whenever she felt low.
3. Keep Making Plans
An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Andrea and Elisha both were aware of it. To combat depression non medically , the one simple trick they used was to keep themselves occupied.
The best way for them to do so was to make plans for their journey.
They even planned the gifts and souvenirs they wanted to buy for their families. The also made an account of how much space was available to them before they made any new purchases.
This kept them busy and didn’t make them think about or bring the feeling of depression back.
4. Health Is The Key
Elisha and Andrea, one who didn’t know she was depressed, the other who knew that she was depressed and had medication for it. The girls knew one thing that would really help them in any case or scenario. It was that health was vital to their welfare
Elisha did Pilates and a little bit of kickboxing to protect herself and to stay fit. Andrea did Yoga and running.Apart from keeping them in shape. Exercising made their bodies release the feel good hormones called endorphin that helped them stay in a good mood.
They also didn’t drink way too much or go on an eating spree. Whatever they did to enjoy themselves was done in moderate amounts. This way their actions didn’t have a taxing effect on their bodies and kept the depression at a safe distance.
5. They both had each other.
When traveling the most important thing they learnt was to keep company and not to stay alone. Both of them , though different in their approach, were there for each other to help each other out.
There were many people traveling like them. Some of them knew what they were dealing with,while they others were unaware about the word depression.To them, it was “just in their head”.
Regardless of all this, depression was a real mental health issue and the best way for them to deal with it was to interact with more people and share their problem. The better their interactions were, the more they realized that they weren’t alone which helped them overcome this depression knowingly or unknowingly.
A lot of us travel with sickness. The short break from work or from home is very important for us to rejuvenate ourselves and make ourselves better for when we return home. Depression is one such disorder that we might carry without ourselves to every exotic location we go to. This sickness called depression might make us feel sad and lonely even in the most happiest places in the world.
If you or someone you know is suffering from clinical depression, the first step is to get clinical help. The second most important step apart from clinical help have been discussed here.
These five steps that have been taken by these two girls; knowing that they are not alone, looking after their health, making plans in advance, making a record and being happy about the good things they are coming across, giving yourself a break. All this are some simple ways to fight depression.
Do you have any of your own? Comment and share them.
Do you know someone who needs these tips. Share it with them from the tabs and icons below. Happy Traveling!
Author: The Brown Nomad
Also published on Medium.