There’s nothing quite like looking forward to your next trip. You mark your calendar, circle it with a big marker and count the days until you’re off. Travel is a great way to relax and put the worries of everyday life behind you. For many people, however, 2020 has thrown a wrench in their plans. Whether you’d planned an overseas adventure or a road trip to see beloved family, there’s a good chance you’ve had to cancel this year’s trips due to unforeseen circumstances.
It’s normal to be sad about travel restrictions — but for many, these feelings go a step further. If you are struggling with feelings of depression because you feel stuck and isolated, here are some ways to overcome the great travel depression of 2020.
What Is Coronavirus Depression?
There’s no guidebook for how to navigate the changes COVID-19 has brought to our lives. Since stay-at-home orders began back in March, people throughout the United States have felt a great deal of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and depression.
While fear for health and security are most people’s main concerns, isolation is another factor leading to this dramatic impact on mental health. Physical distancing is creating an environment where signs of distress and depression might go unchecked.
Because of the uncertainty of our times, symptoms of anxiety and depression are harder than ever to spot. Here are some things to look out for in yourself and others:
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep disturbances
- Inability to concentrate
- Feelings of hopelessness and intense sadness
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Guilt or feelings of worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
Overcoming Travel Depression
You may feel like it’s selfish to mourn your travel plans with everything going on in the world. However, it’s possible to feel more than one thing at once. You can have global empathy for those losing their lives along with personal disappointment at being stuck at home.
If you find yourself struggling with sadness and disappointment because of the 2020 travel restrictions, here are some things you can do:
- Feel your feelings. In the face of this scary and ever-changing pandemic, you are allowed to feel what you feel. If you’re angry that your travel plans have been canceled, be angry. If you want to cry that the trip you planned for over a year is gone, cry. Your feelings are valid.
- Practice the art of distraction. Whether it’s hiding from the news cycle, hanging around your backyard firepit or streaming a movie you love, managing your own mental health takes priority.
- Move around. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Dance in your living room or go for a hike. Physical activity can help combat feelings of depression.
- Reach out to others. Even if you can’t see your loved ones physically, using online platforms to connect with friends and family will help break you out of your isolation.
- Keep dreaming. Keep researching and planning for future travel adventures. This pandemic will eventually end. Having something to look forward to will help you move past your current travel depression.
Know When to Ask for Help
Whether it’s regret at losing your travel plans or fear about the current state of our world, if you find yourself struggling with signs of depression, it may be time to speak with a mental health professional.
The team at Taylor Counseling Group wants to help you navigate this time and help you find renewed hope. Our tele-health services ensure the safety of our patients in Texas and beyond. If you need help processing your travel depression, schedule your appointment today.