Header: emotional wellness when traveling

How to Take Care of Emotional Wellness (+ A Cheat Sheet)

Emotional wellness can make the difference between a stressful event and a life-changing experience. Discover how to ensure it’s the latter when traveling.

Gabriele Culot
Written by Gabriele Culot
September 26, 2023

Key takeaways

  1. Emotional wellness can strongly impact mental and physical health. Taking good care of it should be a priority.
  2. Issues with emotional wellbeing can be highlighted and made more serious when traveling, as increased stress and lack of stability can reduce available energy for self-care.
  3. Regularly following simple steps and practices can nurture and account for emotional wellness.

As much as we like to praise the benefits of traveling and experiencing the world, it’s crucial to safeguard your emotional wellness amidst the excitement. For travelers constantly on the move, whether for business or leisure, prioritizing emotional wellness becomes an integral part of the voyage.

The ever-changing landscapes and travel challenges can impact your emotional and mental health. Moreover, negative emotions or stressful situations away from the comfort of your home or from the support of family members and friends can strongly and unexpectedly impact your overall health.

In this blog post, we’ll journey through emotional wellness for travelers and provide actionable strategies to maintain your emotional equilibrium while ensuring you have the energy to work and explore the world.

Understanding emotional wellness

Emotional wellness refers to a state of wellbeing where individuals are in touch with their own emotions, able to effectively manage and cope with life’s challenges, and maintain a positive outlook on life. This awareness plays a pivotal role in navigating challenges and embracing change.

Elevating emotional wellness while traveling

For travelers, nurturing emotional wellbeing is crucial to making the most of every journey. Emotional wellness enables you to swiftly rebound from setbacks, savor joyful moments, and cultivate an enduring sense of happiness.

Becoming a digital nomad has been a lesson in prioritization. While work remains my primary focus, I’ve also learned to become more efficient, to be able to savor the beauty of new destinations. Above all, this lifestyle has turned me into a person who can work in almost any circumstance, no matter how uncomfortable.

Lala, Global Mobility Partner, Deel

The following strategies are essential to remember, especially when traveling. They will help you manage stress during your travels and contribute to your physical and mental wellbeing.

It’s well-understood, in fact, that stress can affect your blood pressure and your immune system and increase the risk for other health problems such as heart disease. Moreover, it can trigger negative thoughts and exacerbate mental illness.

8 Strategies to embrace emotional wellness

1. Foster positivity

Cultivate a positive attitude as you embark on your journey, whether metaphorical or physical. While experiencing occasional bad moods is natural, maintaining a negative outlook can undermine your overall emotional wellbeing. To nurture a positive mindset:

  • Acknowledge your daily accomplishments
  • Embrace mistakes as chances to learn and grow
  • Surround yourself with positive influences
  • Reflect on the purpose and meaning of your life’s journey

2. Cultivate connections

The fabric of our emotional health is woven with social connections. Strengthen your support network by contacting friends, family, and loved ones through various means, including virtual platforms (although an old-fashioned postcard can work wonders):

  • Consider joining Meetups in locations you visit
  • Strike up conversations with people around you
  • Nurture existing connections with family and friends
I know missing your home and family can make traveling as a digital nomad more difficult. I always travel with my family, so on the one hand it’s easier because I have my closest ones by my side at all times.

Stefana, Content Marketing Specialist, Deel

3. Combat stress

Stress is a part of life, but unmanaged or chronic stress can harm your mental and physical health. Prioritize stress relief techniques to bolster your resilience and protect your emotional wellbeing:

  • Engage in regular physical activity
  • Build a network of social support
  • Practice deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation
  • Spend time immersed in nature

4. Prioritize sleep

Quality sleep is the cornerstone of wellbeing, influencing mental and physical health. You can foster better sleep patterns by:

  • Establishing a consistent sleep schedule
  • Creating a conducive sleep environment
  • Incorporating relaxation practices before bedtime
  • Adopting healthy habits (like not eating or staying away from screens for a few hours before going to sleep)

5. Set boundaries

Striking a balance between responsibilities and personal time is vital for emotional wellness, especially on the road. Establish clear boundaries to avoid feeling overwhelmed:

  • Establish clear boundaries between your work and personal time
  • Prioritize tasks based on importance
  • Communicate your limits to others
  • Engage in activities that make you happy and fulfilled

6. Practice mindfulness

Anchoring yourself in the present moment through mindfulness can enhance emotional wellness. When on the road, it can be especially easy to lose track of mindfulness and serenity, so engage in mindful practices such as:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Mindful walking, and observing your surroundings
  • Mindful eating to savor flavors and textures
  • Micro breaks to ground yourself in the here and now

7. Embrace self-acceptance

Accepting yourself is a transformative step toward emotional wellness. Traveling can trigger thoughts, doubts, and questions within ourselves. While it’s essential to consider these and grow through them, this should be done with the right attitude. Embrace self-compassion by:

  • Surrounding yourself with positive affirmations
  • Letting go of the pursuit of perfection
  • Recognizing your strengths and achievements
  • Addressing your weaknesses and shortcomings honestly and gracefully

 8. Seek help when needed

Understand that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If emotional distress persists, reach out to:

  • Trusted friends and family
  • Mental health professionals

Explore the world with a healthy approach

Just as you prepare your itinerary and pack your essentials, equip yourself with the tools to safeguard your emotional wellbeing. Whether exploring new cultures for pleasure or venturing into uncharted territories for work, ensuring you take care of yourself is the first step to success.

Use the cheat sheet below to track your wellbeing before, and during, your travels. This way, you can always keep yourself in check and make sure your emotional wellbeing is well nurtured.

But self-care is just one of the elements to work on when building a positive and successful life and career. Explore our blog for more tips and advice on ways you can grow and develop into your best life.

Emotional wellness cheat sheet for travelers

Before your journey: Prepare for emotional wellness

  • Positive mindset: Cultivate a positive attitude to frame your journey with optimism. Acknowledge daily accomplishments and reflect on the purpose of your travel.
  • Social connections: Strengthen your support network by contacting loved ones virtually. Join virtual hobby groups and engage in online learning to stay connected.
  • Stress management: Prioritize stress relief techniques to enhance resilience and wellbeing.
    • Engage in regular physical activity
    • Build a social support network
    • Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques
    • Spend time in nature

During your journey: Nurture your emotional wellness

  • Quality sleep: Maintain sleep routines to support mental and physical health.
    • Follow a consistent sleep schedule
    • Create a conducive sleep environment
    • Incorporate relaxation practices before bedtime
  • Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries to prevent overwhelm and maintain balance.
    • Prioritize tasks based on importance
    • Communicate your limits to others
    • Engage in activities that bring you joy
  • Mindfulness practice: Anchor yourself in the present moment to enhance emotional wellness.
    • Practice deep breathing exercises
    • Engage in mindful walking and observation
    • Embrace mindful eating to savor flavors and textures

Staying resilient: Practicing emotional wellness

  • Self-acceptance: Embrace self-compassion and recognize your strengths and achievements.
    • Surround yourself with positive affirmations
    • Release the pursuit of perfection
  • Seek help when needed: Understand that seeking assistance is a sign of strength, not weakness.
    • Reach out to trusted friends and family

Consider consulting mental health professionals if emotional distress persists.


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