Long lines, late flights, airport noise, security checks, crowded cabins—the stress of travel can be tough on your mental health.
Here at Vane Airport Mag, most of our wellness tips focus on physical health, but we know that mental health is also important. We also recognize that airports can test our serenity.
Taking care of your mental wellbeing is one of the most important things you can do for you. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) tells us that about one in five American adults will experience mental illness each year. What’s more, ignoring your mental health can affect your weight, heart health and immune functions.
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Good mental wellbeing can also help you feel more prepared for the unknowns of airports. Flight delay? Cancellation? Can’t find healthy food or a place to rest? Maintaining a healthy mind helps you cope better with stress, relate to others and make rational decisions.
5 Tips For Staying Mentally Healthy During Travel
1. Nourish your body
Hangry isn’t just a term. It’s a real thing many people experience when they haven’t eaten on time: hungry equals angry.
There’s more to it than just making sure you eat on time, though. What you eat can affect your mood.
Sugary, high-fat processed foods can drag down your mood and brain function. Eat a balanced diet rich with real food. This will give your brain the nutrients it needs to perform optimally.
2. Check in with you
When was the last time you took a moment to check in with yourself? Most of us don’t evaluate our feelings, stress levels or mental wellbeing as much as we should.
After a while, we just get this feeling somewhere in our bodies: a familiar tension, a worry or even panic.
When you start to feel this way, make it a point to check in with you. The body has a way of saying it’s time. Say hi to you, and embrace yourself to keep negative thoughts and moods at bay.
3. Smile and laugh more
Traveling alone can be an isolating experience, sometimes for long periods of time.
Don’t be afraid to socialize more. Say hi, give a smile to a passerby, help someone… The mere interaction with another will lead to an inner warmth. After all, we are meant to connect with people. Who knows? You may end up chatting and sharing a laugh with a stranger.
Laughter is one of the best medicines! It triggers the release of endorphins—your body’s feel-good chemicals. This helps reduce stress and boost energy.
4. Be mindful
Whatever it is that is causing you stress, you can reduce its power over you just by being conscious of it.
Stay mindful of your negative thoughts. Empower yourself to transform them like a magician. Take some deep breaths, be present and change negative thoughts into positive ones.
Research has shown that positivity has a tremendous effect on our physical and mental health. Abracadabra!
5. Practice kindness
The airport can be a great place to practice random kindness.
You may encounter a rude airline attendant, someone who butts in line or a seat hogger. Naturally, you’ll be tempted to be angry. But they’re stressed out too. Be kind to them and you’ll be kinder to yourself.
Showing kindness towards others helps improve your mood drastically. Being kind takes minimal effort and is highly rewarding. It’s not just that you’ll feel good about yourself—others will be nicer to you too.
Staying healthy during travel is more than doing some exercise and eating a healthy salad. Prioritize your mental wellbeing to ensure you feel good, balanced and secure.
How do you stay mentally healthy during travel? Share some tips in the comments below!