Is there a link between travel and mental ill health?
- Separation from family and friends
- Disruption of normal routines
- Feelings of increased stress or anxiety from unexpected travel delays
- Unease from unfamiliar surroundings and the presence of strangers
- A sense of isolation due to culture shock and/or language barriers
- Use of illicit drugs and alcohol
- Physical ill health during travel
- Forgetting to take medication regularly
- Be aware that time zone changes and jet lag can disrupt your sleep pattern and general well-being. Try to adjust to the local time on the day you arrive and go to bed and wake up at your normal bedtime, if you can. However, that might mean staying up all day without a nap, or getting up when you’re still exhausted - so trust your gut instinct and do what feels right for you.
- If you take medication, ensure you take it at the correct time during travel.
- Be sure to eat and drink as regularly as you can. Also, it can be best to avoid alcohol, particularly on days where you are travelling from one destination to another. Although you might think this will help to reduce travel stress, it can often have the adverse effect or make things worse once the effects wear off.
- If you feel your mental health is deteriorating, seek help early, either from your travelling companions, family and friends, local mental health services or consulate.
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