Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Health on Vacation

Updated on November 12, 2019

When you think about maintaining your health on vacation, you probably think about eating right and continuing to get exercise. You wouldn’t be wrong. Caring for your physical health on vacation means continuing to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and making sure you move your body.

However, it isn’t just your physical health you have to think about. You should take care of your mental health too!

It doesn’t matter if you have depression, you’re prone to anxiety, or you’re already stressed just thinking about taking a vacation, following the tips on this list will ensure your trip doesn’t compromise your mental health.

Go Easy on Yourself at Dinner

It’s true that it’s good for your body to eat healthy while you’re on vacation. However, you can do a lot to destroy your mental health if you prevent yourself from eating delicious food, or feeling guilty about it after the fact.

For example, if you’re vacationing in Pigeon Forge, TN, you will likely find yourself at a dinner show. Most have multiple courses. The Pirates Voyage show features a whopping four-course dinner, and you should enjoy every bite! Going on vacation is about letting loose, even if it means eating things you wouldn’t normally eat at home.

The trick is to listen to your body. Don’t continue eating if you aren’t hungry, and don’t be afraid to say no to dessert if you don’t have any room. You’ll feel better about your food choices if you listen to your body, regardless of what you eat.

Avoid Doing Too Much

There is an art to slow travel. It means taking things slow and savoring the moment. Traveling this way is also better for your mental health.

Although you may be tempted to pack in as many activities as you can on your vacation, you’ll just leave yourself feeling stressed. Not to mention, over planning increases your chances of being late for flights and shows, and it will leave you feeling drained at the end of the day.

Avoid doing too much by planning just one or two things to do every day. Spend the rest of your day relaxing by the pool, taking a nap, or going for a walk.

Stick to Important Routines

It’s fun to get outside your normal routine when you’re on vacation, but there are some parts of your daily routine, that when completed as if you were at home, can help you care for your mental health.

Exercise has many health benefits, so it’s important to continue your exercise routine if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or another mental illness. If you’re used to getting up in the morning and running on the treadmill, make time in the morning to visit the hotel exercise room for a quick jog.

Evening routines matter too. Watch your favorite show, soak in a bath, and write in a journal if it’s something you do before bed at home.

Make Your Hotel Room More like Home

It’s fun to stay in a hotel room because it’s somewhere different than your house, but it can also be a little uncomfortable. Make sure you can relax in your room and get a good night’s sleep by making your room feel more like home.

Try a few tips like:

  • Sanitizing your surroundings with Lysol spray for your peace of mind.
  • Bringing your own bedding from home.
  • Placing a picture frame on your nightstand.
  • Using travel candles and flowers to decorate your room.
  • Hanging up your clothes and unpacking your toiletries.

Make Lists

Traveling is difficult for different people for different reasons. However, a common fear among travelers is forgetting something. That might mean forgetting something at home, forgetting something in your hotel room, or forgetting something you’re supposed to do when you return home after your vacation is over.

Instead of fretting about forgetting things, make lists. They can help your brain organize information and make sure you don’t leave anything behind. Make packing lists and take them with you, so you can use them again when you check out of the hotel. Make a list of things you have to do when you return home, keep a list of medications you take, and make any other list that puts your mind at ease.

Caring for your physical health is important when you’re on vacation, but it is equally important to take care of your mental health too. That way, you can actually return home feeling rested and recharged.

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.